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Hempfest and the Seattle sky presented the Hawks with a cosmic gift:  as we finished our last song, “Wonder Valley,” the skies opened up and the rain did fall.  Pleased not to be electrocuted, we jammed out to a stadium rock conclusion, feeling like stadium rockers, and then the sky really dumped, and we scurried offstage, the crew covered the gear with sheets, and that was it for live music for the day.  We wandered around the very stony fest, and at 4:20 the crowd gathered for a smokeout:  thousands of furry freaks huffing at bongs with all their might, and a THC cloud hovered above the Seattle waterfront lawn. 
Victoria had a nice chat with Eddy of Eddy’s Medicinal Gardens, world’s largest (and busted) medicinal herb garden.  The Hawks wandered the lanes and byways of Hempfest.  Rob donned a plaid blanket that transformed him into a Redneck Superhero, and he and Shawn handed out the new Hawks sticker to Festgoers.   Paul Marshall stopped by the Kerry Edwards booth and bluntly asked them if Kerry was going to decriminalize drug use, and the Dems hemmed and hawwed as only a modern Dem can do.  Go, Ralph! 
It was time to leave.  We packed up our damp equipment and caravanned to the Continental Hotel, overlooking one of Seattle’s many waterways, and had a fun hotel campout with brother Hawk Dave Zirbel.  In numerous skits performed in the party room, Shawn revealed himself as a brilliant comedian/improviser, available for TV/film through this website.  Thanks to Matt Lacques for an excellent bottle of 100% Agave tequila anejo, you rule, hermano.
When Paul and Victoria took off the next morning, their fellow Hawks had flown the coop, somewhere far down the 5.  Sad.  P & V hung out with the distinguished Jack Slater and wife Deborah, saw the bohemian sights of Seattle, and headed south.  Wandering roads took them through infinite blackberry patches, rain with the sun shining, rivers and riverside farms, and a smoldering forest fire’s black soil and hillsides, smoldering still under a torrential rain.
Ashland is civilized.  Highway 99 gives you roadside fruit stands and crazy junk stores, 5 gives you speed. The choice is clear. 
Paul M. and Shawn powered to Marin, dropped off man of Steel Dave Z., powered next day all the way home, meeting Sherrie at the 152. RW dissappeared at dawn, onto a jet airplane, and back to his secret life somewhere deep in the geographic center of Los Angeles.
Sacramento has accordionist extraordinaire Richie Lawrence, wife Katie, and magical family, and damn good coffee.  Modesto has scary tofu teryaki and a slacker espresso bar where the kids hang around and buy nothing.   The south end of the San Joaquin Valley on 99 is a bit sinister, strange industrial smells and mysterious big machinery among the fields, the loneliest sunset you’ll ever see.   Past Panama Lane south of Bakersfield, Paul L’s O’hare family homestead since 1870, now crowded by creeping subdivisionism, and it’s into the home stretch.
A last trip over the Grapevine, psychotic driving resumes at the L.A. County line, right on schedule, and the Hawks are back.  See you at Coles.