Friday, July 16, 2010

7.13.2010: Big Lagoon campsite, Humbolt County, California: Chris Richard (1993)

Chris Richard told us two amazing things. The first was that in one litter of puppies, there can be multiple fathers. I forget the second. Chris, maybe one can help me out with this one.... The dog fact came up because Ebo, Chris’ 13-year old beast came to hang out. One day, right after he had moved to Humbolt, he was sitting on the beach with some friends. A man walked up and said that a dog just had a litter of 12 puppies and did they want one? Chris and three of his friends did, and he picked the only yellow dog that didn’t have a curly tail (the mother was a type of Japanese guard dog)

Eventually, we came to the point that the story which Matt Rainey had told us about Chris and the Rio Grande in early June wasn’t entirely on target. I revise: Chris was walking back from the bathroom when he brushed against a cactus with his leg. He bent down to pick out the stickers, lost his balance, and put his hand down, right on another cactus. So to get his right hand out, he put his left hand down (and wouldn’t you know it!) onto another cactus plant. At this point, he falls backwards and gets stingers all over his back. Very painful. So he eventually manages to get up, walks back to camp, and wanders from group to group asking, “Do you have any tweezers?” “No, no,” they reply. He finally asks Mrs. Markwell, who takes a good look at him and realizes, with horror, how bad the situation is. She finds dad, who had previously told me that he had fortunately brought lots of tweezers in the first aid kit on the particular trip, and they get a group to start plucking the stickers out. Chris passes out. A week later, in Lafayette, Chris went to see a dermatologist who had to go back over his body and pull out the rest of the stickers. Unfortunately, his skin had grown back over many of them, so he had to make tiny incisions all over his back with a scalpel. The dermatologist ended up pulling out over a hundred more.
“At least you didn’t die,” was his parents’ response. Amazingly that wasn’t his last outing club trip.

Humbolt Country, at least what we saw, is beautiful, and we were especially impressed by the giant Redwood Trees. It can be an odd place though, Chris let us know. Recently, in the papers, a story was run about some bad LSD going around town. The people who had taken it would stand on the sidewalk and dive into the street thinking that it was a swimming pool. It wasn’t, but they kept getting up and doing it over again. Chris told us all of this over a delicious meal of speckled trout cooked in olive oil and lemon, herb seasoned fresh salmon, roasted potatoes, salad, rice, Italian bread (that I can’t spell), and beer from a brewery where Chris worked for awhile. Since then, he’s been off the sauce, although he may have a glass of champagne for toasting at Matt Rainey’s wedding in Louisiana in August.

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