La Casa Sanitarium, Irvine, October 25, 2010
To conclude this episode of what has become an epic as well as episodic tale, it must be added that there are literally hundreds of other
subconscious scans gathered by Ace during his ETT probes of Dotty naso-pharynx over the course of the trip. What has been presented here is,
hopefully, a representative sample, but it is only a mere stepping stone, from which future scholars may launch their own forays into the realm of
psycho-analytical sleuth-o-proctics. Even now a team of highly motivated and technically equipped graduate students at the well funded
Archeopneumatic Restitution Institute is preparing a vast and complex computer network for the storage, classification, quantification, indexing and
cross referencing of these ground breaking materials. What the future holds is anybody's guess, but I am convinced that these primitive first
attempts will eventually culminate in a bold and uncompromising future where the spectre of deranged mental health will be banished from the
horizon of human consciousness. Soon, perhaps sooner than anyone now is prepared to imagine, the depths of the human brain and its
unsuspected and wondrous capacities will be plumbed, explored and mapped, for no other frontier of human endeavor [not space, the sea or
whatever] will ever compare with the mystery and allure of this miraculous and godlike organ.
However, in the same skull video you can see some distance up the beach a pile
of driftwood well bleached by the relentless powers of the surf and sun. Dotty,
as you know already, collected odds and ends of driftwood, but the ext image
presents us with the somewhat glossy visage of something else entirely. What
for heaven's sake is this glassy-eyed caricature resembling Ike doing sprouting
out of the snout of the odd driftwood figure? Surely Ike is not a suitable subject
for the erotic fantasies of Dotty. No one is going to buy that. Also there is
nothing even remotely erotic about the shape of the piece of driftwood. Thus we
are left to consider other theories, inferences, suppositions. Is there some
connection between this image and the three dudes in the surf? Although others
have tried to account for this anomaly, Ace has proposed the only plausible
explanation so far: "Dotty is growing increasingly aware that his activities,
thoughts and behaviors are being monitored by someone far off."
First identified in his narrative as 'Peter's Point' which everyone around here
much prefers, Dotty's account of the Patrick's Point campsite (25 miles north
of Eureka) makes casual mention of a host of unbelievably bland details: e.g.
they overpaid but the excess was refunded, it had stopped raining, they walked
they ate [beans again] for dinner, dah... Of genuine concern and interest here,
however, is the fact that later that night in the tent Dotty also erected the barrier
between their sleeping bags and fell into a second episode of wind dreaming: "to
call forth my lovelies..." Naturally, Ace took advantage of this opportunity to
continue the probe of Dotty's subconscious. The first brain bits which began to
assemble out of the dark cloud of Dotty's erotic thoughts can be summarized
here: a slumbering croc behind two bare butted females, watching three dudes
wrestle with a sea monster in th surf. To my knowledge, the significance of this
tableau has not yet been ascertained to anyone's satisfaction.
Final Concluding Remarks by Ike [you know how Ike always insists on
having the last word...]
interbred second generation. Suspect a gang of these half-breeds are stalking us to steal our food." [Editor's note: As 'gang,' the subject of the
sentence is singular, the auxiliary verb should have been 'is' not 'are'. Apparently, this grammatical error simply occurs as a result of the Dotty family
At this point on the morning of Day 3, it is apparent that Dotty woke up,
and reported no detail concerning these remarkable events. In fact, his first
journal entry merely says "Driving out of the campsite we come across an
old man walking. Tall, thin, grimy, with long unkempt beard and hair and a
Mona Lisa smile on his face. Immediately infer that he is the mutant
offspring of a female Sasquatch and a horny local. See many signs of this
Ike's reply to Ace's reply to Ike's Latest theory
You're on to something Ace, I'm sure of it. There must be a connection
between the worm hole at Poker Flat and the Event Horizon Dotty painted,
remember. It was one of his highly experimental dot paintings which
nobody else could fathom or figure out. I suspect this because you're not
the only person receiving postcards from the edge. This soggy item just
popped up on my computer screen. I can't see any other plausible
erxplanation. Furthermore, while surfing the web last night, I managed to
stumble upon a clue as to why the Kraken was so interested in Dotty. If
you examine the photo I found you should reach the same set of
conclusions as I did. Apparently the shadow of Dotty's worthless life
(which the Osprey dumped into the Hoopa compost pile and which was
subsequently leached into the Klamath River) not the remains of his actual
worthless life which you caught in the river, eventually made its way out to
sea. But the Kraken found it and used it as a breeding sack...Anyway, later
when the Kraken was surfing on the Yeti's shadow board, it dumped
Dotty's used up skull with the brain intact, and Hannibal Lector found it. His
autopsy report, which I discovered on the web, contained the attached
photo, I hope that clears everything up, don't you?
Yep, everything makes sense now Ike...
Some text now burbled up, with the title Latest Theory.
"Ace, I'm as confused as you are. I thought the Kraken shrank and died
several days ago and you ate him for lunch. I remember seeing him on the
barbie, I'm positive about that. You remember, the Kraken thought he was
just some crummy calimari, and we find out he stole the shadow of the
Sasquatch and used it to surf with? That's incredible. Nobody is going to
believe that. We better move that part from Chapter Two down at least to
Chapter Seven 'cause nobody who buys the book is ever going to get that
far before burning it up anyhow."
Ace's reply: Good god, Ike! It all makes horrible sense now! The latest
postcard [the third?] reveals that Dotty was undoubtedly the victim of a
black legged tick carrying the highly virulent tangerine disease!
Next emerged the second of two peculiar postcards Dotty
may have mailed while on Arrakis, one showing the Kraken
surfing on the shadow of the Sasquatch statue. The first,
which arrived earlier is shown below. On it was typed: "I
thought Dotty was missing, Ike, until this strange postcard
appeared. It was signed 'Ace'.
Then, apparently Dotty's subconscious reacted to this account by requesting clarification of the
"Ace, don't know if I've got this right. Is this a photo (i.e. merely a picture) of my meaningless life in
the talons of the Osprey or is it my actual meaningless life captured by the Hoopa Shaman shape
shifter I stole the crab recipe from?"
Stunned by this strange request and the unpredictable consequences of the Osprey Tale, Ace
consoles himself by going fishing. And lo and behold he catches what's left of Dotty's meaningless
life, which fell into the compost pile but was leached into the klamath River and taken up by a hungry
trout or whatever...
Following the Orange Arrakean Twist in the chain of event
sequences percolating out of Dotty' subconscious, arose a letter
perfect news account purportedly published in th Hoopa Gazette, a
local rag glammed up by the reservation bound descendants of an
insignificant local Indian tribe.
Breaking News: Osprey Sighted Clutching Simulacrum of
Dotty's Life over Klamath
Dateline Happy Camp, CA:
Spawning Twit, an adolescent in the Hoopa Tribe of Siskiyou
County, California, captured a rare sight last Sunday when he
photographed an Osprey grasping the meaningless life of Odd Jim
Dotty over the Klamath River. Tribal elders were initially concerned
over the semiotic significance, but their concerns were later allayed
when it was revealed that the depiction was dropped over the
Xum-cha-ki-xhu, or what is better known in English as the 'disposal
site.' No charges were filed, though a white male known as Ace is
being sought for questioning.
Next, after a brief side trip to the galactic post office, Ace and Dotty's shadows return
to the desert to allow Dotty's shade to hurl itself into the murky depths of Shai Hulud's
feeding tube, in order to obtain a tooth out of which to carve a Kris knife, because
that's how the Boy Scouts on Arrakis earn a merit badge. As these enigmatic images
dissolve back into the tar stained crust of Dotty's nasopharynx, new conundrums (like
condom covered drums) slither out from the depths of his badly eroded neocortex.
As shocking and unpredictable as the Pop's Group of images is, they are merely the
precursors to others that follow. For now, out of a deep recess in the fertile quagmire
of Dotty's vermis there arose truly troubling and baffling wind dreams themselves.
Suddenly, we discover the shadows of Dotty and Ace hurtling through a worm hole
originating from The Buddha's Eyelids in Poker Flat and transported to the sandy
wastes of Arrakis where they stand in mute observation of Nessie being sacrificed to a
As you can see in figure 1, it is clear that Dotty was already experiencing the traumatic
consequences of the first stage of symbosophic exegesis,and his cranial mass was surrounded
by a host of tick tacky images. Next, out of the dark recesses of Dotty's somnolent
subconscious, in rapid succession, there arose a series of apparently disconnected sequences
now referred to generally as the "Tribulations and Pop's Group": the 1st reveals Dotty on a
distant barren shore [without a warm jacket] beset by a giant moray eel; the 2nd, Dotty
admiring a colossal welded figure of Sasquatch; the 3rd, Dotty ravaged in a snow bound
forest by a hoard of naked Amazons; the 4th, Dotty trekking along a rocky shore tracked by
an angry Kraken; the 5th, Dotty surrounded by a gaggle of jogging groupie nudists; the 6th,
Dotty judging a nudist beauty contest; the 7th, Dotty Wan Kanabi battling the forces of
corporate tyranny on the slopes of Humboldt State Redwood Park (he loses badly, but a
compromise allows him to keep his shawl). Then begins a series of images not all of which
are shown depicting Dotty, emulating coyote, tricking the Kraken by inviting him to a lunch of
Fritos and bean dip. The bean dip is laced with a powerful hallucinogen, and the Kraken
imagines himself calamari on the fire and cannot escape from these assumptions. He shrinks
and dies and is eaten by Ace. A final image shows Dotty resplendent (if a little unnerving) as
he emerges from lush coastal greenery.
Fig. 1: The initial state of Dotty's brain recorded by the probe...
Having subjected ourselves to Ike's boring prattle about the subtle
significance of symbols nd signs, shall we not simply press forward to
more interesting and important matters? As a student and card carrying
member of the ARA (Archeopneumatic Restitution Associatiuon) who
was mentored by none other than the internationally renowned Ph.D.
Oklahoma Jimmie [the squid], ersatz discoverer of the Ejective Trance
Techniques associated with recovering the process and content of old
dead brains, I was the only member of the party uniquely qualified to
examine the state of Dotty's subconscious after he unhooked his
precuneus and disconnected his dorsal-lateral prefrontal cortex that night
in the tent at the Aiken's campsite...You will recall that Dotty reported he
had attempted to erect a barrier of backpacks, duffel bags etc. between
the two sides of the tent, but that ridiculous precaution was no obstacle
to one such as myself, adept as I am in the extended tentacle method of
the Vulcan Mind Probe. I merely telescoped a slithery appendage over
the obstacles after Dotty fell into the desultory swoon so typical of his
wind-dreaming technique, grasped his forehead and inserted the
appropriate index probe up his nose. .
Introductory Backwards by Ace
Furthermore, the symbolustic circumstances surrounding Dotty's report of the theft of the party's food stores at the Oak Bottoms Camp provide
further evidence of a slipshod attitude before Ike's arrival. Anyone who travels extensively knows that every adventure has both its high and low
points, its ups and downs, its tops and bottoms. But there are always signs, clues, omens along the way to inform the wary traveler. Here we must
consider the dystrophic significance of linguistic as well as geomorphic data which would have warned any but the most obtuse traveler of an
impending and disturbing incident. Consider the word "Redding." Of what does it consist? First the syllable 'red' which is a sign of danger in any
international navigational code. Next comes 'ding' the symbol for a precisely delivered dent in your vehicle's paint job or windshield etc. As the party
had decided to pass through Red-ding into the unknown Trinity wilderness area rather than stop for the night, this was their first serious mistake.
Second, consider the name of the camp, Oak Bottoms, another sign of clear and present danger. Why? Oak is the preferred wood used by fraternity
brothers for the construction of paddles used to punish the posteriors of prospective pledges. Thus Oak Bottoms signifies, among other things, your
ass is about to get whipped. And third, [thus completing the Trinity] according to Dotty, they couldn't park the truck directly in camp but had to
leave it 50 yards away on the road, in the dark, while they whiled the evening away in a Handicapped Only campsite! Surely this oversight was the
cruelest sign of them all. Then again, perhaps even Ugh Toad's tick phobia was somehow a related consequence of the party's failure to read the
available symbo-logistical signs...
However, lest we get too far ahead of ourselves, let us return momentarily to the introductory emails with which we began this exegesis. Here we
must examine for the reader wast semblance of credibility may be extracted from the sometimes contradictory details we are unfotrtunastely
confronted with in any examination of an extant historical record. You will recall, I'm sure, that Dotty reported in the introduction to his diary for
Day One the following details:
"The drive north on Interstate 5 was blessed with fine weather and generally uneventful. At a rest stop we were able to extract from vending
machines a fine repast of cappuccino and crackerjacks. Arrived in Redding about 6:30 PM. Filled up there with gas and decided to eat at an
adjacent Denny's since were not sure when and where might find a place to stay on the first night. Drove northeast on Highway 299 into the
Trinity Wilderness area. After about an hour stopped at Oak Bottoms camp site....We got up early, discovered that we were in a 'Handicapped
Only' campsite, packed, and took off from Oak Bottom. Continued up 299 through Whiskeytown and on to Weaverville looking for coffee."
Now compare what Dotty wrote (above) with what Ace wrote in his third frivolous email (below):
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Ike--at Oak Bottoms campground, a few miles west of Whiskeytown, off the 199 and we have no beer. Repeat--we have no beer. Please bring
Now, aside from the fact that neither Dotty nor Ace seems to know in what direction they were headed when they left Redding [Dotty thought
northeast while Ace reported west] they also do not seem to agree upon which road they were traveling [Dotty claimed Highway 299 but Ace
thought they were just off the 199, which so far as I can tell isn't even on the map]. Furthermore, the next day, according to Dotty, they
proceeded on to Whiskeytown from the Oak Bottom camp while Ace had reported that the camp was west of Whiskeytown. This means, of
course, that Ace thought they had passed through Whiskeytown before arriving at the Oak Bottoms camp, while Dotty was convinced that the
camp was between Redding and Whiskeytown. As you can see, before Ike arrived on the second night [at the Aiken's Camp] both these erstwhile
navigators leave little in the way of rectitude to assuage the doubts of a confused and ambivalent reader.
Additional confirmation of Ike's appearance at the Aiken's Camp is apparent in
the next photo (from Ike's Collection of trip photos) showing Dotty clueless as
to the presence of two rather large crocs spawning on the grassy slope, another
detail which Dotty endeavored to 'overlook' in his description of the camp area.
Fortunately, Ace had taken a similar photo encrypted with the caption "What
secrets does the Klamath River hold? Only Odd Jim Dotty (and the salmon)
knows..." The reader, then, is expected to take Dotty's account of the
Pilgrimage to Poker Flat [Diary One] with a certain grain of salt, imbued with
the knowledge that both Ace and Ike will make every effort to capture and
present the full blush of Dotty's adventure without censorship or abridgement,
in the hope that their modest efforts, emendations, and recapitulations will
prevail as signposts along the trail of Dotty's tortured epistemological
Dotty's narrative for Day 2 mentions the Aiken Creek Recreation Area as a
"truly fine place" with multiple campsites but no tables, restrooms, firepits,or
other signs of development." He reported that he and Ugh set up camp in an
ideal grassy spot next to the river and then he prowled the area searching for
'smooth round rocks and driftwood delights.' That night, he was apparently
very concerned about Ugh, who was acting strangely and making bizarre
remaks about tick phobia, his asshole, and other unseemly matters. He further
stated that late that night he prepared for deep symbosophic exegesis by
"unhooking his precuneus and disconnecting the dorsal-lateral prefrontal cortex
[in preparation for wind-dreaming]. What is of interest here, however, is not
what Dotty said [although that will bear much fruit later on] but what he did not
say. Obviously, the photo at right [taken by Ace] clearly shows that Ike had
arrived at the Aiken's Camp sometime during that night for his Tundra [Red
October] is now parked next to Ace's Blue Turnip on the grassy slope on the
morning of day 3. This situation is further corroborated by a photo in Dotty's
Diary showing Ike standing beside Ugh, who is crouching over his tackle box,
preparing to fish for trout (unsuccessfully, as usual) on the Klamath River.
What Dotty never said happened at Aiken's Campground
Naturally, Ace and I do not intend to impugn the veracity of Dotty's narrative (Diary One) with respect to what he, in his finite wisdom, selected to
report. Rather, it is the objective of the dark and dorky duo to fill in the blanks, as it were, where Dotty's verbal effort lacks the full breadth of the
sweeping panorama of complexities entwined within the primal sequences of Dotty's causes and their apparent side effects. Although some believe
that Dotty was crassly negligent, indeed almost niggardly parsimonious, in his endeavor to present a holistic perspective of these suppressed events,
we do not share that opinion. Nor do we adhere to the charge that Dotty's diction was drab, his metaphors crude, stale, and juvenile, and his
intentions mean, loathsome and lowdown. We believe Dotty knew what he was doing, somehow, and that he deliberately left chasms a mile wide in
his chronological account, in order to stimulate the flagging libidos of his co-conspirators--Ace and Ike.
Introductory Forward by Ike:
Thus begins the compelling narrative of two bold adventurers and their bungling efforts to discover the
fate of an historical artifact abandoned some forty years before in a high mountain meadow in the
Klamath National Forest. [Seen in the adjacent photo, the so-called "Greeter for the Yeti" was erected by
Ike and Dotty in Poker Flat in the early seventies as a gesture to an often maligned fellow outcast.] Few
tales of the modern period--beset as it is with endemic violence, crimes against humanity, bloody
international conflicts, economic and environmental catastrophes, incredulous superheroes and fatuous
plots--will bear comparison, however, with this stirring narrative enfolded from the perspective of two
well-educated but administratively undisciplined klutzes, the one and only Ace of Van Nuys and his
orotund sidekick E. Ike. But perhaps for now we should just simply get on with it...
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Ike--at Oak Bottoms campground, a few miles west of Whiskeytown, off the 199 and we have
no beer. Repeat--we have no beer. Please bring some.
Friday, May 30, 2010
Ike, we're off tomorrow, returning with many
photos and tall tales...
April 15, 2010
[First of several frivolous emails from Ace]
My shark-tooth ankle straps have been sharpened. My pikes wrapped with fresh pronghorn hide. New purchases for the trip include a percolating
campfire coffee pot that (allegedly) produces 12 cups of coffee, a cast iron frying pan, and a sturdy, folding campfire grill.
The Maggot Diaries
Diary Two: The Pilgrimage to Poker Flat According to Ace and Ike
The Maggot Diaries
Diary One: The Poker Flat Pilgrimage Journal According to Odd Jim Dotty
Day 3: scandalous revelations leading to Plan B
Driving out of the campsite we come across an old man walking. Tall, thin,
grimy, with long unkempt beard and hair and a Mona Lisa smile on his face.
Immediately infer that he is the mutant offspring of a female Sasquatch and a
horny local. See many other signs of this interbred second generation. Suspect
a gang of these half-breeds are stalking us to steal our food.
The drive to Happy Camp follows the Klamath River and is uphill, winding S
curves most of the way, and slow with drizzling rain and cold winds. Upon
arriving at Happy Camp we go immediately to Ranger Station to check on
conditions. Talk with a Ranger familiar with Poker Flat. She informs us there
are deep snow drifts blocking all roads and that no one would be able to get into
the area for at least two weeks. In further discussion we learn that there is now
an improved gravel road into Poker Flat and an 'upscale' restroom has been
installed. Says the area is heavily used by deer hunters and others. She herself
goes there frequently and likes to fish in Kelly Lake. Ask her if she ever saw a
large carved head. Looking a bit bemused she asks for further information on
its appearance and location. She says no, that there is nothing like that there
now and hasn't been for the 10 years or so that she has been going up.
Although not utterly unexpected, this gloomy news generates a bit of the
dismals in our visage and obviously requires a potent schemeagasm if we are to
successfully regroup and press on. Decide to have lunch at the Frontier Café in
downtown Happy Camp and palaver yak an intendment.
Upon reflection, am convinced that the 'upscale restroom' was built directly
over where The Greeter once stood and that his spirit is most happy looking up
at the somewhat mucky assholes and grungy pussies of unsuspecting women.
Ugh Toad and Dotty agree that given the changes it is probably for the best,
perhaps even preordained, that we never had to see this sacred locus of memory
Decided to go back down to the coast. Ugh Toad had once camped at a place
auspiciously named "Peter's Point" and after a brief tour of the sights of Happy
Camp we headed that way. Sasquatch vows to exact revenge on the rustic
bumpkins who are fucking his women.
The intrepid travelers as they prepare to commence their journey
reveal a certain naive expectancy though the inauspicious sideway
glance of Ugh Toad is suggestive of forebodings to come and Dotty
(on the right) is clearly clueless.
Day 1: The Illusions of Incipient Beginnings
Note: The palaverous (and somewhat worse for the weather and
other defilements) remnants of the apparent 'Return to Poker Flat
Pilgrimage' journal of Odd Jim Dotty was recently discovered in a
Port-a-Potty in downtown Van Nuys. Much of it has been used as
ass-wipe by assorted vagrants and it has taken the efforts of the
world's foremost restoration experts to decipher the jots and
smidgens that remain legible. As we write, these mavens continue
their labors and all preliminary constructions are subject to
subsequent revision and reinterpretation. What follows must thus be
viewed as a preliminary outline of what is by all indications a most
complex and uncanny tale mingled with cant, superstition, mystery,
paranoia, blithesome inanities, blarney, turgid meaningless detail,
apoczlyptic omens, the senile drivel and ravings of as doddering old
fool, startling revelations on the meaning of everything, speckles of
twit mistaken for profundity, and other assorted psychological and
The Dynamic Duo pause for a photo at the incipient nexus...
It was May 1, 2010 when the laconic septuagenarian Odd Jim Dotty and his erstwhile gentlemen's gemtlemen Ugh Toad (i.e. guide, driver, cook,
man servant, caretaker) launched their journey seeking to pay homage to "The Greeter'. They left from the mountain house about 11:15 AM. Dotty
had been there several days. It had snowed twice and the temperature at night was in the 'teens. Projecting the weather conditions northward, it
figured to be a bit nippy and unpredictable. Dotty had forgotten to bring a warm jacket and had only an old corduroy sport coat to stave off the
cold. He was, however, packing three sleeping bags. They stopped at a market in Frazier Park and stocked up with enough food for several days.
The drive north on Interstate 5 was blessed with fine weather and generally uneventful. At a rest stop we were able to extract from vending
machines a fine repast of cappuccino and crackerjacks. Arrived in Redding about 6:30 PM. Filled up there with gas and decided to eat at an
adjacent Denny's since were not sure when and where might find a place to stay on the first night. Drove northeast on Highway 299 into the
Trinity Wilderness area. After about an hour stopped at Oak Bottoms camp site. It was now getting dark. Couldn't park the truck directly in
camp site but had to leave it on the road about 50 yards or so away. It was now dark so we just pitched tent, built a fire, and bemoaned the fact
that we had neglected to buy beer or any other libationary beverages. Just left all our food and other stuff in the back of the truck. Crawled into
sleeping bags about 10:30 or so. A clear night with lots of stars. A poem by the old soothsayer, Gary Snyder, permeated the ambient windy
Doctor Coyote when he had a problem
took a dump. On the grass, asked his turds where they lay
what to do? They gave him good advice.
He'd say "That's just what I thought too"
And do it. And go his way.
Day 2: Coyote's turds bring both mournfulness and delight
We got up early, discovered that we were in a "Handicapped Only" campsite,
packed, and took off from Oak Bottom. Continued up 299 through
Whiskeytown and on to Weaverville looking for coffee. Driving along the
Trinity River which is running high and clearly out of its normal banks. Not
good for fishing. Learned later that they had released water from a dam
somewhere upstream. Stopped at a surprisingly large and upscale market in
Weaverville--all kinds of gourmet speciality items--fine wines etc. Got coffee
at a Starbucks inside and picked up some Monty Python Holy Grail and
almond firewood. Apparently, the local dope growing trade is good for
merchants. Also checked out a well-stocked store for fishermen and talked
with owner about fishing conditions and regulations in the area. Apparently,
the only good fishing currently was in lakes. Continue driving and stopped at a
campground to fix some lunch. It is only at this point that we discover that we
during the previous night had been robbed. They took all of our food out of
the cooler (steaks, sausages, bacon, eggs, etc.) and two plastic storage
containers with all condiments, canned goods, eating utensils, cookware, paper towels, etc.). We surmise that they left the cooler, backpacks
and other stuff simply because they couldn't carry it all. One might think that we would have noticed it sooner as we packed the tent and
sleeping bags and put the beer in the cooler. But we didn't. The tarp been carefully rearranged over everything, and it was just something that
was not expected, and we are a couple of dumb, blind shits. After a brief flurry of anger, self-recrimination for not being more careful, and
fantasy aggression against the culprits, we said to hell with it and moved on down the road. Stopped at a market and picked up food for a day
or so and other necessities.
Took 299 to Willow Creek and then northeast on Highway 96 towards Happy
Camp. Now driving along the Klamath River which looks to have a normal
water level and potentially promising for the trout dinner Ugh Toad has assured
me is forthcoming. Drive quite a ways through a couple of Indian Reservations,
gaining significant elevation without seeing any likely campsites. Finally come
to a sign which says Aiken Creek Recreation Area. There is also a sign saying it
is closed for the winter. We go in anyway. It is a large area with what appear
to be multiple campsites although there are no tables, restrooms, fire pits or
other signs of development. We find an ideal spot--next to the river, grassy,
protected from the wind, next to Aiken Creek--and set up camp. See numerous
golden eagles, osprey and there is a waterfall coming down the mountain
directly across the river from our camp. A truly fine place. Ugh Toad unpacks
his fishing gear and begins dressing for the occasion. Odd Jim Dotty prowls
the area looking for smooth round rocks and driftwood delights.
Day 2 continued: The emergence of pathology
It was on the second day Ugh Toad began to manifest early signs of tick
phobia. He repetitively examined himself: looking, scratching and probing in a
most unseemly manner and neglecting his responsibility to cater to the needs of
his elderly consort. He also asked Odd Jim to examine his back. This then
escalated into examining his asshole. This request was, of course, refused as it
is not in the purview of even senescent myopic old geezers to suffer such
indignities. That night, Odd Jim carefully assembled a barrier of backpacks,
duffel bags and other equipment between the two sides of the tent in which they
slept. He began to wonder what mysterious apothegms might lurk latent in this
uncanny relationship. Tick, the bloodsucking arachnid. Tick, a rhythmic
audible beat. Tick, to mark or count. Tick, the fabric case of a mattress. Tic,
habitual spasmodic motion. Clearly, this called for deep symbosophic exegesis
and Odd Jim began to prepare by unhooking his precuneus and disconnecting
the dorsal-lateral prefrontal cortex in preparation for wind-dreaming.
Ugh Toad prepares to fish the Klamath
The Klamath prepares a surprise for Ugh Toad
It was extremely windy and cold on the beach. Would estimate
winds were at least 35-40 miles per hour and were bliowing
directly from the north. After a little while walking on the beach
my camera would stop functioning. Think it was due to the
batteries just getting to cold, as a similar thing happened in
Alaska and up in the Andes. Picked up some great small pieces of
driftwood--possible bases for stick paintings, etc. Ugh Toad was
preparing cheeseburgers for dinner. Wind was blowing so hard
that it largely nullified the fire from reaching the meat. Although
left on the grill for over an hour, they were still quite rare.
Ugh toad had suggested leaving the rain flap off of the tent in
order to better see the stars. While he was walking on the beach,
wise old Dotty put the rain flap on. It rained during the night.
Next morning ambled a bit on beach and picked up more
driftwood that I had stashed the day before.
[ Extra-vehicular comment by Ace: That was indeed Dotty's
shining moment. However, let me add that it came on the tail of
him absentmindedly placing our bottle of wine in the ice chest.
Cold pacific winds and an icy Cabernet. Nice.]
Editor's Note: In his narrative, Odd Jim Dotty appears to
have kept to the facts as he was aware of them at least up to
this point. But his failure to mention the sudden appearance of
Eucalyptus Ike on day 2 (see the above photo) suggests Dotty
had ulterior motives for failure to mention some of the raw
details of his extraordinary experience.
Day 3: Undaunted, Intrepid Travelers Transubstantiate Their Morbidity
Left Happy Camp, fortified by Cheeseburgers and Fries, heading back down
Hwy 96 towards Eureka. Weather still cold and drizzly, spotting golden eagles
all along the way. (Note: I incorrectly identified our camping destination as
Peter's Point. It is actually Patrick's Point. This errant digression may be
meaningful. All corrigendums are closer than they appear and should be
interpreted with caution.)
Patrick's Point is about 25 miles north of Eureka. The park is on high, sheer
cliffs above a rocky shoreline and contains dense forests of spruce, hemlock,
pine, fire and red alder. Arrived around 5 o'clock. The ranger at the gate was
leaving and told us to self-register. There were two prices, $45.00 a night if you
were in a beach front campsite and $35.00 a night if not. There was also a
discount for senior citizens. We drove in checking out the sites, picked one,
and went back to pay. Thought we had a beach front site since we were not
that far away from the cliff and ending up overpaying. A ranger came by later
and refunded the amount of overpayment. It had stopped raining and was
beginning to clear up but was windy and chilly. Walked a little along the cliffs
checking out the area--apparently 6 miles of hiking trails. Decided we would do
our major walking the next morning. Set up camp, built a fire, opened up a fine
bottle of wine, and Ugh Toad began preparing dinner. You guessed it! Steak
Day 3 continued: Stringent Cautions Preserved
We consume steak, baked beans and wine with our customary relish. It is
colder than a witches' tit although the fire is going strong. We are still burning
burning wood available, At the time it seemed a bit over-priced at $8.00 a
bundle but has proven to be well worth every cent. I decide to go to bed. As
usual, and as the gods intended it, Ugh Toad stays up to wait for the fire to die
down. I carefully erect the barrier between our sleeping bags to help
discourage any nocturnal supplications to examine his ass for ticks, institute
the appropriate image/verbiage to call forth my lovelies, and fall into
Day 4: Ignis Fatuous specters, and a walk on the rocks
Awoke with vivid recall of visitations. Carlos appeared, said he wanted to
show me his new vehicle, a bug. Assumed is was a Volkswagen. It turned
out to be an actual bug, a large gray,sow bug. He pointed out its special
features--numerous prehensile curb feelers and the ability to roll up into a ball
making it easy to park. He then opened up a carapace on its side, got in, and
drove away humming "I am the Walrus." As he drove away Bob Boice drove
up in a large truck full of firewood. Said he was selling it and that was how
he now made his living. He had sores all around his mouth which were
caused by an appliance he had to wear after tearing tendons in his jaw. He
was accompanied by his first wife, Carol, who was dressed like Little Bo Peep
and crocheting doilies. She was insistent that I buy one since Bob was not
very successful at selling firewood and they needed money to eat. Who
knows what simulacrum are blowing in the wind-dreams.
Ugh Toad had the coffee ready and breakfast cooking by the time I emerged
from my toasty cocoon. "Ah, the sweet loving joys of this world." We
finished breakfast, packed everything up, and walked a trail southward along
the cliffs. It was a great day, sun shining and a pleasant temperature.
After walking for a couple of hours on the trails, took off. Stopped at Visitor Center at entrance of Patrick's Point where Dotty was able to
purchase a warm jacket. Headed south for next camping destination--the so-called Lost Coast. South of Eureka turned off of l01 to Ferndale, a
small town noted for its Victorian architecture. Stopped in Ferndale for gas and provisions. Just outside of Ferndale the road heads up into the
coast range. The road is narrow, winding, very scenic and the whole area appears largely untouched by human degradations. Several trucks
loaded with logs pass us but see no evidence of logging from the road. Go up and down mountains, dense forest, virtually no signs of habitation
or other people. The road is slow going and drive for quite a while before seeing the coast. As we begin to ascend back up into mountains
realize that we missed the Mattole road turnoff to campground and have to backtrack a bit.
Note: This stretch of coastline is so rugged that it was too costly to run state highways through the area leaving it the most undeveloped portion
of the California coast. Most of the area is owned by the Federal Government and some of it has been designated as the King Range National
Conservation Area. It includes about 80 miles of shoreline. There is a 25 mile hiking trail along the beach with lots of warnings about being
familiar with tide charts and taking precautions against the numerous bears that will be encountered. A friend of Ugh Toad did this trail a few
years ago. Apparently, it is very strenuous, hiking through deep sand, across rough rocky areas, etc. A bear got his backpack and left it in a
patch of poison oak. It is apparently the last time he ever went backpacking.
Day 5: Redwood Camp Site
Take a couple of final shots of driftwood on the beach. Back on
the road heading for the big trees. Hope to stop at store and pick
up some food but there are none.
Arrive at campground and select site. Ranger informs of
availability of hot showers. For four quarters you get 10
minutes. Buy some firewood at ranger station and set up camp.
Unfortunately, we are extremely low on provisions (i.e., two
eggs, two slices of bacon, some hamburger buns, and some
slightly stale banana bread provided by Ma Turner). In walking
around campsite discover entrance to "Ridge Trail" of 5.2 miles.
Decide we will take a walk but not do the whole thing. The first
couple of miles are rather steep. Dotty is huffing and puffing
while Ugh Toad continues to set a furious pace. Suspect he has
devious revenge motives for real and imagined indignities
suffered during childhood socialization and plans to leave Dotty's
remains for scavengers and maggots to dine upon. Dotty halts
and tells Ugh Toad to ahead--will wait for him to come back.
After waiting for over an hour figure Ugh Toad has decided to go
all the way to top. Dotty proceeds up trail walking for another
hour and a half or so. Although still uphill, trail is not as steep
and walking is easier. In thick forest, in is now after 5 pm and
seems to be getting a bit dark. Not entirely clear whether trail
loops back to area of camp site or whether must go down same
way as went up. Decide to head back down. Draw arrows on
trail to inform Ugh Toad of decision. Ugh Toad did go all the
way to top and arrives back in camp about 10 minutes after
Dotty. Can tell by surprised look of disappointment that his plans
to report Dotty missing had gone awry.
Day 6: The Bates Motel and Elephant Seals
Breakfast consists of black coffee (we are out of Cremora and sugar) and
some stale crumbs of banana nut bread. Clearly, Ugh Toad is not taking
proper care of Dotty. Certainly is difficult to get good help these days.
Compensate with sensualistic showers. Dotty, in one of his increasingly
frequent senior moments, forgets his towel and is forced to dry off with a
dirty tee shirt. Pack up and head on down Hwy 1 hoping to find a campsite in
Big Sur. Stopped at a MacDonald's along the way for much needed fat and
grease and drove on a roadside rest stop to eat. Ugh toad can scarcely contain
his excitement with the ambrosial delights of a Big Mac and Fries.
Ugh Toad prepares "culinary surprise" for dinner. Dotty watches over
preparation with keen awareness suspecting his efforts may involve adding a
few asshole ticks for supplemental protein.
Continuing on Hwy 1, we stopped at Whale Watcher's Cafe for a late and substantial lunch. While there Ugh Toad decided that since he didn't
have his book showing exactly where the trout fishing river was , etc. we decided to cut the trip short by a day and go on home. The rest of
the drive was uneventful although significant traffic delays getting through the Santa Barbara area and at other spots. It should be re-emphasized
that this preliminary account is subject to revision, re-interpretation, deletions, additions, etc. Any egregious mistakes, defamation of character
law suits, etc. are the full responsibility of Ugh Toad.
Final comment according to Ace:
Dotty's narrative has clearly lost its faithful chronology as I did not hump a juvenile elephant seal female. It appears that the residue of his
arsenic-rich photographs are taking a toll. [Editor's note: here the boldface emphasis added reveals a shabby grammatical error made by the
Toad. Since the subject of the embedded clause is the word residue, the auxiliary verb before "taking" should have been "is." ]
Copyright: Shy-bird Enterprises, Inc.
Dotty suggested stopping for a bit at Russian Gulch State Park where his progenitors honeymooned in halcyon days of yesteryear. Ugh Toad,
however, whizzed right by it with nary a sideways glance. Apparently, he had no intention of even acknowledging, much less commemorating,
that opprobrious event. Continued down hwy 1 enjoying the scenery but beginning to realize that we were still way above San Francisco and might
not make it to Big Sur before dark. Stopped a few times along the way for a break and to take snaps. We missed the turnoff to stay on Hwy 1
and ended up having to drive through downtown San Francisco to catch the 101 and they take that back down to where we could get back on 1.
Began to look like we might have to invoke another Plan B for the night. It was 8:30 pm before we got to Monterrey. We stopped there, got a
motel room, and had dinner at a nearby Thai restaurant, called as I recall, The Purple Rose. Continuing in our theft-induced paranoia, we removed
everything from the back of the truck and put it in the room. Maintaining his well-founded suspicions, Dotty stacked all the gear into an
impenetrable wall between the beds. We were somewhat surprised at the large size of the bathroom but were able to fully appreciate our second
shower in two days. Packing up the next morning, we noticed that we had been assigned a room for the handicapped--thus a bathroom large
enough to accommodate wheelchairs. There seems to be some ominous pattern emerging.
Day 7: Drove on south admiring the multimillion dollar homes scattered on cliffs above the sea. Stopped at the Big Sur campground to check it
out. Mostly RVs and cabins to rent, very crowded and generally not a desirable site. Drove into Big Sur State Park to see what was there. Had an
upscale lodge, campgrounds, and what appeared to be a number of potentially interesting trails. Ugh Toad mentions that there is a very good trout
fishing stream in the Santa Ynez area and that he would like to go on down to there and do some fishing. Continued on down hwy 1. A number of
road repair delays along the way.
At one beach there were hundreds of elephant seals basking in the sand.
Apparently, they were all females and the bulls wouldn't arrive until some
time later in the season. When it became obvious that Ugh Toad, sensing a
total lack of competition, was becoming a bit libidinous, I took proper
measures to remove him from temptation. While I do consider myself
tolerant to the extreme when it comes to sexual propensity, I do draw the
line at staying within your own species. In the scene below [on the beach],
partially hidden by a quickly devised sand blind, an astute observer might
notice Ugh Toad humping away on an unsuspecting juvenile female.