The Legions of
(click on the photos to enlarge)
"There's a man drawing pictures
On the sidewalk with chalk
Just as fast as he draws 'em
Rain come down and wash 'em off
"Keep the drinks comin' girl
'Til I can't feel anything
I'm just a chalk mark in a rainstorm
I'm just the beat of black wings."
June 19 began the embarkation
of two adventures that have taken months of planning. First a
for Emerita, Luis, Jenifer & Karina in their home in El Rosario, Baja.
There was a traditional fiesta celebrating many
cumpleanos with piñata, gifts, Barbie cake, tequila, Tecate
and a BBQ. That evening we watched a special Spanish language version of
Toy Story, Lord of the Rings & Harry Potter on their new Joe's garage creation
of a surround sound system. Next morning with a ringing still in our ears,
it was off to witness the Summer Solstice on the San Carlos Mesa ceremonial site
via Mission San Fernando Velicata and
the copper mines. With Capn'Rob & Tomas Byrnes at my trusty side, we innocently
ascended up that "un camino no en ningún mapa" hereby known as
HELL's HAULWAY (for reasons I care not to esplain
at this time).
I have been able to interpret several of
the mesa petroglyths which has sparked a new
direction of discovery & exploration. After two failed
attempts to witness the sun entering its house (obscured by clouds) I faced the
music or should I say six hours of Joseph Campbell
with a fresh bottle of blue agave. At night's end all was made right with our
world (at least I was seeing two of
everything) until next year, when it happens all over again. I set
a new personal best for endurance - 3 trips to El Rosario and 2 round trips to
the top of the Mesa - all in 48 hours! There are no plans for
my own record in the future and if by chance you hear me say I am ...have me
immediately committed to the El Rosario El
Hogar para El Inquietó. This grand experiment will no
doubt end up in the proverbial Windsurfing funny papers or with any
luck on the wide screen. Many thanks to Capn' Rob, Thomas Byrnes & Rodney
for providing me with the perfect Baja traveling companions and source material
for many great stories.
(birthday photo courtesy
Capn' Rob, six-pack of soldiers -Rodney)
the Blue Agave Nile on a Big Blue Barge
"Here's to ole Soup Cans , cuz he really nailed it when he said- ""When you
follow your bliss - roads will appear where there were no roads (and there
tweren't no road today!) and where there would not be a road for anyone else" "
Capn' Rob after his confession, somewhere near the horse
latitudes of our mortally wounded bottle of Casadores Tequila high atop the San
Carlos Mesa in the suburbs of Eden. 6.21.03 Summer Solstice right around 10PM.
Reformations on HELL'S HAULWAY
during day three into that grand agave consciousness, I had the recollection of
one of my
great misadventures of the past. Trouble was nobody wanted to listen.
It hit me at the bottom of a rather large irregular rock in the road
during our final ascent to the mesa top. We affectionately
nicknamed this tumultuous passage HELL'S HAULWAY.
The rock shall remain nameless as there were way too
many of his relatives of similar stature strewn along the way. 20 minutes
into our "Toads Wild Ride" my companions became quite contrary as they
were being tossed about the cab like so many clothes in a dryer, glaring at me
with distain combined with just a pinch of horror and scosh of pain. Even
Capn' Rob, a seasoned Baja Bush Pilot retained a classic pensive look
as he maintained a death grip on my
dashboard. Too bad. I could have taken their
minds off the severe throttling we all were taking
by recounting my tale. I am afraid
to stop and survey the almost certain damage to my suspension system.
The "Like a Rock" Chevy truck ad campaign crossed my mind as my blue beast
creaked, groaned, and crawled over the boulder strewn landscape. I
found that I dare not touch the
accelerator. Idle-ing movement in first gear was almost
too much effort.
digress. I hadn't thought about the incident for some time. I am reminded
of it every time I watch Raider's of the Lost Ark. I'm always tempted to
stand up and cheer when the monkey eats the bad date. Bad Monkey.
interesting how time has the unsolicited task of either tainting the facts or
marinating that recollective brisket. I'm refering to my story that
is...which was quickly being over shadowed by this carny ride from the Cerdes
Carn-i-val. I think it all started
I consumed some mad cow tainted beef from a seedy back alley food court in
Cairo. My partner swore it earned an honorable mention in our guide book.....he
later admitted his cerebral wires got crossed and in fact it was in a medical
journal he found in the seat pocket of our commuter flight.
had ordered the braised wombat, my partner a goat cheese and entrails salad.
I was distracted by a monkey dressed in colorful, traditional garb who while
winking at me from the open window ledge was doing those things that monkeys do
when bored. I was flattered. I never heard the waiter inform me in very
broken King's English about the minor substitution to my luncheon special.
The real insult came later when my partner hired him as our personal guide and
chauffer to "see the ruins". After a "sump"tous meal and animal planet
floor show we were crammed into his dilapidated import's import with a cardboard
rear door and blaring 8 track of high pitched warbling, wailing crooners &
mesmerizing toe flutes. We were sent off with a backfire and a grinding
transmission gear to view the "antiquities" which oddly were in the
opposite direction from the sphinx. I admit that my Egyptian could have
been better but I'm positive that my partner (
who was Bogarting the English/Egyptian translation book)
did not request that we be taken to the Cairo Municipal Dump. But
there we were, knee deep in stinking third world garbage when I exploded at
waiter/guide who was now arguing with my partner over an additional
gratuity. The major disagreement that ensued resulted in Ashmel, having
now cultivated a full raging snit, leaving us at the gate. We were on our
own, miles from town, amidst piles of the most gawd awful refuse with a
collection of toxic fragrances that to this day will, on sweltering afternoons,
still seep from the deepest depths of my sinuses. It was horrific and not
the least bit interesting! So into the blinding sunset we trudged, arguing
all the while about every little thing we now loathed about each other, a result
of traveling thousands of miles together with two very incompatible lifestyles..
It was around midnight when we finally stumbled back into our hotel only
to find that Ashmel had ransacked our
room searching for my partner's "favorite magazines".
As a final act of retribution and impertinence, he deposited upon my partner's
pillow, a perfectly sculpted complimentary steaming brown rosette of his own
consumption. Unfortunately this turn down service was not realized by my partner
until he plopped
on the bed in exhaustion. I was so elated at Ashmel's unselfish act that I
frequently woke myself up that night giggling. My come-up-ence arrived
around 4am when a rumbling from my own furnace, that rivaled Vesuvius, almost
knocked me out of
bed. I began having feverish nightmares about that monkey, now dressed as
the Mad Hatter serving tea to me and the wombat from lunch. In
Ashmel's broken King's English- he spoke, "Pardon me, for I am only the busboy
from fate's cosmic kitchen, sent out front by the head chef to inform you
of an ever so slight substitution to your order. 'So what's it going to be
then?.... do you want to spend the rest of your life as an entrée' or a side
dish?, entree' or a side dish?, entree' or a side dish? My fever broke
sometime later the next night, the toilet broke soon thereafter. Occasionally
when I've miscalculated the rate and load of my thirst for agave I am haunted by
that refrain and the snide grin from that Lewis Carroll monkey and his wombat
two roundtrips on HELL's HAULWAY puts Cairo, Ashmel and that randy monkey on
faded memory status, replaced by an even more horrific episode of hijinks.
At some point you have to ask yourself...was it worth it? I have yet to
get an answer from my traveling companions because I haven't heard from them
a small bite size morsel folks, a table scrap from the longwinded saga of
Beyond the Blue Agave ...stay tuned when Tom turns to Rob
& mutters in pig Latin "I think
he's finally lost it for good, you distract him...I'll get his keys."
...and now we
return you to our normal programming
The last 36 months have been nothing more than
chapters of a fantastic Sci-Fi mystery with each passing month adding
another cosmic episode.
I think the most pivotal event
the year was the violent shaking of my creative soul whose components lay
dormant on the bottom of a snow dome device of my own construction - mired &
stifled. Thank you MC & the San Carlos Mesa Equinox Indian site for
opening my eyes. There is not a day that goes by that I don't reap another
benefit or another insight.
I am now seeing what were once strategic active elements fall away or disappear
and being replaced by a new interlinked paradigm. It conjures up an
image of the famous NASA footage where the glowing missile stages fall away
after they have performed their functions.
believe I still miss the raven MC the most. Must be the rare properties of the
number- 2002. There were many lessons & blinding
insights that have changed my life. It is extremely difficult not to focus
on the messenger when the message is so dynamic ....but like it or not,
the content is still the real key. Past experience reminds me not to look
at anything in its
totality but more like its minute contribution to a bigger picture. That's
why I opted not to say goodbye but instead " until next time". Still
I am constantly amazed at how this journey with its twists and turns, dead
ends, perils & rewards, keeps one door closing so close
behind me while another opens next to my nose. A very special posthumous
thanks to Joseph Campbell for adding a sense of order to all this with his
"Power of Myth" & Victor Villasenor for his novel "Rain of Gold". Un gracias
especial to Maria Escurra for introducing me to Hispanic literature prior to my
Immersion experience this fall.
My journey this coming year will take me to Baja
- back up to the Mesa San Carlos and deeper into the immersion experience in El
Rosario & the Fish Camp. I plan on learning as much as I can about the
lost civilization that inhabited the Punta San Carlos Area. Amidst all
that there will be many surf & sail & photo sessions
The MISSION for 2008 - "Follow Your Bliss & Follow
sum up the mission I defer to the Beatles'
Fixing a Hole
by John Severson
This poster was created by famed artist
Rick Griffin for John Severson's Pacific Vibrations epic surfing movie
circa 1970. It was John Severson's exiting tribute to surfing and
the surfing publishing world. Both movie & poster redefined surfing
movies & surfing art. It was a time of evolution.
The poster, made for movie theater
marquees was printed on both sides with the image upside down on the
reverse side giving the poster a 3-d effect when rear lighted.
I have one of the double printed posters
which John Severson recently signed. I spoke to John about the
movie which cannot be re- released due to issues with the musical
artists. "I was a statement for the times...which were at that
pivotal point in surfing's history - the transition from longboards to
shortboards." Unfortunately that time was a great era of
experimentation as is the style of the movie. The riders are
attempting to adjust their styles to the new dynamics which by today's
standards is "tame".
I recently re-examined the visual elements
of the poster which I feel make an uncanny statement to events I have
experienced in my life over the last two years.