The Coos Bay Encounter

Stories from our 2009 West Coast Tour

I could go in chronological order here, but I think it’s much better to write about the events in order of how I remember them occurring. Of course what I remember best was our post-Portland drive south along the 101. Entering Coos Bay, OR on a sunny evening, we all were looking forward to a nice evening at a camp-site on the ocean asBellingham didn’t quite give us the view of the ocean we were all waiting for. Alas, our prospects would be postponed by none other than a cop with a gross mustache and an ego like…well a cop (except Connie, whom we love).

It goes like this. I miss the turn for the 101 and we end up in a residential area. I first notice that we are definately headed in the wrong direction. Then I notice that the speed limit is 25 and I’m going 35, maybe more. Then I make eye contact with the enemy, who obviously notices that one, I am speeding, and two, he has a reason to be suspicious of what we might be carrying. So after pulling us over and telling me I was speeding…

“How you doin’ this afternoon?”

“Fine, thanks.”

“Know why I’m pulling you over?”


“License and registration?” I hand it over after confirming that the van is in fact not ours, but also that it was not stolen (because it wouldn’t be anything in between would it?) that we are a band headed for Oakland, CA.

“Any narcotics or firearms?”

Chuckle, “No, sir.”

“Mind if we search the van?”

“Um, not today, thanks.”

“I have reason to believe you might be carrying something illegal.”

“What would give you that impression?”

“I’ve been a cop for about as long as you’ve been alive.”

Fucking douchebag asshole. “You won’t be searching the van.”

“It’d be a lot easier than bringing the drug dog around.” Officer Bag mumbles into his radio about “Code 35 blah blah” – translation, I’m bored and wanna bust these hippies.

Nate was in the passenger seat and took over after I could no longer communicate with the officer. I have issues with officers and law and government, so Nate took the reins, telling the officer we’d like some time to consult with our cop friend, Connie, whom we love. On the phone, Nate copied down a short list of questions for the officer, such as, “Are you audio or video recording these events?” And, “Do we have to consent to a search?” etc.

The cop puffed up his chest but was actually pretty nice to us. We decided to give him what little we had. I got out of the van, unlocked the back and dug around until I found my dirty socks in which I had conspired with dangerous substances. I handed over my dirty socks. “It’s homegrown,” I said, “enjoy.”

“Shut up, Sam.” Jesse 🙂

After giving me the 97$ speeding ticket I got down on my knees and kissed his shoes, thanking him for not writing two $1000 possession tickets. I didn’t do that. I gave Martin the keys, got in the back and sulked for a minute. But soon we found a market, a bunch of food (thanks to the band fund) and found a nice little camping spot on the ocean. Nate and Martin and I went out and saw the wet sand and the sun-set blocked out by clouds but a sunset nevertheless. On the trek back we saw a porcupine! We feasted on shrimp, brats, bread and smores until we were sick and slept like babies, well most of us (who weren’t thinking of ghosts in the ladies bathroom).

All for now, more to come.



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