Volume 11, Page 2

How to Want What You Have

We stopped at the rest stop to ask about the road northbound and everyone said that Siskiyou pass was a complete mess and people were at a complete standstill and out of their cars drinking coffee and poor us that we were going that way. Not what we were hoping to hear.

Normally, this sort of news would send us into a minor panic and we'd get mad at each other, because for some reason when things go wrong it's always your spouse's fault, and we'd go back and forth until we were ready to harvest each others raw organs to spread on crackers. But we kept it together and drove south to Yreka to buy chains. And here's where the connections start.

Our very good friend Walker used to go out with this guy, Dave. Dave introduced us (for better or worse) to this band String Cheese Incident which is a hippie bluegrass jam band that my husband is completely devoted to and is covertly but systematically converting the unwary at a rate that would alarm John Ashcroft if anyone told him about it. We spent New Years Eve 99 and 00 with them in Portland. For my take on SCI -- I am happy to see them once a year and that covers my enthusiasm. Cheese fans are called FOCs (Friends of Cheese). I refer to myself as a FOFOC (Friend of Friend of Cheese).

Jimmy, Blanket and Orange

Bob has gone to see them in Shasta for the past two summers. It's a several day, outdoor camping, boogie under the shadow of the mountain extravaganza that Bob and like-minded souls enjoy. He has managed to convert my cousin BG and a whole Orleans crowd and for the past 2 summers they've driven out too.

Two years ago BG's car broke down in Yreka. She was driving this terminally unreliable Cherokee at the time. Bob met BG in Yreka to deal with the repair issues and found this Mexican restaurant and learned the Yreka layout.

By the time we got there in November 01, Bob knew his way around and we easily averted panic as we found the tire store, bought our chains, filled up on a nice hot Mexican food lunch and headed towards the pass, prepared for anything.

Since we were prepared for the worst, the situation that presented itself was a snap. We had to put on the chains. I've never been in a mandatory chains situation and found myself inexplicably thrilled. I took pictures of the long line of cars and trucks pulled over in the heavy snowfall. I jumped up and down and waved at the trucks. I felt like cheering every time another chained up car chunked up the road, successfully on its way. I watched the people coming off the mountain and watched them pull over to take their chains off. I waved at them too. We plodded over the mountain and it felt like a Bruckheimer movie when the trio of snowplows came charging up behind us and stormed by with dirty wet snow flying. Where was the roaring soundtrack? By the time we got to Ashland we could take the chains off and the snow turned to rain and we eventually got home even though it took about 2 1/2 hours longer than usual.

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PHOTOGRAPH: Pam, Jimmy and orange at SCI New Years. Photographer: Walker

This page was made on December 3, 2001. Featured artist: silence. Featured beverage: tea.

Posted: 12.3.01