1. In the interest of getting the fuck out of Los Angeles as quickly as possible, I took the 5 up through the Central Valley. It’s an ugly drive, but I made great time. Crashed with friends in Marin. Grilled out. Smoked out. Passed out. I got a lazy start the next day, but finally made it up the 101 through redwoods and rocky beaches to Oregon.
2. Woke up early and went whitewater jet boating through the Rogue River wilderness. The day was wet and majestic. I saw punk-as-fuck bald eagles, a goofball sea lion, a herd of elk, an adorable family of otters, a ridiculous pile of turtles, and most amazingly, a deer and a bear eating berries out of the same briar patch. Fuckin’ nature, man.
3. Digs at the Jupiter Motel. Dinner at Doug Fir. Drinks at Union Jacks, where I got hit on by a dreadlocked lesbian stripper named Pantera who swore it was her real name. (Her mom apparently had a thing for/with Phil Anselmo.) The next morning, I brunched at Pine State Biscuits and briefly attended the Soapbox Derby at Mount Tabor Park as my Portland-flavored ironic hipster experience. I walked into Powell’s and signed a copy of my book, which felt like checking an item off my bucket list. After dinner and drinks at Clyde Common at the Ace Hotel, I felt like I’d done Portland properly.
4. Scored a last-minute room at the Crater Lake Lodge. (That never happens. They made me promise not to tell anyone.) Ate a weed krispie treat and hiked down to the bottom of Crater Lake in my Chanel sandals (definitely not the recommended footwear.) Fully clothed and high as fuck, I jumped off the cliff rock into the freezing cold lake. It was baptismal. The jump was terrifying, the water was delicious, and the plunge was the most refreshing thing I’ve ever felt in my life. I got to watch the sunset over the rim during the hike back up, and there was a roaring fire waiting for me back at the lodge where I feasted on bison and a bottle of pinot noir.
5. The lake was too beautiful. I needed a buffer of ugliness and shit before heading back to Los Angeles, so I decided to poison myself by driving to Reno. It worked. I tried to get in the mood to play a little blackjack, but all I could do was smoke a few cigarettes and watch morbidly obese gamblers feed bills into the Dolly Parton themed slot machines. I nearly choked on the metaphor.
6. The drive through the Sierras was gorgeous. I wasn’t quite ready to go home yet, so I pulled off at Mammoth, rented a little motor boat for twenty bucks, and got caught in the rain out in the middle of Lake Mary. It felt like the perfect way to end my trip. The rest of the drive was one long exhale as the mountain range receded into urban sprawl.