Start: Green Springs Mountain (1745)
Camp: Jackson Wellspring (1724)
Today, 18 miles from here, a chapter in this journey will close. I will be at I-5. My rides have not called me back, but it will be time to find a ride to Burning Man regardless.
I hadn’t brushed my teeth since I left Mazama Village some days ago. I thought I’d lost my toothbrush. I’d had it in my water bottle pocket and assumed it had fallen out. Turns out it was packed away deep, somewhere clean, and I found it just minutes after I’d been given a new one.
I am down to brass tacks. Dinner last night was a tuna packet and uncooked minute rice. Breakfast was 5 oatmeal packets eaten cold. Lunch, just now, was the caffeinated Cliff bar I’d sworn not to eat, topped with 10 honey packets. My water is lake water from yesterday afternoon, tinged green and with the strange taste of acidic sweetness.
Speaking of acid, tonight I felt like I was part of the reenactment of a scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: She slipped into the hot pool at Jackson Wellspring, a hot spring resort of sorts in Ashland, Oregon, nonchalantly but I noticed her from afar. She’d come in with a guitar and a guy. Naked, she had a perfect body. Picture perfect breasts. Before a couple of analytical looks I thought they might be fake. Her bottom, lightly, evenly creased, her skin smooth and perfect. She reminded me of Morgan, Allan’s girl, in the way she looks.
She proceeded to wrap around the handrail down pole and mumble at a gentleman who soon left. I thought it was nonsense but when she climbed into the angled section of the pole I got it: “Monkey monkey monkey monkey monkey” she was saying. Tyler, a bmx’er I’d been talking to and can remember nothing about at the moment other than he coaches for Woodward was talking, looking at me, missing the whole seen, and I was having trouble paying attention. He wouldn’t know about the hilarity that unfolded 5 feet off his port side until I told him later on in the steam room.
When I came out of the steam room the scene was yet more ridiculous: monkey girl was now in the big pool with a gentleman, together making bizarre noises as they spun and splashed their hands and just obliviously frolicked as if they were not in a resort where everyone was silent and the average age was somewhere north of 40. As if they were six. I smiled, shook my head, and excused myself.
Back in the steam room a singer, from Whales I would later learn, came in and began to sing in her own quiet, deep intonations that sounded much like traditional native American vocalizations that would likely have flute accompaniment. As it was she had us. The beat boxer came in first, “That’s tacky,” I thought, followed by others singing, followed by me, oming. We carried on singing, oming, and laughing for a bit and the steam room became the most crowded I’d ever seen a steam room: standing room only. All the bench’s filled and four of us stood in the middle trying not to get burned by the boiler. It was cacophonous and magical.
When I finally left for some fresh air monkey girl had gotten a grip, literally: her arms where wrapped around a cheap acoustic guitar and she was strumming away. She was singing too, and she was naked. She’d makeup the words as she went, strumming the same few chords but the amazing part was the energy in the pool before her: we wanted her to blow our minds and every member of that audience was willing her to succeed. Eventually she stood up, just standing there naked on the pool deck, dancing a little, playing her guitar and singing to us with her eyes closed. If that doesn’t cure you of stage fright nothing will. We sat silently in awe. People began to join in, mimicking her words. They were all positive. Amazing, absolutely amazing.
Start: Green Springs Mountain (1745)