Packing our pregnant hippos, we hiked into Shasta, where we were met with varying responses.
Midnight was a local with an amazing butterfly button collection. He blessed us with one to take on our travels.
We were called out to by one of the long time locals, Karl, who believed it was important we take a minute to stop & take in the incredible view. Karl had lived in the trees for 6 years & had recently had his home turned into a park. However, he wasn’t bitter & invited us in to enjoy his bench for a while to take in the vantage point if provided of Mt Shasta.
“Of the 6 billion people in the world, only 3 of us have this view”. We couldn’t refute that.
A few minutes later, Jake, Ashley, Sethree & Chris joined us for the view, bumping the number to 5 billion, 999million, 999thousand994 people who weren’t enjoying that view.
Jake, Ashley, Sethree & Chis had arrived in to town on a train. Not a passenger train, but a train non the less & their adventures shone on their dusty faces. All of them under 21, had seen more of the US in person than many of us have seen on TV. They were free spirited, lively & quite possibly the happiest teens I have met in many months. They were polite, confident & took genuine intereste in people when they spoke with them. They were truly refreshing. They sat down, pulled out their guitar, washboard & kazoo & released the music within.
Another person of similar persuasion, but with far more experience came by. The train jumpers faces lit up even more, they called out to him & told us with great enthusiasm how this wise old timer was their favourite old person in the world, before running off to hug him in greeting.
They played us some more music & I was privileged to give my first holy water blessing before we moved on.
We waited outside Shasta for hours. Reactions were entertaining, but the entertainment only goes so far when your scalp feel like it’s sprouting acid, due to sun-sensitivity.
I’m ashamed to say it, but after watching another surly looking guy arrive, stand on the ramp & get a ride within minutes, we parted with loyalty…if for only a minute, & removed our robes, hoping that the more ‘normal’ appearance (we wore hats) would assist in our ride share. (It’d been 4 hours, but I know that’s no excuse.) We quickly realised the error of our ways & the robes returned.
One of the locals came & brought us marker pens to enhance our sign & asked us to pray for a situation she had with her land lord. We gladly did so.
Finally, James, the owner of a Portland security company, built like a Clydesdale & obviously fearless, pulled his car over & cracked his window to ask what we were about. Once Paul allayed his concerns, he opened his car & his heart to us, his only request being that we not preach at him.
The 5 & a half hour trip flew by as James regaled us with incredible tales of life in the security industry.
At one stage, from the back seat we heard, “Oh oh.” I turned around, assuming a police officer had started tailing us. But again came the ‘Oh oh…” Followed by, “I can’t see.” It turned out James wasn’t having a stroke afterall, but had taken a larger toke than perhaps expected & his eyes weren’t clearing as quickly as usual.
We arrived in Portland & James offered to take us to his local. First he took us home & won the prize for ‘best random item brought back from a road trip.’ It’s not every day one brings two monks home with them.
We met the family, were welcomed into his home as though we long lost relations. (Though the pit bull wasn’t quite as readily accepting of men in dresses.)
James took us to the local & provided enough drinks to cause the bar tenders brows to furrow with concerns of needing to close the bar due to exhausted supplies. We met his best buddy of 27 years, Mark, who’s concept of life, forgiveness & God should place him Saint status. A true inspiration.
We slept back at Marks, Paul on the couch & me with the dog. (Keep your friends close & your enemies closer.)
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Posted by SocialMonks at 5:17 PM