Wednesday, June 18, 2014

AATS 6000 Mile Tour Day 8, Arcata CA

Thursday May 22, 2014

If I recall correctly, the previous night we went in search of a bar near the hotel for a victory nightcap and didn't have much luck.

But Armando and I had much better luck in our walk/sight-seeing venture the following morning.

Again, walking through the historic hotel on Lombard St, for some reason I didn't immediately know what country I was in. But I did get in a much-needed shower. I can't remember where I am, but I am clean! Heh

What country are we in again? Photo by Armando Reyes

Day dawned cloudy but soon cleared as we walked towards the Bay and a  nearby park. Digging the architecture, Armando especially as he drafts blueprints when not rocking the drums.


The man, the myth, the legend... Mr Armando Reyes!

Moored in SF Bay

The seagulls really liked this lady

Of COURSE we checked out this Dali exhibit

Golden Gate, now visible.

Here comes the sun. Doo doo doo doo

"Stand here. Point and click. No shitty pictures."

Turned into a damn fine day!

Street upon street of awesome houses/buildings like this.

Historic hotel antique mirror selfie

While out and about Armando and I grabbed breakfast in a cafe. Can't recall the name, but very old school, very clean and VERY good. Probably the first meal of substance in a few days other than tour tacos or gas station food.

Back at the hotel to pack and check out. Soon Adrian swung the van around, and we were off to Arcata on the northern California coast.

Crossing the Golden Gate into Marin County, one of the most beautiful places in scenery and vibe I've ever been.

And this bridge is pretty fuckin huge if you've never seen it in person

And of course, we stopped to take in the sights! I love travelling with people who like to do that. Even if we're on a time crunch, when are we going to be here again?!?

Adrian and the Big Ass Bridges!

And one for the ladies ;)

San Fran across the bay

And a video

Yeah we gotta hit the road, 279 miles to Arcata.

Was nice to drive through Marin County, albeit briefly. The Truckers are from there, and spent lots of off time in Mill Valley and San Rafael.

Mount Tamalpais, how I have missed thee...

Beautiful drive

Stopped at a gas station en route, posed with a big Redwood stump

The Redwood Shocker: Fist in the stump! Heh

Adrian and the Stumpness!

And the drive only got more beautiful as we ventured farther and farther north on the 101, the "Redwood Highway." No shit. Lots of them, and mountains, and valleys. I was driving at this point. I knew the drive was going to be gorgeous as a photographer, but I took the wheel as I felt I haven't been doing enough driving, heh

Stopped at a rest stop for a tour taco picnic under some Redwoods.

Tour tacos!

"It's ON, baby! It is ON!!!"

Later we pulled into a small park in a Redwood grove. Paid a few bucks to pull in, and literally had the place to ourselves. Bad ass.

Walked among the Redwoods. I can't recommend this enough. There is something timeless, peaceful and grounding about walking amongst living breathing organisms that are older than many civilizations. Very hard to put into words.

Adrian and the Redwoods

Absolutely gorgeous. Even with the occasional big rig blasting by on the nearby highway

Came across this weird structure which was some kind of outdoor movie theater. So we had A-train pose for some cool shots. This one turned out rather iconic.

Then relaxed by a nearby river before finishing the drive to Arcata

And the rest of the drive was pretty much like this through Arcata, which we arrived at after sundown.

Adrian briefed us on it being a weird little town, with a high population of young transients. Most of them harmless, but we sure as shit weren't going to leave the van unlocked.

Jambalaya was yet another cool little dive bar, probably where I'd hang out if I lived there.

Not much of a gear area inside, but there was a gated-in area out the back load in door that connected to the street. Not a problem initially as we were the first band, but we'd either have to stow our gear there after the show, or immediately load it back into the van (which would then demonstrate to the young transient population who were not necessarily harmless that Yes, this van is full of expensive musical equipment and probably other valuables inside). Take no chances.

Stage at Jambalaya

Hanging out before the show and checking out the town from the proximity of the venue (not wanting to travel far... we didn't feel in danger, but again taking no chances), most of the downtown was a single square. Across the street on the actual square there was a bar that seemed pretty happening, lotta people hanging out in front of it.

Oh, those aren't patrons. A group of aforementioned young transients. OK.

Well now we didn't feel too bad about the seemingly light turnout to our show. Kinda weird going from a huge stage and 600 screaming people to a more intimate setting. But was a cool place, and by the time we went on we had a decent crowd that was going nuts. Awesome!

We did great with another short barn-burner set. During one crowdwalk Adrian was offered a set of shoulders to ride on, which she of course accepted!

I would have jokingly asked to be next, but I do have quite a bit of weight and several inches in height over her, heh!

But yes, they absolutely loved us. Even the members of Lord Ellis and the other band (SCM: Swiss Cheese Memory) were floored, and quite inspired, and told us so. Wow, thanks guys! And again, we'll take 20 people going apeshit over 200 sitting there on their phones.

Again, hazy details about the other bands (WATF: Writing After The Fact). But met several good people from each band, all good people. Names escape me (SCM/WATF). But did meet one interesting individual out back smoking a cigarette.

Young, probably one of the aforementioned transients. And after you meet enough people you strart to learn that indeed, the eyes are the windows to the soul. And this guy had some crazy in his eyes, tho he was nice enough. New to town, looking to get into music. "You guys into nitrous?"

Check please...

Tossed my cigarette and mentioned something about the merch booth, and went back inside. Shit, he followed me.Chatted another sentence or two, then muttered something about checking on the gear, which was outside in the gated area. Shit! He followed me again.

So I introduced him to Armando, who was tearing down his drums. Hahahaha! Sorry dude :)

And as Adrian predicted to me, I did in fact enjoy the fuck out of Lord Ellis. Good heavy/stoner with a keyboard player. And was also informed that the drummer and his wife had offered accommodations in their house. Awesome!

Before leaving the venue, I was doing the now Post-Show Shuffle outside in front of Jambalaya.

Just digging the scene and all the weird people hanging around. One dude was selling weird hats he was making. The place definitely had an end-of-the-road kind of vibe, thats for sure. Sounded and looked like there was a lot of meth going around as well.

But eventually we coordinated with the Lord Ellis drummer to follow him back to their house. Which was out in the middle of nowhere. We followed for quite awhile, most of which was on a dirt road. At one point we joked that we hoped we were still following the right vehicle...

But we were \m/,

Checking my journal for any details I could add, and there aren't many. I slept on a futon in a back workout room. But I do remember their house much better now that that one detail was filled in. Funny how that works.

They had been renovating the house over a period of time. Nice hardwood floors, tho the area I walked through to the workout room was still in transition.

Wish I'd have written down their names. Shit. I didn't do much writing in my journal on this trip either.

Again, we were moving so fast that there was never a time where I had time to myself in the morning to sit down and remember/write over a cup of coffee and a few cigarettes. That is one thing I loved about being out with The Truckers, I always had mornings like that.

On this trip, half of my writing is damn near illegible due to writing in a bumpy van driving to the next town.

But still. This is my life, and I love it!

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