Tag Archives: mountain road

Deadheads Are Everywhere


I was on a remote road in California.

This was not a road that went from town to town. This was a mountain road with forest all around it. This road went past a couple of isolated campgrounds. This road went past a couple of hiking areas. In other words, this was the type of road one would only be on if one were going to a specific, out-of-the-way place. This was not a highly trafficked road.

I was looking for a waterfall. I never found it. The map I had made me think I’d see the waterfall from the road, but I never did. Upon looking at a more detailed map later, I realized there was a short hike to the waterfall. Apparently, there’s no sign announcing the existence of the waterfall or giving a trail number. Apparently, folks who want to see the waterfall need to already know where it’s located.

I drove up the road, well past where the waterfall was supposed to be. When I didn’t see the waterfall (and assumed it had dried up in the California drought), I drove back down the road.

There weren’t many signs on this road. The mile markers on the side were mostly blank. Had there never been numbers on them, or had they worn off? I had no way of knowing.

As I zoomed past one of the mileposts, my brain registered….What? Was that a Stealie? On a milepost in the middle of nowhere? How? Why? Had I really seen a Stealie? Or had it been some other red, white, and blue design, and my brain had filled in what I wanted to see?

Welcome to milepost Grateful Dead.

Welcome to milepost Grateful Dead.

I pulled over into the next wide space on the side of the road. My camera was already in my pocket, as I’d planned to take photos of the waterfall. I walked on the narrow shoulder, back to the the mile marker sign. (There was no traffic. I was in no danger.)

I really had seen Stealies! On the milepost, someone (who? when? why?) had stuck four Steal Your Face stickers. Deadheads had been here!

It’s so nice when the Universe tells me I am not alone.

According to http://gratefuldead-music.com/article/grateful-dead-symbols-de-coded-part-4-skull-and-lightning-bolt,

Designed in 1969, the logo was the collaborative work of Owsley Stanley and artist Bob Thomas. Owsley was inspired by a freeway sign he happened to pass by—a round shape divided by a bold white line into an orange half and a blue half. The general shape and colors stood out, and Owsley had the notion that a blue and red design with a lightning bolt with make a cool logo. He shared his idea with Bob Thomas, who then drew up plans of the design.

Originally, there was no skull face—the logo was simply a circle divided with the lightning bolt. The skull face was added on a few days later, as a way to symbolize the “Grateful Dead.”

The band first used the logo as an identifying mark on their musical equipment, and later the symbol appeared on the inside album jacket of the self-titled album The Grateful Dead. The logo later appeared on the cover of the album Steal your Face, and has been known as the Steal your Face symbol ever since.

Steal Your Face Right Off Your Head

Steal Your Face Right Off Your Head

I took the photos in this post.

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In Need of a Ride


Green Trees And Mountain I was coming home from civilization, chugging up the first stretch of the mountain, trying to get to the post office where I pick up my mail before it closed at noon. As I rounded a curve, I saw a person walking along the side of the road. There’s not much side to the road up there, so I was worried for the person’s safety. Besides, it was a hot day. The person was wearing a big straw hat (the kind Latino landscape maintenance workers tend to wear) and a long-sleeved white shirt, but was using a cane. The person wasn’t hitchhiking (no thumb out), but no way was I going to roll by a person walking with a cane in the heat on a narrow mountain road and not stop to find out if s/he needed help.

I stopped next to the person, who turned out to be a man. I asked him if he needed a ride, half expecting him to say no, half expecting to be told he was walking on a narrow mountain road in the heat, using his cane, because that’s what he wanted to be doing late on a Tuesday morning. (Isn’t hot mountain cane walking a new Olympic sport?) But he said that in fact he could use a ride.


I took this photo of Esmeralda, my hat model.

I keep a lot of stuff on my passenger seat and on the floor in front of it. Before the man could sit there, I needed to remove three one gallon glass jugs of water; one (full) six gallon plastic water container; three 59 oz plastic tea bottles, now filled with water; a foam camp chair (the kind without legs); my backpack of supplies for when I work at the parking lot; a duffle bag full of the entire stock of winter hats I’ve handmade over the last year; and Esmeralda, my styrofoam hat model. I told him I’d give him a ride, but I needed a few minutes to clear a space for him.

He suggested I move the van down to a turnout about 100 yards from where I was stopped. That seemed like a good idea; I didn’t  want to get rear-ended while stopped in the middle of the road. He said he’d walk down there to meet me.

Some people would say it’s dangerous to pick up a stranger and let him ride in my van. To those people I say this: If you are ever walking on a narrow mountain road with no real shoulder, in the heat of almost midday, using your cane(!), I hope someone does the right thing and stops to offer you a ride, then actually lets you in the vehicle when you say yes.

Not long after I had the front seat area cleared, the man with the cane and the big straw hat made it to the van. He climbed in, and we rolled on. He needed to be dropped off before I got to the post office, so it all worked out.

I told him my name, and he said his name was Mack, like the truck.

I’m not not sure where he was coming from. I didn’t interrogate him, but from what he said, it sounded as if his vehicle had broken down. However, I don’t recall seeing any vehicles abandoned on the side of the road.

He started talking to me about the cracks in my windshield. He suggested a place in Babylon where I could get it replaced before CHP (the California Highway Patrol) hassled me about it. He gave me convoluted directions to the place, and I pretended to know what he was talking about. I told him the van was registered in another state and said maybe that would mean the CHP wouldn’t bother me about the windshield.

He pointed to a set of three mailboxes at the end of the driveway where he wanted to be let out. I pulled off the road there.

Before he got out of the van, he gave me his card and said if I went to the windshield place, to tell them he’d sent me. I took the card and put it in the basket that holds pens, paper, incense, a lighter, two pieces of selenite, and my handmade knife with the elk antler handle.

He thanked me. I said, no problem, nice to meet you. He said the pleasure was his.

I drove away and made it to the post office before noon.

Later, I looked at Mack’s card.

Apparently, Mack (which is not the name on the card) is the president of the Babylon Area Republican Assembly (whatever that is). At the bottom of the card, under his name and a phone number and email, website, and mailing addresses, the card reads “You Know We’re RIGHT.”

That’s a rather smug sentiment.

I wonder what Mack would think if he knew he’s been rescued by an anarcha-feminist bisexual rubber tramp Deadhead tree hugger.

Photo courtesy of https://www.pexels.com/photo/green-trees-and-mountain-755706/.