For the gearheads, the Origami is a lightweight, floor-less tarp shelter utilizing five equilateral triangles and a telescoping pole/walking stick/guy line as a center support. It looks like a little teepee. The Origami can be set up in countless configurations depending on terrain and doesn’t weigh much, so I envision it as both a compliment to the bivy and as a replacement for a full tent.
Weeks on the west coast (not to mention out east) meant that I would inevitably run into the kind of weather better ridden out in something other than just a sleeping bag cover, especially over two or three days! Further down the road, I believe that parts of Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge are actually designated a rain forest. Even if it’s not, the fact that it COULD be justifies the extra weight! Plus, in normal weather I can still partake of the bivy’s stealthiness. Even with the Origami AND the bivy I’m still 3-pounds lighter than with my original ‘08 tent! My first night beneath it convinced me it was a good call. Ask me again in July.
After Melody’s departure, Captain Karen began setting schedules, or at least tried. She was not pleased, offended even, to hear that I, and therefore Ray, weren't going anywhere Friday. I was adamant about seeing my friend. Ray was in the middle and, since he had failed to mention Karen before I arrived, had little choice other than to meekly support me, although I strongly suspect he would have much preferred to vacate this spot where he had spent the last five days. If so, he never said it.
So…what the fuck? Based on this, my attitude was simply, "If you don’t like how things are playing out, hit the fucking road. You were never part of the equation!" Aren't I a gem?
Me? Completely disconnected with an acute case of tunnel vision, and Karen was perceived as impeding the light at the end of that tunnel. However, while I WAS a great deal disconnected, the tension wasn't borne only from a basic impatience. It had a great deal of help.
Her initial tactic of choice: smartass comments accompanied (and supposedly diffused) by a smile. My response: smartass comments obnoxiously reminding her, with a smile, that she’s free to leave for Cambria, or anywhere else, at any time, but I WAS having coffee, I WAS brushing my teeth and was NOT keen on having my leash pulled in the meantime. I do sure hope my smile softened her metaphorical stool….
Once we left, the afternoon in Cambria was nice. We paid a visit to the familiar library where I suggested to Ray that we tried video blogging. California is visually stunning and simple pictures usually fail to do it justice. Filming and posting short blurbs from various familiar/ scenic places like Big Sur, Monterey, and the Golden Gate Bridge would make more frequent (albeit fluffy) updates possible, while personalizing & making the process much easier! I could use my phone to both record AND upload these videos initially to the blog and Facebook. From there? Who knows, but the ideas came in a flood; a flurry would last most of the afternoon and cause a quick piece of priceless, out-of-place mini-drama.
Based on the conversations Ray & I 'd had, this seemed outright batshit. Was Karen coming to Yosemite? Sequoia? Why in the hell would I think to include her in anything beyond this unwanted ride north? Seriously. What the fuck? Much later, I learned that she was just referring to the conversations we were having, but my interpretation speaks well to the bizarre, unexpected environment I found myself in!
I had tried a few times to engage Ray in these chats, but he reminded me of a poker player: reading me while holding his cards close to his chest. I found the need to “read me” laughable! It's not hard to find out—just ask! The conversations to this point were quick and shallow but I didn't think too much about it. It was odd to be part of Karen's Traveling Circus, but I assumed that once out on the road somewhere we’d have plenty of time for these things.
Not quite as impressive, eh? It’s even occurred to me that Gary Coleman could probably break Ray’s record with this loophole and 30-years of free time!
Perhaps to compensate for that, some of the restrictions are rather medieval. He’s not allowed to use a phone, although he obviously can utilize the Internet. That means that he’s not heard any of his family’s voice in a year. Also, he can accept but is not allowed to solicit assistance of any kind. He must rely on the kindness of perfect strangers…without engineering it! And, “they” supposedly send people out to tempt him; to actually try to entrap him!
Reading September-March over the last two years, I am myself proof that it’s easy to lose sight of this while sequestered away in the cave living this thing we’ve been sold as “life” plugged into and solely relying on electronic eyes to filter and present someone's pre=approved, skewed vision of the world to us. Electronic eyes presenting a vision powered by agenda…
Karen, however, didn't know this and wanted her afternoon RayTime to be private! She parked the van at a vista point adjacent to the park, and then commenced to perpetrate one of the elite displays of behavioral-retardation ever witnessed throughout the whole of human existence.
At first, I thought there was no way I was actually witnessing this level of extreme douchebaggery, and I believe it caught Ray off guard, too, because he didn’t seem to respond either. When he did, there was again seen the sheepish look of a chameleon lost somewhere in the middle; trapped trying to be all things to everyone.
From this moment forward, all of my interactions with Karen would be seen through the prism of, “when do you go away?”. I implied that I would return to the vista to see the dolphins and watch the sunset, but I had no intention of doing so.
Again-- Ray did nothing to arbitrate, instead silently standing idly by like a child watching the grownups fight! Karen and I continued to go at each other with progressively increasing venom, and when she mentioned the use of “her food," as though Ray and I were a charity case, I reminded her that I had plenty of my own food--having planned on an oatmeal diet ahead of time--and my own money to boot! I took pains to clarify that she was neither necessary nor a necessary crutch to lean on--just in case there was any confusion!
By the time Karen offered her AARP (?) card to get 50% off the campsite, I just wanted her to go away, even if it meant I'd have to pay extra for the blessing!
In the end, Nick's cooler head prevailed and we decided to utilize Karen’s senior-card and pay the extra vehicle fee. Nick gladly paid $20 (of the $22.50) and I felt terrible about that, especially because he also brought tamales and a truckload of beer!