Los Angeles looks ironically beautiful in the rear view mirror. Don't get me wrong, I'm no hater. I love my city and all the success it has given me. But today isn't about Los Angeles, it's about a departure. I have a good job, but I have learned young that the money I make behind a desk will never define me.
I'm going to do what no one in this internet generation of mine does anymore, I'm going to to explore America.
I have seen enough of L.A, San Francisco, and New York. I don't want to see the Golden Gate Bridge again, or the Empire State building for the millionth time. I want to find what's in between. I know what you're thinking.. "But Fuck Nothing," and maybe you're right, but I want to see with my own eyes.
Ever head of Lassen County California? Didn't think so...
PART TWO: THE ARRIVAL
Note to self: When entering Susanville, California, Highway 89 is not a paved, five lane highway. In fact, its the direct opposite. Highway 89 is a curvy icy wasteland that leads into the depth of a frozen apocalypse. And no Alex, it's not the fastest way to Susanville. But, I will admit it's the best way. There's something special about being lost in an icy tundra in a Tundra with the entire crew. Being lost is adventurous, and sometimes its the best way to find what your're looking for. The best part about being lost on Highway 89 was laughing at Producer Nick who was reasonably scared for his life. What I though was an amazing moonlit forrest was Nick's own "Private Hell." It was fun watching him sweat a puddle in the backseat, and text his girlfriend "I love you" for the last time. In fact, I think there was a point he was instructing her what to do with his fantasy football draft for the rest of the season.
Personally, I laugh at the idea of sudden death, but I'm glad I lived to see Susanville. Sorry Sir Death, but this was worth the wait.
PART THREE: VETERAN'S DAY
All of us have been waiting for this day since we were kids, November 11, 2011 has finally arrived and I was too occupied to make my wish. I never would have guessed I would be in Susanville, California, hanging in the historic Veteran's Memorial Hall., having a homemade egg salad sandwich and a Coors Heavy with a Pearl Harbor survivor named "Papi..." I know, right?
The plan was to drive to the annual Veteran's Parade; what we thought would be a donkey pulling a Red Rider with a bunch of dirty homeless kittens inside it. We were going to just meet up with Miss Lassen County, ask a few questions, then be on our way. Instead, we stumbled across the most patriotic community I have ever seen in my life. The entire town came to this shindig, and they brought their community spirit by the truckload. The veterans walked together as brothers, including my new friend Papi. He was on one the battleships that went down in Pearl Harbor, he got off just in time. We weren't able to talk much about it at the parade, as he started to tear up upon my questions, but I'm going to make it a goal to fish with him later in the week.
It looks like Lassen County is going to turn out to be a lot more interesting then I expected. I knew their would be something special in these small towns!
PART FOUR: THE ELK'S LODGE
Susanville feels like the setting of a Steven King novel. Not in a scary way, just the way the town would feel in the first act of the story "Establishing the norm," as the writers call it. It's the perfect little town before everything goes wrong. Except for so for on my adventure, nothing has gone wrong.
Susanville is composed of one major street, with small, family owned businesses on both sides like something you would see in a cowboy movie. You could probably guess its called Main Street. At the very end of Main Street there is an old victorian star shaped house built on a hill overlooking the town, The Elks Lodge.
I decided to explore the lodge and ended up meeting some new allies in my war on small town exploitation. Including a cook named Joe who had to wipe the cow blood of his hand before shaking mine. He was a cool dude, and had a bad ass mustache. Not the kind kids that live in Silver Lake grow out to think they're smart. It was the kind of mustache that says I've been slaying live animals all day, now watch me put my tri-tip in a blender to make my pre breakfast breakfast smoothie while I day dream about blood.
Remember kids, no animals were harmed in the filming of American Counties.