Monday, August 10, 2009
Pot in a Pot
Happy Camp is an exceedingly poor name for this town. The only kind of Happiness that you find in Happy Camp is the drug induced high of meth or marijuana. The town is settled in one of the prettiest places that I have ever been, the Klamath River Valley. The economy here used to be fueled by logging, but now I don’t know what people do, besides the occasional construction job. Happy Camp was, and probably still is, one of the crystal meth capitols of the United States.
As I drove through town today, I was greeted by a kid walking down the street carrying a small marijuana sprout in a decorative flower pot. This is an upgrade from the usual people that I see around this town, people with no teeth and jittery, malfunctioning motor skills.
I came here for two reasons. The first and lesser reason was that I used to have a crush on a meth head that lived here named Felisha, but the second and real reason that I came to this small town in the middle of Northern California is that this is the place where I used to guide rafting trips for the JH Ranch.
As soon as I got to town, I went to Parry’s grocery store to inquire about Felisha, who now has a child and has not been seen much around town for the last 6 months. Having failed in that goal, I went to search Curly Jack Campground to see if any JH Ranch river guides were still in the area.
I found their camp deserted, so I went to check the usual haunts to see if they were out having adventures. I did not find them at Ukinam, the bi-furcated waterfall dumping into a basin off of a beautiful mountain creek, nor did I find them at Clear Creek. Clear Creek is a large creek at the end of several miles of trail that lead off of an 8 mile, rock strewn dirt road that winds its way up the side of a mountain. The water freezing cold water winds its way through narrow alley ways of stone that form fantastic 15 and 20 foot jumps. I spent a couple of hours sunbathing at the creek before returning to camp at the Wingate pull out where most of our rafting trips ended.