Updated for "The Old Hippie's Corner", Part IV of the "Weekend in San Francisco" Series:
I mixed some Tang in our water jug while Bill fooled with the fire. Bacon and eggs would be a fine way to start Day Three of our adventure. So far, the pursuit of Big Sur's women had proved to be as challenging as chasing the morning fog up Santa Lucia's verdant slopes. The warmth of early sunlight and dry sleeping bags elevated our spirits and we remained committed to our mission.
Bill kept a little cook kit in the Borgward with all the basic implements and fixings. There was a good onshore breeze so he placed our grill across two rocks on the windward side of the fire. This kept the smoke and fire away from the cooking and drafted the embers below glowing red. Large enough to hold a pan for boiling water and a cast iron frying pan, the campsite soon filled with the sounds and smells of a good camp breakfast. I sat cross-legged sipping some of Bill's famous funnel coffee and listened to Plaskett Creek gurgle in harmony with a cool bass line of popping bacon.
A tremendous noise of bells and cracking branches shut down the morning concert. We looked at a nearby Manzanita bush and out popped Tork with a gracious salutation:
Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest,
Ride more than thou goest,
Learn more than thou trowest,
Set less than thou throwest.
Tork pulled a colorful jester's cap n' bells from his head and bowed to our cooking breakfast. Bill and I looked at each other in disbelief. I revised my opinion of our diminutive friend from yesterday's jade hunt. Some pretty educated wolves must have raised Tork.
"Ya' want some coffee?" asked Bill
"This poor fool accepts thy favor with the promise of a favor returned!" Tork squatted next to me opening his shoulder bag, "A canyon berry for a morning gathering of friends!"
"Bitchen!" I said wondering what surprises lay in that pouch beside jade.
"Huckleberries are their name, they grow native wild and free," Tork pulled out a handful of blue-colored berries.
"We'll have them with our eggs," Bill forked the bacon onto the aluminum camp plates we'd washed in the surf the night before. Draining a bit of grease, he broke a half dozen eggs in the frying pan; a toss of sweet basil and Tabasco sauce from his kit, small squares of American cheese and baloney thrown in the mix, all stirred to perfection. Voila! Les Oeufs BrouillÃ©s de Grand Sur!
Bill set our plates out with the eggs, bacon and wild berries. The best food of the trip disappeared faster than the last trace of fog to the hungry coastal sun. Tork pushed a log about with a stick and the fire rekindled. He sat back and reached in his pouch again, "More mysteries from the canyon to make our morning merry!"
We looked with wide eyes as Tork laid two very healthy buds on an empty plate and looked up at Bill, "Papers my liege?"
Bill went to the Borgward, pulled some Zig Zags from his cook kit and tossed them to the campsite jester. Tork reduced one bud to rollable chunks and with one hand and one paper rolled a perfect doobie. Impressive.Â He brought the burning stick to the herbal gift, inhaled and passed the lit twister to Bill.
We shared a few tokes around the fire. The creek concert reopened with a set featuring Tork's Bells and the Technicolor Dancers. The morning sun shuttered through the boughs of the Monterey Pines and there was soon more color dancing about our campsite than on the tail of an NBC peacock. Tork joined the dancing troupe and shook his cap n' bells head to the rhythm of the Plaskett Creek Gurglers. Bill and I joined in, drumming our camp plates with spoons. After several encores and a final wind rustling applause from the Manzanita Bush Bleachers, we all bowed and paused for intermission.
"Whoa! That's some bad weed, man!" Bill exclaimed rubbing his eyes. We sat around in stoned silence watching the embers of the morning fire slowly fading to black and white. The peacocks vanished up the canyon and the manzanita bush grew still. Bill turned to Tork, "So, where's Limekiln Creek?"
* * *
I'd swear the Bomber blinked a bashful headlight wink when we pulled into the Pacific Valley Store.
"Whoa! Cherry, man!" Bill exclaimed. A candy apple red 1965 Mustang convertible sat unattended at the gas pump with the top down.
"I bet it has the High Performance option!" I added as the Bomber pulled alongside this iconic beauty of the Sixties.
We jumped out as Tork scrambled over the front seat and out the passenger door. He had offered to be our guide to Limekiln Creek and rode comfortably astride the surfboard in the close confines of the Borgward's derriÃ¨re.
"Look at the license frame Bill, Galpin Ford! This must be someone from our neighborhood." I walked around and checked out the 4-speed shifter on the floor and a fender emblem that confirmed that this was indeed a top-of-the-line High Performance 289 cubic inch V8 Mustang. Tork seemed unimpressed by our automotive adoration and bounced merrily into the store. Moments later our attention to Lee Iacocca's contribution to Western Civilization was shattered by a high-pitched squeal.
"Can you BELIEVE this? NO HAIRSPRAY!" a young woman with bubble sunglasses and an oversize silk headscarf walked defiantly from the store. She headed towards the Mustang continuing her tirade, "No hairspray. NO HAIRSPRAY! NO Aqua Net! Can you IMAGINE?"
My travel buddy was sensitive to misfortunes befalling the opposite sex, especially one that owned a red Mustang, "What's the matter, babe?"
"Oh, hi there," the young girl replied, "WELL, I can't believe I've come all this way and this hick store doesn't even sell Aqua Net. I've had a totally miserable trip! Last night the motel in Cambria had a T.V. with ONLY three channels AND it was a black n' white! Totally gross! I probably have cooties from that lumpy bed!"
Bill winked at me and consoled. "Pretty tough in Cambria, our room didn't have a T.V. and was pretty drafty."
"Well then, you know what I'm talking about!" some tears appeared below the bubble sunglasses, a small river of mascara ran down her cheek. Bill put a reassuring arm around her white Bolero jacket. The damsel in distress was dressed in 1965 haute couture wearing a canary yellow turtleneck with white and blue striped culottes in Fortrel polyester. Her boots were the rage, knee high in white patent vinyl.
"Are you from the Valley?"
"Why YES! How did you guess?"
"We saw the Galpin Ford plates on your Mustang."
"I live in Encino and my father is a VERY well known orthodontist. He's worked on the stars you know," the distraught traveler bared her teeth to showcase a set of shiny braces, "They'll be off in a month and believe me, I'll be a LIVING DOLL!"
"Where'd you get the bitchen car?
"Daddy surprised me on my birthday! Can you BELIEVE it?"
"I've only had it a month, I'm a Gemini you know."
"What brings you all the way up here?"
"I'm SUPPOSED to meet my uncle at Nepenthe's for lunch and look at me!" She pulled her paisley scarf from her head, "LOOK at this!" A cascade of strawberry blonde hair fell to her shoulders. The ends flipped up in obedience to an absentee hair roller, "I've been in a convertible for two days and I have NO MORE hair spray!"
"Oh, somewhere up this awful road. All these curves! I almost hurled a few miles back!"
"I'm sure you'll make it. My name is Bill, what's yours?"
"I'm Victoria! My uncle is a VERY famous director, he's up here scouting locations for his new movie."
"Yes, and if I can get to the restaurant in one piece, he may have a part for ME!"
"Oh my GOD! What is that circus freak doing in my car?" Victoria screamed as Tork jumped into the Mustang.
Tork picked up an empty can of Aqua Net from the dash and held it at arms length. Standing with a sandal in each bucket seat he began a soliloquy:
To be, or not to be; that is the question;Â
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troublesâ€¦
"GET OUT OF MY CAR YOU GEEK!" Victoria grabbed her empty Aqua Net from the jester's hand and flung it narrowly missing his cap n' bells.
The jester hopped from her car and bowed with a flourish to Victoria, "I am not a GEEK my fair maiden. I am Tork from the Cove of Emerald Jade."
"Tork? Dork? WHATEVER! Don't you ever touch MY car again!" Victoria scolded, "Why don't you hippity-hop off a cliff, there's plenty around here!"
"A warning my fair maiden. Curse a jester and grave misfortune may befall you!"
"I'm SURE!" Victoria got into her car and started the engine, "You can ALL go to hell." The Mustang smoked its tires leaving the parking lot and sped north on Highway 1.
"Hooks up pretty good, two-tire burn," Bill said.
"Limited-slip differential on the High Performance option," I said and noticed a rather menacing grin on our new friend's face.
Â "Jesters do oft prove prophets, my dearest," Tork tapped his cap n' bells and bowed to a now empty roadway.
Next in series: Part V
26 May 2006
Â©Colonel Possum Publishing Co.