Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Day 4.111 Three Fingered Jack's

More nostalgic than relaxing, my quick tour of the 'old stomping grounds' Sunday brought back memories faster than my rented Chevy Avevo could climb at 8%.

I was on a video mission to capture the spectacular route connecting Marblemount with Mazama for indoor cycling entertainment. That is, after all, what I do, RCVman being a titular moniker for both this blog and my livelihood. More on that here.

This route, SR20 in the North Cascades, Washington, is usually closed this time of year due to avalanche danger and snow pack. Not anymore. I was amazed at the alarming lack of white. Worse, or rather in perfect logic, was the water level in the Methow River. We are talking LOW here. Alarmingly low.

My mission is one of fitness and fun. I film so you can see.

Currently in download, render, compression and color correction, the media captured Sunday should be stellar. I have sampled a few frames and it generally sizzles. There was very little traffic, a few Harley guys (who always wave as they pass), a small road rally, a handful of RVs and the obligatory locals doing chores. I passed three cyclists in a little under 80 miles.


So I now consider it to be my mission to show this awesome route to the world. Yo World, you need to see this. Or as Hollywood is fond of saying: Coming soon!

After the scheduled route shoot I took a break in Winthrop. Walking out and back on the planked sidewalk I remembered the many days and nights spent here. That was over 35 years ago. I was a local, working heavy construction on the Chief Joe Dam in Bridgeport, farming my little 15 acres on the river, playing drums in a C&W band called Stan Sheets and the Fabulous Playboys (more on THAT later) and trying to keep my marriage alive.

Three Fingered Jack's was, and still is, the featured gathering spot in the Valley. When anyone would visit from out of town or out of state, the first stop was Jacks. The beer was always cold (we drank Rainier in those days) and they built a tasty double-burger with local beef. I was carnivorous then, but I still remember. Fried onions. Dance hall music and 100 degrees of high chaparral just outside the swinging doors. We used to start days at Jacks and finish in Carlton, 30 miles downriver all on the Methow floating on inner tubes. We had one tube dedicated to beer, kept safely in a net submerged in the icy run-off water. There are a couple of rapids but for the most part it is floating and frolicking. We've done it in kayaks and canoes but by far the most fun was tubing.

And we had some fun.

Don't ask me about the marriage.

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