We left around noontime from a standard rainy day in Vancouver, I was wearing pants, shoes and a jacket, items that have been out of my outfit loop for a few months but we heard that warm summer weather was waiting for us in Oregon so my cut offs and ratty dead shirt were close by. We arrived at the border and had a bit of a wait but nothing too crazy and once again the actual crossing was smooth and friendly. With my official documents stating my accepted rehabilitation from the department of homeland security most of the time I have no trouble crossing into the states. I always answer their questions the same way.. “We’re going to see a band”, “Furthur”, the inevitable question “Who?” then I say “Its a band containing two former members of the Grateful Dead” At that time I smile slightly and wonder what their preconceptions about them and me might be but as I mentioned earlier, they are almost always nice, polite and funny even. Today the guy said “oh…” then handed our passports back and instructed us to have a good time.. ok! We stopped at the Blaine Chevron like we always do to fill up with gas and get the ceremonial six pack of Sierra Nevada Pale Ales and we were off. This trip down the I-5 had a wonderful deviation compared to most other trips down that old freeway. As we neared Portland we veered off to the left and visited some good friends lovely home and vineyard just east of Portland. This was my first time there and after hearing about it many times from mutual friends but none of their descriptions could have ever painted a proper picture of what I saw. A beautiful craftsman home built by the previous owners with love and a conscious eye for the lay of the land and with the earths best interest in mind. On the front side of the property on a gentle slope facing west was a the vineyard, we walked over as the sun began to set while my host shared his experience with me and answered my many rose colored questions about life on a organic vineyard. After a wonderful dinner around a big beautiful wooden table it was time for us to go so back to I-5 south we went. We drove down into the flat lands that make up most of the road from the Portland area to Eugene, for most of the drive I swear we might have turned the steering wheel only a few times, flying straight and narrow, like a broken arrow, all the way to Eugene. It was night time at that point and as we neared our destination I looked for the red lights on the radio towers that rise above the hills in south Eugene, you can see them from so far north, like beacons guiding us in to the deadhead mecca.. sweet, little old Eugene. Driving through the town I could feel the presence of the Lesh and Weir, many of the surviving Pranksters and all the generations of kindred spirits that have called this area home. We checked into our hotel, went up to our room to lay our travel weary bodies down for some rest but I can’t sleep though, there’s a show tomorrow!