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Draplin Design Co., North America
December 28, 2003
Posted at 09:53 PM

My time in Mammoth was good. I rode one day, in 20-24” of the fresh stuff. Real good. My legs are still sore. Bridges was riding good, considering his knee and the hell he’s gone through with it. We rode with a couple of burly Swedish chicks who had no problem charging the place. I stayed at the Hana Beaman compound, manning a well-worn spot on the living room carpet. Thanks to the Swedish bombshells, and to Hana for the hospitality.

The ride down from Reno the night I flew in celebrated a theme along the lines of: “Slow And Steady Wins The Race.” The high desert south of Reno proper lifts into those Sierra foothills, as 395 snakes its way down to the Mammoth Lakes area. I saw an overturned car, snailing big rigs and the occasional “balls-to-the-wall” monster truck over the series of icy passes. It’s been a long time since I felt the fear of a slick road. A long time. Knuckles were white.

Bridges and I shared a memorable, hearty Christmas Eve dinner. Here’s the full account for all of you, to get you in the spirit a bit.

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CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER: One for the ages.

Pat and I braved the death ice Mammoth roads “across town” to The Chart House restaurant. Being Christmas Eve and all, we were a little skeptical about the wait. We walked in, snapped our fingers a couple times and were seated in less than five minutes. Perfect.

One for the ages:

2 trips to a well-stocked salad bar. We passed on the Caviar.
Warm bread. With butter.
1 Sautéed Mushrooms appetizer.
2 choice cuts of Prime Rib. Au Jus. Succulent.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
1 Coke.
2 ice waters.
1 shot of Beam for Draplin.
3 shots of Petrone Tequila for Bridges.

And to top it all off….

The meanest hunk of “Chocolate Lava Cake,” this side of the Sierras.

Considering the circumstances, and the weather, my Christmas Eve with Pat was amazing. We ate like kings and got caught up on all the things that a couple of renegades like ourselves should be on the same page about. I was with a close friend, high in the mountains, and for this holiday season, it was real good.

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I got to see the Grenade crew a bit. Matt Kass and I squared up with completed missions, and shook hands towards future projects. We’re a good team. He’s built quite a little empire in that little town. Quite an enigma, that kid. They’ve got a good thing going, with good energy and a “leave no man behind” spirit.

Tim Zimmerman had a Polish beauty in tow. Lucky guy. I spoke a little “old country” Polish to her, and got a bowl of holiday borsch in return. Zimmerman is good people. A brother. A straight shooter. Good to see him down there.

Driving back, I took a little detour, not five miles past Lee Vining, that took me east into the desert and down into lower elevations. Still colder than hell, but dry, and that’s what we needed. Those passes were still iced over….this time with the blinking lights announcing, “Chains required.” We drove out into that desert, doing a big ol’ “dry pavement” loop north to Reno. Many thanks to the amazing Chris Carnel for the hospitality. We had a good night of chatter and adventure around the city.

I flew in from Reno on Saturday afternoon the 27th. The landing was enough to make me ponder my existence (and possible demise) as the air was choppy and the pilot either “under the weather” or maybe “a little tipsy.” Hard to say. Seems like each flight I take freaks me out more and more. I thanked the ground when we landed.

Other notable snippets from our Christmas adventure: Shoveling out my rental rig from under two feet of snow. Passing up those brothels. Refraining from the lights and sin of the multiple houses of gambling. (Nakamoto and I will have our time on the red-and-blacks later this winter.)

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There is talk of mom and dad coming out to Portland for a visit in February. Our crooked, dirty-fingernailed fingers are crossed. We need some time with them.

There is One Comment

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your pops!! He’s one hell of a cutie pants! (I did like you said and posted a comment)

Good seeing you at the show.

Posted by: caryn on 02/03/04 at 10:01 AM