The Long Strange Golden Road by Courtenay Pollock - Chapter 3

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In those early Halcyon days of youth and high adventure months were like years and years like decades. So much was happening all the time. Life  was forever and we were fearless and inexhaustible.

I stayed down at Weir’s place a lot and hung with the natives. It was the main crash pad for many of the core elements of the company. Pig Pen stayed in the milk shed, the ranch bedrooms were always occupied and the few horses there got plenty of cowboy riding. There were always a few Harley Hogs sitting in the driveway along with equipment trucks and Weir’s BMW.

He and I drove up to Pendleton in eastern Oregon for a week to recruit a few more ( solid ) Pendleton boys for the road crew . We got Big Garry Harrover and Robbie Cook for the NRPS crew. 

We stayed out at Winslow’s Mountain residence in eastern Oregon where we rondevue’d with Rex Jackson and Sonny Heard and Joe Winslow for a few days shooting and low key partying.The heat was terrific and the flies were appalling. 

Rex made sport with shooting flies crawling on the walls. I experimented with  creating a psychic field that kept them off me and it actually worked as long as I held my focus. Frankie showed up with Jerylin Brandelius brother Forbes who drove a lovely old 52 Chevy classic. He was into his third day of crank and likely to fall asleep at the wheel, so I drove back with him and Frankie to preserve their safety. That was harrowing as Forbes didn’t want to relinquish the driving to anyone else. Frankie and I took turns keeping him awake while the other napped. I woke up once on the wrong side of the freeway about to hit the guardrail at 90 mph. Right then I took over the driving with no more argument.

The band went on the road again and Frankie found a nice place in Forest Knowles to move herself, Weir and Jackson to upgrade their domicile. The funky old ‘Rukka Rukka’ ranch was handed off to Jerylin and later to me.

At that location I became the hub for various psychedelic cowboys who would show up from all over the country with new (improved) psychedelic products to turn the band onto. There was Peyote and awesome Mescaline, Psyllecybin  and various other psychedelic concoctions of all descriptions. All of the goodies that passed through were excellent quality and clarity and I got to ride the psychedelic Dragon and approve the substances before passing them along.

I meanwhile had indoctrinated my erstwhile housemate Gerry into the joys and mysteries of LSD. I didn’t need to talk him into it though, he was just waiting for the propitious moment. It came when he went with Frankie to visit with the Pranksters in Oregon and he took a few hundred  micrograms at Ken Kesey’s place. 

When he returned he was a total space case for a while, but high and clear and happy. He was where he’d always wanted to be, divorced from the reality of the ‘straight’ world and totally immersed in the cosmic wonders.

Gerry was a masterful horse rider and he really immersed himself in his riding while using his new found LSD enhanced consciousness. I watched him work his horse in the arena and get to a level of union with the horse where he rode without using the reins. He had the animal doing stops, starts, loops, figure eights at a trot, canter, walk all using almost undetectable shifts in his body attitude. An amazing communication between rider and horse. He would ride for hours living purely in the moment. 

Oh yeah! LSD did wonders for him.

I went riding the trails with rancher Rick almost daily and also got to do some cattle round ups. He was at that time the California State Bulldogging Champion and her instructed me on the techniques for bulldogging steer and eventually I dropped on to the neck of a steer in an attempt to throw it down. Well the steer simply ducked his head down and flipped me over his head so I ended up on the ground still holding the horns as the critter did a head stand with his entire weight across my chest. ( called a Dog fall ) I shifted aside in time to avoid getting a horn through my chest but the weight of the heifer crushed down on me and I felt and heard a rib pop. But I hung on and got up and was able to execute a throw down when the steer lifted his head up. I fell back using the leverage on the horns to roll back twisting his head up and sideways and its body naturally followed into a throw down. I staggered to my feet before the steer was all the way back up and got on him again and threw it down once more. I was up before the steer was and determined to beat this critter so I threw him down again and when I got to my feet the steer stayed down exhausted. Oh yeah! I beat that sucker, cracked rib not withstanding. Of course it didn’t help that the calf was way too grown for bulldogging and weighed several hundred pounds. But Rick gave me the nod that I had passed his test.

The few horses at Weirs place where rough trained but rideable and he and I rode around the property on sultry summer evenings just communing with nature and observing the beauty of creation. We were both very much attuned to the natural forces in those precious early years. Yes, life was forever and we were forever young.


To be continued... Chapter 4

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