My wife stayed home from work yesterday and I needed to get out of the house so I went off to take some pictures of a bridge that I want to do an oil painting of (picture attached). I’d like to try to get a sepia effect with it, on a large canvas. On the way there, I stopped by my best friend’s house (Ted from Skippin’ Rocks Part1) to BS a little bit, to kill some time, and enjoy my “much deserved” freedom. He decided to tag along.
After I got the shots of the bridge that I wanted, we decided to take a drive (he needed some freedom, too). We headed up a nearby logging road to a place my friends and I used to refer to as “Too Far.” It got that name because hippies that tried to start a commune there had put up a sign to let their other smelly hippie friends know they passed the spur road that led to the shacks they built for their inane social experiment.
These hippies were very stupid! They built plywood shacks on four-foot stilts. There was no insulation whatsoever, just single plywood walls. They contracted Ted’s dad to ‘punch out’ a pond with his humongous International TD-18 bulldozer. He told them it will never hold water. Believe me; he knew what he was talking about. They ignored his advice and paid him to do it anyway. Sure enough, it didn’t hold water for years.
Ted and I reminisced about that page in our history and laughed about the hippie’s first winter. It was around ‘71’ or ‘72’. The temperatures were below zero and the snowfall was far above normal for our area. I remember seeing the stupid hippie’s Volvos parked at the bottom of the logging road. It was at least a two-mile hike up-hill to their commune. I laughed my ass off. Ted told me that he and a friend had to take an old military deuce-and-a-half to get up the hill to get their belongings out of there. They moved back to California where they belonged before they even lived here a year. Good riddins!
The reason I bring this up is: That waterless pond became an exciting weekend pastime for us. Imagine a skateboarder’s park on a larger scale.
The first time I had fun there was when my friends and I invited our high school English teacher out to go for the “36-mile Ride”. We got on our dirt bikes and rode miles of logging roads ending up at Too Far. There we played for hours. The waterless pond was around 600’ by 300’ and probably 40’ deep. The banks were near 90°. I was banking the upper edge and saw what I knew, at the time, was unavoidable. There was a rock about twice the size of a football right in my path. I was in no position to steer away from it, and I hit it straight on. I went over my handlebars and tumbled to the bottom of the pond. I was less hurt than humuliated. Still, that is one of the most fun and memorable days of my life.
I think it was around 1975 when I bought a black ‘63’ Pontiac station wagon off of a neighbor for $150 (I named her ‘Blacky’). It had a 6 banger and a 3 speed transmission (on-the-tree gear shift) and red interior. I had more fun with that car then any other, EVER!
There was a local swimming hole on the Luckiamute River that was very popular back in the 70’s. There was a field separating it from the highway. Someone had cut a water bar through the middle of it (drainage ditch). One side of the water bar was like a ramp. In the wintertime it gets very wet up here and real muddy. I would take Blacky and get a real good run down the rock road leading to the swimming hole, then veer off into the field and hit the water bar and get air. I would spin the steering wheel to one side or other, and when I hit the ground I would spin 360’s, sometimes more than two. I can’t describe how fun that was.
Then one day I took Blacky up to Too Far. The alder saplings had grown in the bottom of this waterless pond to nearly eight to ten feet high. The trunks were probably two inches in diameter. The banks of the pond were still barren, though. I got the fastest run I could get at the banks and rode it all the way around the pond. I would near the bottom and brake, hard turn, and slide side-ways. The right-side of ole Blacky plowed into the saplings and the whole car would rise up on two wheels. That was COOL! I kept playing until I broke a motor-mount and the fan tore a chunk out my radiator and Blacky overheated. I limped my way out of Too Far and coasted down the hill to the main road. I walked home from there.
I don’t remember what ever happened with Blacky but, she was a great car!
Watching the guy on that video from my last post reminded me of the fun I used to have on both two and four wheels.
Wildwood Bridge Nov. 21, 2008
Welcome to Skippin' Rocks
I originally Started a blog to run off at the mind on politics, hopefully witty and humorous ramblings, and just random thoughts. But, I'll make a new one for that and stick to short stories here. I hope you liked what you've read so far.