G'day folks and welcome back. First up, well done to the Brisbane birgers for finally getting your dozey fucking acts together and having a feed and a drink with Birmo. Secondly, apologies for anyone expecting a more prolific output but shit happens, ya know? Lastly, thanks for hanging in.
I believe I was in 'Frisco last time we met so that's where I'll pick it up. Ignore the spelling errors, I couldn't be arsed with spell check.
I had some much needed breakfast being slightly tired and hungover from the previous day's winery tour and evening drinking. As I finished my feed I looked up and saw a really weird looking bloke wearing army camouflage clothes and a pair of those really thick 'nerd' glasses. He immediately started talking about how he was going to the amazon and rely on his hard won survival skills to see him through. Right. His clothes looked brand new and he was pale, very pale for someone who led an outdoors life. He then started telling us how he had ripped out the beating hearts of a gang leader in a back alley in New York City, "just like they do in the Green Berets".
This was becoming ludicorus yet somewhat amusing. After a few minutes we begged off and headed out. I still had a rented Colt to return to Rent a Wreck and didn't want to cop any extra charges. Marion was with me, kindly keeping me company. She did seem a bit on edge but I put it down to the neurotic army wannabe. Just before the main entrance we saw Captain America's pack. He had the largest army pack he could have bought and it was festooned with brand new mess kit, water bottles, ground sheet, poncho and all sorts of army surplus bits and pieces. He even had a lamp hanging off the fucking thing. This bloke had a very serious Walter Mitty complex. I reckon in later years he'd be the sort to walk around his high school with a semi automatic rifle and make a bloody sorry name for himself. As we walked past a couple of others had a giggle as well, one of them saying,
"That figures. What a fruit loop."
I just laughed and walked on. Luckily I had Marion with me to remember where I'd slid the Colt the previous night. Then I remembered that I was driving once again in America. Keep to the Right. Got that?
Sure thing Therbs, let's go. Surprisingly, given hangover and uncertainty of directions I managed to smartly take us to Rent a Wreck, at one stage even gunning the Colt to see what it would do. Ended up revving the crap out of the engine and hitting about 70 (mph). Poor car. Problem was after I handed it back to the Rent a Wreck crew we had to make our way back somehow. Cab? Nup, too expensive. Maybe we need to think about this and where best to think about things but in a bar. So that was us for the next hour necking down a couple of Miller Draught and killing a hangover. Marion explained that she had a boyfriend she'd met a month or so ago and he lived in Denver and that was where she was heading next. That's it Therbs, draw a line through this one and move on. I explained my mission to be in Calgary before the end of the Stampede. That gave me about ten days to get there. We discussed the usual travel shit and asked the locals about buses, how to get back to the hostel. They then engaged us in conversation about where we were from and before I knew it I was once again in the grip of the Curious Drinker. The bar we'd chosen wasn't a glam place, it was a regular, working bar, the kind I was usually attracted to. Mainly due to price.
Nevertheless we were bought some drinks, I shouted a round back at them and was settling in for a promising afternoon cum evening of hoisting some suds jars but Marion had other ideas. Sensible ideas. Like we had to check out of the hostel and I was booked onto a Greyhound that night heading north. Oh yeah, that's right. I'd decided to go to Eel River for some reason. Maybe because the term Eel River in the original language of the first Australians was said to be Parramatta. Now I realised that Eel River would be nothing like Parramatta, mainly because they'd probably have a good Rugby League team unlike those slimy bastards who don the blue and yellow each year down Parramatta way. Fucking flanno wearing westie wankers.
Sorry, where was I? Sorry about the Parra rant. But they are a bunch of dickheads. ANyways we said bye-bye to the barflies and headed back to the hostel. I was all packed up ready to go and hung around outside talking to various people, including a bloke on his way home to Sydney after a few months ratsacking around the U.S. and Canada. He was from Eastlakes. He gave me a few tips and highly recommended the train trip between Vancouver and Clagary so I locked that one in, thanks Ed. This fine little discussion was interrupted by Marion. She was unhappy. Unhappy enough to be in tears. She was out of money and couldn't cash in her return bus ticket to Denver. Her boyfirend wasn't home either to help out with some Western Union magic. Salvation almost arribed in the form of someone heading sort of East and in the general direction of Denver and after enwuiries were made it was decided she could grab a ride. The same Salvation then did the biggest fucking runner since that Greek bloke who died after running the first marathon. Not only did it run out but was yelping like ascolded dog as it streaked away. This was because we spotted what was loaded in the back of the car. Captain America's army surplus store. Then he appeared in full camo regalia. I looked at Marion, she looked at me and I was shaking my head in a most definite manner. Surely we could figure out a solution. Captain America hopped in the front passenger seat and demanded to know,
"Are you coming or not?! This was said in a loud, whiny, nasallly nerdy, very unsoldierly voice.
Marion shook her head, mouthing "No!."
I just simply said,
"Good luck in the Amazon, mate. Don't rip out too many hearts."
We waved bye-bye to Salvation and bye-bye to a fate worse than death. Still, Marion was upset. We hung around, shooting the shit, thinking of options for Marion. Greg from Eastlake broke out a bottle of wine which made the afternoon more pleasant. Greg finally made a decision.
"Go and get changed into your best frock. I'm taking you out for a slap up feed."
I turned to him,
"Mate, I didn't bring my best frock. Will a blouse and skirt do?"
"Fuck off, dickhead, you have a bus to catch."
Marion went off to get changed and I asked Greg what he was up to. He explained he only had a few more nights in the U.S., was four grand in front of his budget (thanks, rich father of Greg) and he'd most likely be able to help her out somehow, even if he couldn't sleep with her. Well, ain't that grand. What did I have to look forward to? A night trip in a Greyhound.
Marion came back a half hour later looking quite tasty, all done up to the nines, make-up, hair freshly brushed and no tears. Greg had gone and put on some trousers, a fresh shirt and a jacket. What a fucking handsome couple they made, the fuckers. They even escorted me to the bus which took me to the Greyhound depot. I never found out what happened to them both but I imagine that Greg, who wasn't a bad sort of bloke, probably took young Marion under his wing for a couple of days and helped her sort herself out.
The Greyhound depot was a fantastic place to leave. I grabbed as eat towards the back of the coach and had an alcohol-inspired nap. When I woke up a couple of hours later I was groggy and in need of a pick me up.
"Hey Buddy, you were snoring pretty well. You awake now?"
It was a surfie bloke in the seat across the aisle, one row up. He held up a bottle and enquired if I was thirsty.
"Thanks mate." I hopped across the asile to the seat behind him and grabbed the offered bottle. tequila. Not my fave drink but I was in no position to argue. We sat there, knocking the stuff back and he pulled out a joint. Highly illegal in a Greyahound but supposedly masked by a cigar he offered me. We lit up both smokes and I engulfed the surrounding seats in a fog of cheap carcinogens. We smoked the joint, finsihing just as the bus pulled up to a shopping centre. The surfie bloke said
"Follow me." so I did. Straight into a liquor store. This bloke certainly knew how to travel. We grabbed six packs and I went for uncle Jack again with some Coke to cut him back a bit. Old Surfie Mate went for more tequila. We jumped back on board and it was a very cruisy party ride from then on. A bit of smoke, some beers, Jack Daniels and tequila and by the time I hit Eel River I was feeling nicely buzzed. Very nicely buzzed, So buzzed I had to ask the driver where I was and where the hostel was. He pointed behind me,
"Eel River hostel's back there a hunnert yards or so. Good luck." I waved goodbye to Old Surfie Mate, the Driver and the bemused passengers. Why bemused? Well, it was in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, no lights and nothing happening. Must be Eel River 'cos it was just like Parramatta. I hitched my pack, wandered up the road and saw the small youth hostel sign and an arrow. That's where I went. After a "hunnert yards or so" I reached the place. It was a cmaping ground with cabins, spaces for tents, a bar and a youth hostel. I plonked my pack in thehostel and hit the bar. I asked the barman about checking in at the hostel.
"Sure thing mate. Ian's the name, I run the place. You look a bit thirsty for a young bloke. Fancy a beer first?"
You little ripper. A holiday site run by an Aussie beer drinker. Thank you Destiny, I'm back!