OPERATION BABYSTUFF

Babystuff mission comes in. With a baby due this month, skypilotclub member Simon 1, receives word baby furniture has been spotted in the Bay Area, must be acquired ASAP else dresser, changing table, crib and many mulit-colored, multi-assorted plastic toys will be jettisoned in a Mexican orphanage. Tough choice, but Capn Skyp decides, let's go!

Skypilotclub controller gives the all clear, rockets surge, full power, lift off achieved.

Stardate: 072802 1345 hours.

Departing skypilot headquarters, Dexter Oregon, destination: Hillsborough, California. Mission: acquire baby furniture. Heading east on state highway 58.
The skyplot encoder. What is it? No one knows until they have one. The future is a sweet mystery. Oakridge Ranger Station. No messages. Radar detecter is a passport to Calyforny. Skypilotclub credo is, "Give them their money's worth, business and pleasure." In skypilotclub, morse code is passe. Passe the salt, please. The tunnel. Listen to the tunnel. The tunnel speaks in echoes.

1510 hours, intersect highway 97, heading south. 1535 hours, Chemult for gas and food stop. Thirty dollars gas, twenty-three dollars, munchies for the road.


1614 hours. No ice chest. No bathing suits. Heating up. Chiloquin. Klamath Lake. Huge, blue and full up to the top. If there were only a way to get down there and dip our toes in the water but the railroad track is between the road and the lake.

1645 hours. First view of Mount Shasta looming in the distance with smoke clouds blotting the summit from the surrounding forest fires. Seven miles from state line following ancient cars from 1942 going 42 miles an hour huge lines forming behind them. Cadillacs. Old dudes driving. Going to an old dude car show.


1657 hours. Welcome to California! Holy smoke! Just inside California. Covering the road. Whole countryside thick with smoke. Covering our mouths with hankies soaked with water. Smoke as far as the eye can see, and then you realized the eye can't see all that far. Radar dectector gone out. Radio out. CB out. Only thing still working is the cell phone. Bug attack! Bug attack!

1800 hours on the dot. Coming into Weed, California. 97 merging with I-5 for a further dash south down the freeway to Redding. If we can only get out of this smoke. We've passed the Willamette River, the Klamath River, and now we've reached the Sacramento River. Getting wild here in Shasta country, descending down off the mountains into Shasta Lake area and across that terrifying bridge, soon to be there before dark.

Oh my God, here comes the airplane! He wants us to pull over. Screw him. Screw him. Let him go. We're staying right on course. Mission: pick up baby furniture before impending birth. We shall not be swayed.

1905 hours. Redding, California. Out of the smoke but it is getting hot, mighty hot, burning awful heat. Must be up to a hunnert and twelve by now between Redding and Red Bluff.

1940 hours. A refreshing swim in the Sacramento River, nothwithstanding the current is so strong it swept Capn Skyp downstream a ways but he managed to get snagged on a big old toothy, gnarly root stob and then the missionn pilot threw a rope to him and pulled him back and got him out of the fenced in area and into the rocket ship, ready to move on.

2923 hours. Tehama. The sun dips below the horizon. Going past a casino, yes a casino right here alongside I-5. A skypilotclub product would be a poster of a guy like Alfred E. Neuman with the inscription: "A balanced man at last." T shirt, even.

2215 hours. Interstate 505 merges with interstate 80, Vacaville, east toward the Bay. Cut across Sonoma, heading for Petaluma, home of Ramrod and Frances, where we will spend the night.

Coming in on a thruster and a prayer, all communications gone but we will carry on, because we will get there and repair.

Ramrod, skypilotclub member since last Saturday.

"How'd you say you got your name?"

"We were hanging around in Puerto Vallarta. Seven of us wanted to go to Mesmolaya to see where Night of the Iguana was filmed. Me and Kesey and the two Hagens and Drew Johnson. We had a little VW beetle belonged to someone we ran into in Puerto Vallarta. Kesey saw the size of that bug and the number of people and said, "We need someone to ramrod this operation."
Ramon Rodriquez Rodriquez, famous Mexican guide, at your service," I said and jammed seven people into the beetle and we drove it out there as far as we could and walked the rest of the way to where they shot the movie and I've been called Ramrod ever since."

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BabyStuff 1

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