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Draplin Design Co., North America


Packing Big S right now. Couldn’t sleep worth a shit. Too excited to get outta town and into those no-man’s-lands to the east. Gonna try to make it all the way to Salt Lake City tonight to hang with J2 at Mikey’s Mormon Tabernacle compound. Twos stays up real late, so, the wee desert hour won’t be an issue. Gonna jump on I-84, all the way out towards that border, down through Idaho’s “potato lane” and down into the land of bees, seagulls and celestial perfection; all decked out in the latest Hilfiger fashions from ZCMI. Yes, indeed.

“Gary, get in the rig!”

So far, smooth sailing all the way from Portland. 750 miles to Salt Lake City. Phew. Left at the “crack of Gary” at like 1pm, and was out kickin’ ass east on I-84 in no time. Quite a stretch to that border. My favorite part is the Umatilla Reservation area, and clmbing that little set of mountains. Very nice.

The sun went down somewhere around Boise. I whipped by, silently, thinking about Built To Spill’s beards, Caustic Resin’s caustic resin, Bart, Bart’s family, Lanningham and being hit on by a forward cowboy this one time. We won’t get into that.

Down through the Potato Belt, into the Promised Land of Utah.

Big S has still got it, man. Somewhere between Burley and Tremonton, on a particularly flat, lonely stretch I called Twos and said, “How fast do you think he’ll go?” “Prob’ly got a governer at 130.” is all he had to say. Well, I got him up to 125mph and suddenly, going back down to the going rate of 85mph felt like a snail’s crawl. He’s still got it.

It was pretty dark out there. The stars were out were beautiful. Grillions of them, from horizon to horizon. Added some time to the mission by stopping and just looking up at the big galaxies above; feeling free, feeling thankful and feeling real good.

Got to the Mikey Leblanc estate on Garydot Way and caught up with Two and Deadlung some. Even at 2 in the AM, Salt LIck was hot. I put Gary down and tried to get som shut-eye myself, to lackluster results. Big Mike’s got a pool out back. I couldn’t resist coolin’ off with a quick dip. It was jarring. Been awhile since I was in water like that. Really blue and pretty and lit up.

Some Utah signage, sent in by Billy Fowks, way over in New York City, of all places.

001. “Gear Pile.”
002. “Gary? Check.”
003. “A very quiet Idaho.”
004. “Mike’s desert oasis.”
005. “DDC dip.”

Here’s the official press release, currently being deleted from mailboxes the world over…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2006 DDC Fall Tour is underway.

Jumping the gun a bit, as the summer wanes down to a cool, crisp September, the Draplin Design Co. packs it all up and hits the road for the better
part of the fall.

Our third annual roadtrip of staggering, irresponsible proportions, our policy of “Taking Fall Back From The Unrelenting, Mythical, Monotonous Employment Humdrum” is once again put into play.

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“Eight Cities/Eight Weeks”

We’ve been lucky enough to travel across the country many, many times. There isn’t a city we have whipped through on the those big interstates. But we can’t help but wonder, “What is Omaha like?” Or, “What does a fella do for a good time in Kansas City?” And of course, that ever-burning question we
all wrastle with, “What the hell is the deal with Pittsburgh?”

Well, we are setting out to find answers. We seek the truth. Our objective is clear: Spend a week in a city we’ve only hammered through in prior travels.

Our proud list of cities to conquer:

01. Pittsburgh, Penn.
02. Cincinnati, Ohio
03. St. Louis, Missouri
04. Oklahoma City, Okla.
05. Kansas City, Missouri
06. Omaha. Neb.
07. Des Moines, Iowa
08. Chicago, Ill.

Basically, each city gets a week of our life. Throw a day of travel in between each stop, an elongated trip east back to the parental compound, as well as the sad journey back out west, and this adventure weighs in somewhere around 70 days. Really.

2004 was 50 days. 2005 was 65 days. Hard to say where this one will end up.

Our plan is simple: Set up shop in some fleabag motel that offers streaming, 24-hour wireless internet. Put out fires from list of clients. Stay connected. Cruise the gut. Go junkin’. Make new friends. Explore seedy alleys. Take walks. Stay up late. Sleep in late. The basics, really.

It’s been a long, hot, mean summer, and we’d like to thank* all our friends, clients, colleagues and enemies for putting up with us in Portland. With a hand over our hearts, we pledge: “We did our best.”

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Thanks, see ya out there…

“Gary, get in the rig!”

-Aaron James Draplin
-Gary Longfellow Draplin

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*Special thanks to: Gary, Lovejoy, Brad, Kami, George, Marty, Matt Kasshole, Mark, Jeff, Larry, Basher and Lucky at Snowboard, the Program, Chris and Matt of Ally, Joe Tomlinson, Pinski, Neefus, Goo, Nakamoto and lots of other fuckers for a great summer on the monitors, and on the streets.

There Are 6 Comments

Bon Voyage, & tell twos that I want my hoody string back!

Posted by: robbie on 08/21/06 at 10:56 AM

Godspeed Draplin.

Look me up when hit Chitown. The Girl would love to meet you and Gary as well.

Posted by: Naz on 08/21/06 at 11:50 AM

see you in the steel city. i feel like i should wear black or somethin.

Posted by: derek d on 08/21/06 at 12:06 PM

Hey when and if you come back through the “potato lane” give a ring and we’ll snag some lunch and a beer.

Posted by: Jerms on 08/22/06 at 9:11 AM

Have fun. Be safe. Tell D hello. Gary, have some Nebraska corn fed cow. Come see the new pad when you get back. Your mention of Lewman and “Freestylin” brought back memories.

Posted by: Rod on 08/22/06 at 9:58 AM

Goddamn, that graphic makes my taint tingle. Wow. Nice work my friend, hope to cross paths with you out here on the road somewheres. I’m currently in Portland, Maine, headed down into Boston tomorrow. Click and Clack, Paul Revere, The Big Dig.

Posted by: PJ Chmiel on 08/22/06 at 11:08 PM
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