Airport and fish

Purple-striped Jelly

So this morning, I dropped off Art at the airport. It was a quick, sad inside, parting to one great leg of the journey. I imagine he’s on a plane right now almost back to Kansas City. I drove right from the Oakland Airport to Monterey California.

Explored the Aquarium there and enjoyed my height advantage over the swarms of kids, strollers and, um, shorter people. I saw otters eat and lots of things that swim around. The jellyfish were mesmerizing.

The Boardwalk

Recovery from Dore “Up Your Alley” Fair was relatively painless. We got in somewhat early after bar hopping and slept soundly.

Today we ventured to Santa Cruz to hang out at the Boardwalk amusement park thingy where Lost Boys was filmed.

The drive down was a bit foggy, but once at our destination, the day opened up to be quite lovely. We rode the Giant Dipper wooden coaster a few times, got wet on the log flume (twice as well) and did the haunted house, and a handful of other attractions.

Lunch was the biggest corndog I’ve ever had.

Dore Alley

I grabbed a flannel and my camera and headed with Art to the Up Your Alley fair. I didn’t have anything more adventurous to wear, but as these things go? It doesn’t matter. Just bring a good spirit and you’ll be fine.

The whole thing started off sorta empty, though there were a few folks that felt it wasn’t too early to get naked. We stood on the corner by the Bay Area Rodeo beer booth and watched as the people went by. Throughout the day it was a roll call of LiveJournalers: Arkanjil, Bearzbub, Funkybearmartin, Urso, Sinnabor and too brief run-ins with ThatDangOtter and Iberianbear.

After seeing ”Jack Radcliffe” in the flesh, folks with funny piercings and contact lenses and flailing appendages, I felt not entirely overwhelmed.

The day ended at the Lone Star, plus also some other bars and then I was truly done.

I survived Dore Alley.

Post note: I met Urso featured above on this day. He was such a bright, creative and kind person. He passed away in 2020 and he is sorely missed. His kindness crossed my paths a handful of times over the years.


FunkyBear dips into the rock section

Went to the Haight and avoided the Gap.

Bought too many useless knick-knacks and t-shirts.

Met up with Martin.

Ate crepes and heard folks argue in French.

Then, there was Amoeba. They actually didn’t have everything I was looking for, but they had a helluva lot I wasn’t. Art left FunkyBear and myself to our own devices and several hours there.

Bussed it down to the Metreon to look at all the cool Sony stuff we shouldn’t buy and relaxed to JLo on the big screens and comfy couches.

Headed to the EDGE for happy hour with Art.

Tried to find parking in the Mission for taqueria.

Didn’t find parking in the Mission.

Ate Chinese vittles in the Castro.

I dropped Art off at the bars and went home as stomach screamed from the Chinese vittles.

Played CDs.

SF Day 3

A leisurely day.

Started off touring the inside of Our Lady of The Maytag church, then headed down to Lands End in the park to have the Golden Gate completely obscured by fog. Good hike though.

Headed over to the Legion of Honor Museum. A bunch of Academy of Art college students were plopped around the place drawing paintings and sculptures.

I remember doing similar exercises way back when. Funny how tracing and imitating helps define skills we can interpret for ourselves.

Met up with Brian for dinner and also met J.

Salad : good.
Pizza : acceptable.
Conversation : excellent.

A handsome, relaxing evening.

Laundry in the Tenderloin

$1.50 to wash, $1.00 to dry

Laundry is cheaper here than Lander Wyoming.

There’s not much better than having a clean pair of jeans.

Spent the day going to commercial art galleries.

The public library is neato here.

Lunch in Chinatown.


Bumped into Martin at the Lone Star intently watching Reno 911.

Ended up gabbin the night away on the patio and enjoying every moment. At one point, held hands in a circle along with a friend of his and skipped around… briefly. I’m not sure what filled us with so much glee. I think it was mention of a bonfire this weekend.

Ate breakfast food, beer battered mushrooms and zuchini while those two had their cake after the bar.

Yummy day.

Trannyshack, Lone Star and a whole lot more

Crowd surfin to Nina Hagen
Photo courtesy of Bearzbub

Art and I headed out after briefly settling in and hit the Castro. First time I’ve ever really walked down that area. It was colorful. Spent way too much money on a t-shirt, then headed over to the Edge for happy hour and met up with Victor. Ate a perfectly bland turkey dinner at the Cove Cafe (if there is a next time, I am getting breakfast).

Went back to the hotel and killed some time, then headed out to the South of Market area to check out bars and whatnot. I’ve been to SF many times, but never stepped foot in the Lone Star. For being the epicenter of the bear movement, it was a nice to strip away the pretense and see it for the fine, simple, (smallish) bar that it is.

Bearzbub showed up and we headed off to The Stud for Trannyshack. It was a tribute to Nina Hagen night. As drag goes, it was a bit darker and more interesting. The place was super packed, but luckily we found a nice spot by the stage against a wall.

For day one of the City, packed a lot in.

Hello Fog Town

I have landed in San Francisco after braving the curves of Highway 1 down the coast of California.

Ahhhhh. One week of Amoeba, lil trips south, good food, places i’ve never been, a travel companion and wrapping up the whole thing with Up Yer Alley Fair thingy.

Now to explore “the City”


Kicking back at the mini-cabin

Lunch at the Point Arena Bar and Grill was tasty. Fresh salmon burgers and slices of avocado. How left coast.

Hiway 1 is certainly a twisty sumbitch. Pretty though. Lucky again there was very little fog. It went along faster than we thought though, and we ended up in Guerneville ahead of schedule. We had some marathon days prior, so kicking back in the town that hosted the Lazy Bear weekend seemed like a good idea.

Beer sounded good. Art ran into some previous residents of Kansas City at the Rainbow Cattle Company. Small world.

We nursed a few and easily found a cabin free at Fifes. It was real quiet there, surrounded by Redwoods without TV. The pool was closed. Hmmm, I suppose 4000+ folks cramming around it with lots of sunscreen and body hair warrants a thorough cleaning.

Transition: Oregon Coast to California

Arena Cove

So after a fine meal with wasabi dressing at the Blue Heron Grill in Coos Bay Oregon, and failing to find the bar where lumberjacks hang out (Art and I did however get mistaken for fellers “working on the pipeline” from the gothy chick bartenders…) we headed down the coast and into the golden state.

We were lucky. The fog kept away from us for the most part and the scenery was phenomenal.

There was no check for illegal produce at the California border.

We did find the larger than life Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox at the Trees of Mystery. Interesting musty smelling museum there. No t-shirts with Paul Bunyan though, I was bummed.

As dusk approached, we had just hit the junction for Highway 1. Instead of braving the twists and turns, we decided to call it a night.

daVinci Days

11th Annual Kinetic Sculpture Race

Pancakes in the morning outside of the greenhouses surrounded by roses.

Our timing couldn’t have been better. We headed into the nice college town of Corvallis for daVinci Days.

We parked the car at a friend’s place and walked through the town. Their friend, “Half” as I think he goes by, and i had this great conversation about how we know people and how there are many connections. He developed a chart to figure it out and the topic of Friendster came up. I’ve never signed up on that site, but it seemed relevant. His chart sounds more interesting.

We came across folks making art on the sidewalks and all these funky kinetic sculpture vehicles going through the pre-race trials for the festivities. I’m sure we killed over an hour there, but the vibe was incredible. Folks dressed up in whacky outfits and each vehicle had to have a theme song performed after emergency exit procedures. For some reason, a stuffed bear was required on the machines.

Speaking of bears, Corvallis, or maybe it is Oregon in general, has a great smattering of facial hair.

A bearded man holding flowers and plants
Our host, Paul

We ventured on the outskirts of the fair and headed to the outdoor market filled with flowers, baked goods veggies and fruits. I was told that we had better get rid of all the apples before hitting California, as they check for such things at checkpoints.

After all the wonderful sunlight, it was time to take a brief tour of the nursery and hit the road.

This place is worth extended stay. It may very well be the best combo of bohemian and broadband.

The drive down the Oregon coast was phenomenal too.