Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Misty Mountain Hop


I have been batting the around the idea of an epic trip, for a few years. It originated during the glory days of managing socialburn. I found myself running scenarios where I disappeared, and made the stress stop. Now that things are on the precipice of either heating up, or going profoundly wrong, with the band I am managing now, I find that the idea has come back to the forefront of my noodle.

The trip goes down something like this: I arrange to buy a car, yet to be determined but maybe a BMW Z4 coupe, or if there was a recent hit record, a Sportsmobile camper. I would take delivery in Seattle and start the trip. Definitely there will be bicycles, and maybe surf boards. I would head to Alaska and to a little town called Talkeenta. This is the town that the T.V. show Northern Exposure was based on. I would have to find a bush pilot that had a De Havilland Beaver seaplane, preferably a late 1940's model. I don't really lust after planes, but pre-World War II sea planes make me sigh. I don't care where the plane takes me, but it must involve a water landing, and a stay at a remote cabin, inaccessible to cars. I have to go to Roslyn Washington, to visit the town where Northern Exposure was filmed. I think a couple days visiting the locations of my favorite episodes, and a stay in the haunted bed and breakfast, would be a must. I would have to eat a meal and get drunk at "The Brick" the center of activity in the show.

From there I would head to Yellowstone, and stay in a real lodge, on the Montana side. After a day or two, I would want to spend a few days at the lodge, on the north rim of Grand Canyon. The Itinerary would get loose from here. I think I would have to go through Scottsdale Arizona to see Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, and the other fine examples of his desert homes in the area. I would need to stop by Santa Fe' to visit my producer buddy John Kurzweg, and remind myself why "type A" Irish Americans can't be hippies. From here I would have to find a way to get up to Colorado to drive the Mt. Evans Road, the highest paved road in the world. Maybe I would cruise through the badlands, and over to Mt. Rushmore, the Little Bighorn could make the list. I would be thinking about all my cool cousins in Pennsylvania, and I would for the first time, consider main highways as a quick route. After hanging with my kin, I would need to make arrangements to have dinner at Falling Water. This is expensive, but the chance to take pictures, and have dinner on the main balcony, would be worth it. Black tie is mandatory. I would pay homage to my favorite architect, gaze at the Picasso, and the Rivera, without tourists leaning over my shoulder. I would spring for the wine the waiter recommended, not knowing if it was good or bad, and I would believe it was amazing. I would over tip, and pose for a picture with the staff. I would tear up when they gently told me it was time to leave. Someone would have to drive me to Union Town, because I would be too intoxicated with the evening, and the wine I knew nothing about.

I would be missing my family, and extreme guilt would be weighing heavy on my mind. My wife would sound distant on the phone, and my kids would be independent and uninterested in talking (they are watching "Survivor"). The route home would be calling, but I would find a little time to go to Hatteras, to visit the Kitty Hawk Museum, and catch a freak summer swell at the light house. Sea food and beer would cap the night and I would toast myself on a life well lived.

Hopefully when I got back from the trip my wife, kids and crew would welcome me, but I suspect it would be a frosty reception.

I haven't really worked out the details, but today the west and beyond, is calling The Wrecking Ball from the mountains.

I am open to suggestions on routes and sights, if the three people that read this blog have ideas, I am all ears.

On another note (if anyone is still reading) my brother Davey Clark is playing at the Highland Games this Saturday. If you want to hear GOOD Irish music (none of that Danny Boy, Unicorn, Irish Eyes, shite!!) you should go see him. He is the real deal, and worth the price of admission. If you hear a smallish Irish guy yelling at inappropriate times, obviously drunk, that will be me!


Ms. Moon said...

Great post!
And let me say that I miss those people on Northern Exposure far more than I miss many "real" folks I have known. What a lovely, lovely series that was.
My husband and I did a trip a few years ago that went from California to St. George, Utah, back to California and then up to Bellingham, WA. It was wonderful. Lots of highlights, including driving Highway 50 (America's Loneliest Highway) from Reno to wherever it ended. Can't remember. That was like being in another world. Also the Pacific Coast which looked exactly like I thought it would- eerie and misty and forbidding and gorgeous.
I think the best though, the most magical, was in one of the many "Big Tree" state parks, probably in Oregon. We wandered down this short trail and suddenly, we were in the most enchanted place- giant ferns and running water and just green, green, green with redwoods reaching up and touching the sky so huge and so Godlike that it completely whacked our senses into another whole dimension and made us redefine what beauty and what trees really are.
Can't put it into words but I will say that both of us hugged more than one tree that day.
We're still talking about it.

reverend dick said...

As you're crossing Colorado, stop and ride in Fruita. Ride some more in Moab, Utah.

AucillaSinks said...

I don't know that I would have been brave enough to blog it with the sarcastic likes of Juancho lurking about but my wife and I are diehard Northern Exposure fans too.

Sounds like a perfect road trip plan - for back in the day. It might need a few adjustments now though, if you really prefer not to be doing the singles scene and working out custody rights when you get back. Why not play it up as a family trip to the Seattle area followed up by family time in Jellystone with a few weeks built in between and after for you to sow some oats, er, I mean, meet with family and business associates, etc. etc. Sign up a maid service to help clean the house while you're gone, help arrange a girls-at-the-beach weekend for your darling deserving wife a week before you return, and you'll be golden! And broke of course, but hey, you're just pipe dreaming anyway right?

Third Person

Human Wrecking Ball said...

I love it Sinks! But seriously stay away from my wife while I'm gone, if she realizes there is thoughtful, sensitve, guys like you out there, I will have no home when I get back!

BIGWORM said...

Juancho, or no Juancho, I've got your back on the Northern Exposure scene! While it played on A&E, I watched it every morning at 8am, with my breakfast. Then I rode my bike to work at Joe's. Ahh, the idyllic life style. That, I miss!!

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Thats it! I am getting the BIG Sportsmobile and I am taking all of you with me!....How's Wednesday look?

juancho said...

Leave me out of this. What do I have against NE? Just because I'm more of a Beauty and the Geek man myself...It is the Son Volt of reality programming.

"I would spring for the wine the waiter recommended, not knowing if it was good or bad, and I would believe it was amazing."

-A true secret of happiness.