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 > > > 20 Lipca 2001 < < <

July 20, 2001
Ventura State Beach, CA


I'm parked here at the beach and it's a fuckin' beautiful day. This morning I caught a nice halibut at Rincon that was just shy of being legal. There ain't much happening here in the wave department, unfortunately, but it's still a nice place to chill out. We're playing here in town tonight, after which I'm driving straight home to get a few hours of sleep in my own bed before heading off tomorrow for Vegas. So far the camping thing has been cool, I just need to learn to chill out. I'm always trying to squeeze too much in, i.e. surfing, fishing hiking, and I have a hard time sitting still. I was told that I was hyperactive as a kid and I guess I still am, but I'm working on it. I've gotta save some energy for the shows.

On Tuesday night we played in Bakersfield at an outdoor park. Dexter said it was, "like having our own little warped tour." It was kind of like that and we even had barbecues backstage. The crowd was great and seemed to be having a good time. During TSOL's set they pulled a young kid onstage, made him shave off his cheesy little mustache (for the first time ever, apparently), and then let him sit in on drums for a little bit. The kid was okay, but he was really milking it, and didn't want to get up from behind the drums. It was pretty funny.

That night I slept in a campground at the base of a dam near Lake Isabella. Out of about 60 campsites in the campground, mine was one of only two that were occupied. When I parked my camper and got out, the place was pitch dark except for all the stars. I wasn't sure exactly where I was because I couldn't see anything, but I could hear some running water so I decided to stay. I had a beer and stared up at the heavens for a while before crashing. I woke up the next morning at about 7:00, and saw that I was just above the Kern river that flows from the dam down the mountain. I made some coffee and read a little of "Desert Solitaire" by Edward Abbey. I didn't feel comfortable reading anything by Abbey at the base of a dam, so I decided to do some fishing. There were some really good sized trout in the river, and I hooked up with one that, after a brief fight, broke off. Around that time the alarm sounded that announces the release of water from giant tube at the base of the dam, and then a huge gush of water started shooting out. The river was pretty churned up and began moving faster so I decided to go fish upstream, above the lake. I found a nice stretch of river that was holding some fish, but they were much smaller than the ones down below the dam. I caught and released a few fish, then spent the rest of the day driving through the Sequoia National Forest.

I didn't get to the gig in Fresno that night until TSOL had already taken the stage. It was another great show, and the crowd even forgave me for referring to them as Bakersfield ("Hello Cleveland!). At that point I hadn't showered for a couple of days, and I was pretty crusty and smelly. I felt good to get up on stage and sweat off all the crust. It was really hot inside the venue, but that didn't stop the audience from going nuts, and when the audience is so crazed, it seems only fair that we reciprocate. It was a really fun show.

That night I tried to make it all the way to Ventura, but I started getting really sleepy. As I was climbing the Tejon Pass on the I-5, I saw a pretty nasty accident in the northbound lanes, so I decided to hit a rest area and get some sleep. I didn't get to Ventura until just about noon yesterday. In the evening Donny, Fozzy, and I drove around and checked out the surf. It was really windy and blown out in most places, and the places that weren't didn't have much swell, so we decided to see what kind of waves this morning would yield. If we had our longboards with us we probably would have gone out and had a great time, but the waves here are still pretty small, and we only have our short boards.

It's kind of funny how when I'm in a hotel room all I want to do is sit and space-out. It's like there is something about hotels, the decor in them, or the rooms themselves, that just sap my energy. But sitting here on the beach I'm dying to do something. I know there are fish in the surf, and I know I could catch them. The surf itself is starting to look better and better to me. Some of the waves could be ridden. Shit! they might be kind of fun, even on a shortboard. At the very least, some body-surfing could provide some kicks. The only guys out there on boards right now aren't doing so well, but they are just little grommets. Maybe they need someone with a few more gray hairs to paddle out right now and show them how it's done. These waves can be ridden, and they might even be fun.



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