May 29, 2003

round the town

Hood River is a Chacos town. Everywhere you go people are wearing Chacos. My co-workers down at the shop wear Chacos. Employees at other shops wear Chacos. In-towners and Out-towners alike wear Chacos. The girl walking home from school that looked at my Converse All-Stars and said “Nice shoes” was wearing Chacos.

All-Stars, you ponder. Why wasn’t he in his Chacos? Well, the first few days of working down at the Hook made my feet discover sandal hot-spots they never knew they had. By day three the knuckles on my big toes were cracked and bleeding and I needed to do something. Typically in Hood River, if you’re not in Chacos you’re in a pair of Reefs, which are quite possible the world’s most comfortable flip-flop. Since Reefs ain’t great for active stuff they can’t replace Chacos, but when you’re just mulling about there’s nothing like having a solid thwack-thwack-thwack follow you around.

But it was a day for movin’, not mullin’. I spent today wandering aimlessly through Hood River, figuring out what sort of greatness I have at my disposal. When I leave my front door and walk fifty feet to the right, I can see Mount Adams craning its fat white neck over the Gorge. I walked into downtown and eventually ran into Tom, a guy whose house I checked out when I was out here in March. He was selling fallafels from a cart near the post office. I also ran into Nelson (Nelly-Matata) from the shop, swung by his house, sat in the lawn for a bit and ate sweet corn. A woodpecker plucked bugs from an oak tree.

I got an iced latte from Holstein’s and set it down on a counter while browsing some hemp twine at a hippie shop. I reached for it without looking to take a drink, and accidentally picked up a Buddha statue instead. I decided that drinking the Enlightened One was not the path to Nirvana.

I walked into the local Macintosh store and almost got in a fight with the owner. He was all talkin’ ’bout the clock cycles, how a Mac can run its 800 MHz processor faster than a PC’s 2.5 GHz and such. I started talkin’ smack ’bout that stat, callin’ it a myth and such, and he told me to run benchmarks with Photoshop and kicked me out of the store.

I went to the Full Sail Brewery to take a tour, and while waiting for our guide to show I noticed that they were playing String Cheese Incident over the stereo. I found it funny, as earlier they were playing Round the Wheel over at the Windwing shop, too. Turns out that a couple years ago, Cheese used to play fairly often at the River City Saloon.

Our tour guide was wearing Chacos. Bart at Windwing was wearing them as well.

This town, I can dig it.

After the brewery tour we got free pint glasses and lots of free samples, which made sure I was good and tipsy when I went to the library to get signed up for a card. At the library I perused some books on the Pacific Northwest, and started triangulating the location of Bagby Hot Springs.

Walking home, I saw two young boys who had made up the best game ever. It involved a lawn sprinkler and a set of golf clubs. I also walked by a residential garage that had a sign out front boasting “Picture Gallery”, but when I looked inside it was just two guys with rifles.

You have to check out Bagby Hot Springs…naked hippies in hollowed out logs filled with steamy spring water. Ooooh yeah, it’s gorgeous. Sounds like you’re having fun so far!

Lots of people in boulder have chacos too. If your low on cash like me, check out these imitation chacos. They are made by Merrell, and called python. They work exactly the same, are lighter, and in my opinion, more comfortable. At any rate, they are about half the price of chacos. I got mine at the Navy Surpluse store. I can only hope our sailors are not running around in sandals.
On a side note, I am going on the trip to Yellowstone with annie and sandi. are you coming or what?