It feels like a lifetime ago I was nestled “High” up in the Hills of Humboldt County. Days passed with our heads face down into our trim bins. The sound of scissors as they snip away the leaves on those precious Buds, each gram adding to the overall some of one inner greed, unable to speak, one can barely even move, let alone feed themselves. As fat and muscle mass slowly deteriorate, the mind fluctuating through emotions, putting one to the ultimate test of mindfulness. Tensions arise and friendships are tested. Alone, in the middle of no-where, nobody quite knows exactly where it is you are, you can try to explain it to family and friends though unless you are actually there, you may never quite grasp the image and situation that is the weed industry in America. As you look out at the ocean through the gaps of the pines there comes only a vague idea of where you are, somewhere out amongst the vast acreage of mountainous terrain, somewhere under the giant trees living in symbiosis with the local wild life. that is if they’re not scared off by the generator growling away 24 hours a day. Hours from civilization in some remote location working for some large scale drug operation, unaware of who it is one is able to trust, wondering if you’ll ever actually see a single dollar for the work you have done, or even get out of their alive.
This is “The Trim Scene”.
There I was in Canada, free as bird, wild like the majestic Elk, Fierce like the cougar, cuddly like the bear. loving life. Travelling around in my van with a beautiful Mexican girl I had met whilst picking cherries with no plan as of yet. Just my wheels, 3 of which didn’t match with the rest, coasting the open roads in the big hunk of junk, no real destination in mind, just a vague idea that we would sell of the last of our souls picking fruit, when we got “the call”, it was time. The season had begun!
I had run into a friend I had met in Australia who had also travelled to Canada to pick the fruit that drives a certain sub-culture of us mad. A much more positive mad then trimming weed, the kind of mad one thrives off, that helps one to achieve those big bucks in a very short time to then be able to comfortably support ourselves for a lot longer then the average man in his figurative chains. Although that mad occurs inside the trim scene, it can quickly switch back and forth between the mad that collides with others methods and ideals. Forgetting the real reason that we are all here in the first place. The Money.
We where on the same boat as we hit the savage coastlines of Northern California lugging our possessions up into the mountains, gearing up for the next three months living outside in the approaching cold with a soon to be strict diet of tortillas and beans. As we arrived with wide smiles at the border of the United states we could have only hoped to have an easy time crossing over. Though in the case of two travelers arriving in a beaten up old Dodge with and array of scents and smoke pouring from every orifice of her big beautiful body. we were politely asked to pull on into the inspection bay.
After about an hour and a half of having to pretend to be the clean, moral law abiding citizens they want you to be our passports where stamped and we were ready to go, though there was a problem, the van wouldn’t start. I figured it was the starter motor as the van had been quite temperamental since day one, it decided to totally die out 10 meters into the land of the free. I hopelessly turned the key over and over in search for that sweet spot though it never came. A strong scent of oil is coming from the engine. She’s flooded. The border patrol came outside to see what was wrong, I explained that I had flooded the engine and will need to wait a little bit for it to settle, standing stern with there arms folded shaking their heads, “I will give to a couple of hours to let her rest, though if she doesn’t start we wont accept the vehicle into American territory”, Shit!, the word repeating in my mind as I pace around the engine trying to figure out how I would be able to hotwire her, though I didn’t have a clue where to start. 6 hours go by and she still wont start. This was around the time the two officials came back outside, interrupting our movie, we were told we had to push the van back over to Canada, that’s after I ask Canada if its ok that I leave the van on the side of the road next to the border office. As I ran over to Canada and approached the gate, 9pm at night, nobody around they poked their heads out the office window and yelled out to me to wait at the red light, there I was, no-body in sight, made to wait at the gate until the light goes green, “ok sir you may approach”, I walk up to the window with a smile, just as I was just about to speak I was interrupted. “Sir, may we have your Passport, which I had left in the van, 20 meters away in America. They didn’t like this, they called the American office and in a very stern manner almost ordering my friend to bring my passport over the border. So much commotion as she wanders over to bring me my identity, “ok sir now what is it you want? “my car wont start and America has told me I must push it back over into Canada, may I push it to the side of the road. With a slight hesitation and no empathy what so ever they agreed to let us park up for the night and we would try again in the morning. Thanks Canada.
We awoke at 8am, I put the key in the ignition and gave it a hopeful turn, the engine putted, clicked then roared. She’s awake, were all awake and more ready then ever to get out of Canada and begin the next adventure. We where driving for 1 hour into Washington when we pulled into a petrol station and without thinking turned off the engine, and to no surprise she wouldn’t start. There we were once again, it was a Sunday in a very small town and nothing was open. A local woman saw us and took pity on us, she was absolutely lovely, she spoke a lot, promising to do what she could to help us solve our problem, she drove around town for around an hour and eventually returned with a man, I think his name was Guy. Eyes wide with pupils the size of pin holes, and what seemed like years of food and plaque nesting between his cigar stained teeth, or what was left of them. Guy leans through the window, listening to the engine as if he’s listening to her whispers. He continuously turning the key it eventually grabs ahold and starts the engine, and we where back on the road.
We decided that we would drive as far as we could without stopping the engine, that was 16 hours, on 3 different size tires until we reached the farm. One crazy ride, one very long, hot and unsafe drive, though we made it, that home stretch of unpaved road that would lead us quite literally high up in every sense, into our next three months!
Read onto Part 2.