Kage Baker loved the road. She loved new roads, and always announced gleefully when we turned on to one – nothing thrilled her more, I think, than a new world coming into view around a curve of road.
She also loved familiar roads, if they had been good roads in the past. She never, ever warmed to the 10 Freeway, for instance, because in the years we took it out to the Southern Faire in Devore it was a Trail of Tears. Also fires, killer winds, floods, landslides, wild dog packs, flying roof tiles, 18-wheeler suicides and filthy bathrooms in gas stations staffed by zombies and possum mutants. But she loved the I-5, even at it’s scariest.
I drove to Santa Clara today, in Northern California. A long haul along the familiar and weird I-5, then a dogleg through the pass at the 156 -Fossils! Cherries! Casa de Fruita! Garlic! The rising bare bones of the dying San Luis Obispoi Reservoir! – to the perfumed paradise of Gilroy. And hence to the BayCon 2014 venue, where I am presently ensconsed in a nice hotel room.
Pandora Radio playing English folk rock – oh, the Faire is haunting me tonight. On my Buke, no less, while I type. Man, I love techno toys! Gives my memories jet packs to go with their wings.
I shall regale you, Dear Readers, with more details of the drive tomorrow. Also of the Con, which is barely begun tonight – ConOps is valiantly insomniac downstairs, setting up with frantic speed as really strange people come crowding in, scaring the hotel staff. The hotel itself has undergone a refit, which will generously supply me no end of commentary on the morrow – someone on the design staff is on (or needs) serious drugs.
In the meantime, here we are again! Back at the old taco stand, to see friends and fans and Faire people; because BayCon is heavily populated with Faire people, and was Kage’s fave rave convention thereby.
You know what, though, Dear Readers? I can actually sleep tonight, I think. All I have to do is drive hundreds of miles! Wonder why I didn’t think of that before?
And so – goodnight.
Sweet dreams and pleasant rest to you, Mater. And you’ve solved a long-standing riddle for me: possums!! That explains so much! I thought they were some depraved human-wombat hybrid!! Send pictures, write if you find work . . .
For what it is worth, and it is worth much, you have made of the otherwise featureless, (if not downright repellant), I-5, a trail of wonders for me. When I drive it now- as I do, now and then- I find myself thinking, “How would Kage and Kathleen see this?” Last time up, DJ and I spent a half hour, looking for the Button Willow truck stop (and failing to find it. Hint: it is not in Button Willow), mostly because that was where the Mark V bus would stop, disgorging its load of addled crazies to play on the blacktop. That’s not something a rational, mature, professional person would do- looking for ghosts on the asphalt, that is- but I get the feeling that you and Kage would have done it, and probably did. If my years at the Faire did nothing else, it installed, for all time, permission to act oddly, now and then, for which I will always be grateful.
Nope, there isn’t anything in Buttonwillow. It’s all in the little on-and-off strip mall one exit south of the actual Buttonwillow the town exit. It’s the one with all the neon. And there IS still a truck stop there, next to what was the Orange Julius and across the street – the only street! – from the Starbuck;s now, And yes, Kage and I have both gone to the old truck stop to remember dancing our brains out on a hot, hot night; and gotten off at the “other” Buttonwillow exit – to find several empty streets of blind, closed up houses, a dead dog and a burning mattress … the flames were the only thing moving in the whole place.
This has never struck me an odd thing to have done …
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A dead dog and a burning mattress. How very Leonard Cohen.
We need a good outdoor faire! I miss camping and sitting up late telling stories. Ah, your post brings back good memories.