What's up fam? Hope everyone has been doing well during all of the craziness that has happened over the last year. It was undoubtedly been an unprecedented situation for the entire globe, and I want to start off this article by sending you readers my utmost love and positivity. While it has been a hectic year for all of us, it has also been a very productive year for myself, Cheeba, and Troupe Inc.
At the end of 2019, Cheeba and I had made the decision that we were going to move to Los Angeles, CA by the spring of 2020. Pretty much everyone we told, laughed at us. "It's a pipe dream" are physical words I heard in reference to us taking that trip. (I remember because it made me want to force choke the person who had said it, and tell them that their lack of faith in my force was disturbing.) All of these plans were made in November/December of 2019.
Then. Fucking. Covid. Happened.
Late January, Cheeba and I are laid off from our jobs in the restaurant business, and we spend the next 5 months living entirely off of the money that we had saved for our life-move. We ran that money out after 3 months, and it had us to the point that we were worrying about how we would buy food. I had applied for unemployment for the first time in my life in March of 2020. Now, I say applied for a reason, as I wasn't approved until June 1st, after numerous phone calls, and back and forth with the unemployment office. But finally, I was accepted and going to be paid. I remember dropping to my knees in the living room and crying into Cheeba's arms because if I hadn't been approved, we would have been homeless.
While all of Covid is happening in the world, our landlord has nothing better to do than harass us, stalk the house, send us phony eviction letters, and threaten to turn off utilities. Even the "eviction ban" brought us no comfort, and we spent weeks worrying about getting kicked from our home at any time.
Not long after my unemployment approval, comes the stimulus check. I get mine but Cheeba doesn't get hers, (still hasn't to this day.) At this point it's midway thru June. Keep in mind, we were supposed to be packed and gone by May 1st. On June 18th, Cheeba finally learns that she has been approved for unemployment as well. She gets off the phone, looks at me, I look back at her, and we both say "It's now or never." We both knew that if we didn't follow thru with our journey then, we would never do it. So we set the date for July 1st.
"I get by with a little help from my friends..."
"I get high, with a little help from my friends."
About a week before we were to start our adventure, my mom and siblings came out to help us move our belongings into a storage unit in DowntownFrederick. We laugh and hang out while moving the furniture, and for a split second I forget that this is going to be the last time I see my mothers face for a while. Big hugs and kisses, and we get ready for a life changer.
50 lb. packs on both our backs, 2 1/2 ounces of THC wax because my buddy hooked me up before we left, and we were on our way. We never fucking looked back.
The first week and half consisted of 8-10 hour days of carrying roughly 50 lbs. on our backs, starting at sunrise and ending around 5 pm to give us enough time to set up camp and cook dinner each night. We had our whole pack/unpack process down to 45 minutes, including boiling water for coffee. Each night we would unpack in the woods, take a fat dab from our roadrunner, and get into the tent before the mosquitos literally ate you alive.
Then. Covid. Hit. Fucking. Harder.
We were in a state park when we got the news that they were closing all state and national parks, and they were removing water taps to discourage hikers. So basically we were forced with the decision to continue on with no verifiable water sources, or hop off the trail in West Virginia and take a safer way across country.
We hopped off the trail. We spent 4 days at this beautiful campground in Hancock, MD, and from there we took a $200 cab from Hancock to Morgantown, WV (where I lived for 3 years back in the day.) The city was dead, but for the 2 days we were there, we got to explore WVU uninhibited. It was nostalgic showing the love of my life a place that I hold so dear to my heart. Country roads absolutely took me home.
After Morgantown, we shot up to Pittsburgh, PA, where we visited the zoo, and finished off our stay with a private performance by Sweet Earth (love those guys.) That night they also initiated a new band member, and it was so dope for them to invite us there for that. We said our goodbyes and boarded the bus to Cleveland, OH.
Cleveland did not start off so well. Our hotel decided to overbook, and inform us that they had no rooms available for us... at 4 am in the morning... in downtown Cleveland... We spent over an hour calling hotels until we finally found one 45 minutes away, with one open room. Unreal. Nice $50 Uber I might add. Cleveland showed us The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a quick visit to the Jack Casino, our first ever Taco Bell Cantina, and some of THE BEST food at a place called "Melt." It's here in Cleveland that Cheeba learns she has been approved for her US citizenship.
The Big D was next on our evolved, cross-country greyhound bus tour. We stepped off the bus, and into the first state I've ever been to with legal recreational Marijuana (Not that we didn't still have PLENTY of wax.) After dropping off at the hotel, we found the Mach420 delivery service online, and I placed an order.
The weather was terrible our whole trip except for our last day, and since 2 people were shot outside the hotel our first night, we spent most of that part of the trip in our room. Great weed tho.
On the last day In Detroit, we walked Downtown and were lucky enough to catch our last true live music performance of 2020.
Chicago showed up next, and I have to say I don't know if I'll be heading back to Chicago anytime soon, with respect. It rained the entire time, an 8th of weed cost us $80 from the dispo, and someone shot and killed 15 woman at a funeral a couple blocks from our hotel. *The pad-thai was the best I'd had on the trip thus far tho. I did get to meet a long-time Facebook friend for the first time while in Chicago, and that alone made the experience worth it.
Leaving for Denver from Chicago, Cheeba and I decided to split somewhere around the ballpark of 500 mgs of THC edibles, well aware that this leg of the journey will be 2 days of being stuck on that trainnnnn. (We basically Cannabis Coma'd ourselves.) We took a train from Chicago to Denver, and got to experience the true great plaines. It was a beautiful sight of my country that I don't think I will ever forget, (ps. it's totally flat.)
We really hippied around Denver, our hotel was super far from anything, so we stocked up on THC and snacks before we spent most of the trip in the hotel. Funds had become very tight at this point, so we were willing to sacrifice experiences to be able to keep moving along by all means necessary. There were 2 super cool things that Cheeba and I did in Denver, 1. We got to smoke weed and watch a movie with Goats. 2. I got to see one of my best friends from childhood, for the first time since high school, and I can't even tell you the love I was feeling after that bong-rip of nostalgia. We also got to visit Museo De Las Americas, which was a latin museum dedicated to music. I don't remember much of Denver, but I will return.
Leaving Denver, Cheeba and I boarded what would become our last bus ride (unbeknownst to us at the time.) We arrived in Las Vegas, NV the next morning, and our supposed "1 Week In Vegas" turned into 2 weeks in Vegas, which turned into free comped rooms every week, Monday thru Friday, for almost 5 weeks. It became very evident that there was no way for us to get to LA, and accomplish what we needed to do. Los Angeles is expensive enough, but Covid sent prices tripling for housing, and they were also battling wicked wild fires.
So week 2, we began looking for an apartment In Las Vegas. Week 3 I found an amazing job selling cannabis products on the center of the Las Vegas Strip and on Freemont. I couldn't have lucked out better.
Part 2 Coming Soon.