After Marcos and I climbed back up onto the 101 highway from our little surf session at Emma Wood beach we felt refreshed and invigorated. “Lets break off a piece of that hash” said Marcos “Sounds good” I replied. We lightly heated a small corner of our “Hashy Hershy Bar” and a nice little chunk softened and fell off into our small little pipe. I took a good hit while Marcos swirled the match above the black chunk keeping it perfectly heated. I did the same for him. We finished it off and stuck out our thumbs on a sunny summer afternoon heading north on “High” way 101. The ocean to our right and the RR tracks and mountains to our left. It was perfect.
We got a ride by some cowboy in his pickup truck. He was going to Lopoc which was just past the road to Jalama Beach we threw our boards and gear into the back of his truck and headed up the coast. “Where you guys goin?” he asked “Jalama” we both said back “Where did you hitch hike from?” “Sunland” “Where?” “Sunland” I said back. “Where the hell is that?” the cowboy asked. “About 120 miles southeast of here” “Oh you mean LA” our driver said. “Yeah LA” I said, I didn’t feel like getting specific with him. “Thats a long way especially with them surfboards” “Yeah but it’s worth it” I said.
We reached the small two lane ranch road off of highway 1 that curves through the rolling hills to the beach at dusk. The cowboy dropped us off with a warning. “If in you guys are gonna stay out here tonight you better find a good spot to hide off on the side of the road.
Alot of weird ass shit has happened out here. There’s alot of crazy motherfuckers out here in these parts.” “Thanks man” Marcos said. And our cowboy drove of into the sunset. “Dude sounded like he was from Texas or somethin” I mumbled.
Since it was getting dark we decided to sleep out in the cattle pasture under an oak tree. We thew down our sleeping bags and pulled out the “Hashy Hershy Bar” for a night cap. It was pitch dark out. We did the usual smoking ritual and lay-ed down to go to sleep. We were both just about into dreamland when we heard a car engine in the distance. It wasn’t on the paved road but on a dirt road within the ranch’s property. “I wonder what there doin out here” I said to Marcos. “I don’t know” he said. We could see the headlights of the vehicle, it was about 200 yards away. Not real close but still kinda strange, especially after what our cowboy friend had told us. We watched and listened, you could hear the doors close and voices mumbling. Then we heard a gunshot! “What the fuck!” “Shit!” We froze stiff and watched. The trucked doors closed and the engine started and they drove off. “What the hell was that all about?” I asked Marcos. “I think we just saw someone get wasted” he said. We didn’t know what to do. There were no cars, no houses, no cell phones back then, nothing. We decided to stay put and be quite. We slept very, very lightly that night. The next morning at dawn I walked about a 2 thirds of the way to where that truck had been the night before to see if there was a body. Nothing. Marcos yelled “Hey we got a ride!” and was waving me back to the roadside. I raced back glad that I didn’t find anything.
The road into Jalama is a winding two lane road through hills, valleys and small canyons dotted with a few ranches. Classic California cattle country. The last hill you climb takes you to the crest with a panoramic view of the blue Pacific Ocean and a long white sand beach down below. This is Jalama Beach. This was going to be home for three weeks