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Tales from the Road – SURPRISE! THE CRADLE OF POT

Met this pleasant nouveau hippie couple at a restaurant in Garberville, California, Humboldt County.  She’s from France, and he’s from New Zealand.  They informed me that Garberville /Humboldt County had been one of the world’s hottest pot spots for decades– even rivaling Amsterdam as a nouveau hippie mecca, for the variety and easy availability of cannabis.

They were happy to talk about their lives, and had come to the area for the pot harvest,  having become experts in how to pick the best buds quickly and carefully– from stints in Mexico, Africa, and Asia.   They could pick plums from area orchards, but plum picking paid $9/hr. and pot picking upwards of $50/hr.– for their level of experience.  Could be an interesting alternative to your kids’ coding camp– good healthy outdoor work and all.  They did look fit, healthy, and happy.

Recreational weed is legal in 9 states, with others on the verge.  However, Jeff Sessions is threatening to arrest every American stoner and throw them in jail for violating federal anti-pot laws.   Pot saved many Humboldt county families from bankruptcy decades ago, when the timber industry went bust.

The locals, who are tough country folk wouldn’t cotton the Trump administration dropping Agent Orange bombs on their beautiful California farms.

Good luck with that General Sessions.

 

Also, Colorado recently reported that state sales tax in the first quarter of this year, from the infant legal weed industry  had exceeded the entire alcohol tax income for the previous year!  Taking on the pot industry will likely be as successful as building a wall on the Mexican border.  Watch out North Carolina and other Bible Belt states, that giant sucking sound you will hear in a few years will be people exiting West for good pot-economy jobs.

Had no idea coming into Garberville as we crossed from the Northern California Coast that it would be such a cultural throwback and economic success story.

Friendly boomer hippies still wander Garberville’s Main Street too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tales from the Road – STALKING SELFIES IN THE WEST- YELLOWSTONE TOURIST MAGNET

Walking through the Norris Geyser at Yellowstone National Park, found selfie-snappers more interesting than bubbling springs.

Instead of geysers, I snapped selfie snappers. Here’s my favorite- ‘millenial with tiny bear’. Didn’t want to look like a creep or stalker (using my big, loud Nikon), so no time for proper focus.

What are they thinking?  More snaps of selfies coming.

Tales from the Road – ST. ANTHONY DUNES ATV AND RV PARK, IDAHO

Never expected this.  Camping tonight, accidentally, at a campground especially for ‘sand’ jockeys. This was a surprising introduction to an American sub-culture I had no idea existed.  Some of these dune buggies cost $35,000+ (but used ones- probably for sale after their previous owner broke his back– can be had for just a couple thousand).
Got into a conversation with these two guys.  When I admitted I’d never been on a ride, they insisted I try it.  In my younger years I would have relished it.  This time, I hesitated, but said yes– for art’s sake.

The amazing location is St. Anthony’s Sand Dunes Nat Park in St. Anthony, ID. It has about 11,000 acres with some dunes rising 400 feet at 80+ degree angles.  The folks have souped up dune buggies, noisy as hell. Reminds me of Saudi Arabia– but in the middle of Idaho? There are drivers in their 60s and pre-teens, running up and down the hills like demons. Harley riders and NASCAR drivers frequent the place. You have to love the sound of screaming internal combustion engines to handle the place.   Ends at 10 pm thank god. Some carry buggies for kids and adults– 4 in a huge trailer pulled by their huge RV.

I didn’t expect to sleep much, but it had been a long day to the middle of nowhere, but I had no idea.   It was one of the most insane, scariest thing’s I’d ever done.  No video or photo will capture it.

I think I was the highlight of these two fellows trip.  As I screamed like a little girl with a spider in her hair, while holding on for dear life, sure I’d only get out of there in an ambulance, they laughed so hard they could have pissed themselves.  Was happy to make their day, I think.  I’m not in a rush to do it again, but appreciated their friendliness and generosity.  While I was still shaking after the ride, they assured me mine was a baby ride, and I should try the big boy’s ride next.  Maybe later.

Welcome to the USA!!

Tales from the Road- A FLOCK OF MISSISSIPPI BATHTUBS

Stumbled on this scene outside Batesville, in northern Mississippi. Batesville, you probably already know is the namesake and home of the Batesville Casket Company, America’s largest coffin producer– for more than 100 years!  I’ve seen their delivery trucks across the USA.   Sadly, they don’t offer factory tours– I asked.

This inspiring piece of sculpture is found on old US 278 between Tupelo (Elvis’ birthplace) and Clarksdale, MS (Clapton’s ‘Crossroads’), two notable towns located in the AMERICANA MUSIC TRIANGLE.  http://americanamusictriangle.com/driving-trails/ — bet you didn’t know about that either!

 

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Robert Maier is a writer, producer, educator, specializing in cinema.