Dave's Mental Meanderings
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2003-05-12 07:17:41 (UTC)

One of the best drives ever

Tonight I went to see Bob Dylan. To be more specific, I
drove to Solomons, Maryland to the Calvert Marine Museum to
see Bob Dylan. They have an outstanding outdoor
amphitheater, and they’re located on the eastern shore of
Maryland. It’s about a 2 and a half hour drive for me to
get there from Richmond. Let’s get to the point.
This was my 5th time seeing Dylan. I decided to go
to the show stoned this time, since I’ve thought during
previous shows that it would be a fun concert to get high
and see. Some people swear by going to concerts stoned. I
usually don’t. Although all good music arguably sounds
better when you’re high, I like to be in full possession of
my faculties when I first see a performer in concert so I
can really take it in. But with this being my 5th time
seeing Dylan, I figured what the hell.
I took some bonghits around 5:00 PM and then hit
the road. It was the perfect day for driving – 80 degrees
and sunny, and not too much traffic. Now you might ask how
I could possibly say there wasn’t much traffic when I was
driving from Richmond, Virginia to southern Maryland. I’ll
tell you how. I didn’t take the D.C. beltway. That’s one
of the few absolute rules by which I live my life. Never
go anywhere near Washington D.C. when you’re stoned. For
those of you who frequently drive on the beltway, you know
exactly what I mean. I’d driven on it more than enough
times to know that I’m not going within 50 miles of that
place when I’m high. So I took I-95 about 20 miles north
of Richmond and just took state routes the rest of the
way. What a good decision it was. It had to be one of the
best times I’ve ever had driving.
So what made this drive so good? Like I already
said, the weather was perfect and the traffic was light.
Also, the scenery was spectacular, especially since I was
so blazed that just about any kind of scenery would have
been pretty trippy. One of the highlights was the Potomac
River bridge. I believe the one I crossed is called the
Nice Bridge. Yeah, it sounded strange to me first, too.
Turns out the bridge is named after some guy with the last
name Nice. That’d be a really cool last name to have.
Around 7:00, I figured I’d better smoke one of the
joints I had rolled before I left. I rolled 2 of them –
one for before the show and one for during the show. So
when I was about 10 miles away from the concert venue, I
sparked up the thinner of the 2 doobies, figuring I’d save
the fat one for the show in case I shared it with anyone.
Let me tell you, I sparked that bad boy not a moment too
soon. As soon as I finished it, traffic came to a stand-
still. At that point I also realized that I was stoned out
of my fucking mind. No kidding. I haven’t been that
stoned in a long time. So there I am, by myself in an area
that I’ve never driven in before, stopped in traffic, and
about to cross the Patuxent River bridge. This is no
ordinary bridge. This big mama is about 4 miles long and
probably holds the trophy for the trippiest bridge I’ve
ever driven on. It starts out level for a mile or so, and
then slopes upward and goes to a disturbing height. I’ve
never been on a bridge that high above the water, not even
on the bridge from the mainland to the Outer Banks in North
Carolina, or between the islands going from Miami to Key
West. Then, needless to say, the bridge slopes back
downward. The concert venue is right on the other side of
the river. So what, might you ask, makes this bridge so
trippy? Well, just as I had finished smoking the joint and
was thinking about how unbelievably high I was, I start
crossing this bridge at about 2 miles per hour because of
the traffic back-up. I’m looking ahead at 4 miles of cars,
practically bumper-to-bumper, stretched the entire way
across this monstrosity of a bridge. It felt like I was on
some kind of crazy-ass roller coaster. OK, so I guess you
have to know what it’s like to be really high and driving
in unfamiliar territory to fully appreciate this story, but
for those of you who have never done so, let’s just say
that my experience with that bridge was nothing short of a
Then I get to the concert venue. Absolutely primo
setup. I got a huge steak and cheese sandwich at the
outdoor food court, then got to my seat about 20 minutes
before Dylan took the stage. It was a great show. Not the
best I’ve seen, but not the worst. He replaced Charlie
Sexton (one of his guitarists) with someone else. This
dude wasn’t as good as Charlie, but he got the job done.
The highlight of the show was probably “Like a Rolling
Stone.” I know that’s easy to say, since it’s one of his
most popular songs. However, he has played that at all but
one of the shows I’ve seen, and this was by far the best
rendition. I was barely even high by the time he played it
(first song in the encore), so its sweetness can’t just be
written off as drug-induced music appreciation. There I
was, watching a 62-year-old man sing a song that he wrote
when he was barely older than I am now. And he sang it
with all the verve, passion, and energy that made it one of
his most timeless songs. Rock on.
The drive back from the show was surprisingly
excellent. Usually if I’ve been stoned for the past 6
hours and I have to make a 2 and a half hour drive home
from a concert at night, I’m pretty tired. Not this time.
I played some CCR, then some Beach Boys, then a little
Jimmy Buffett. Once I got back over the ridiculously
oversized bridge, I saw very few cars the entire way back
to Richmond. I decided to stop into 3rd Street Diner (see
the previous journal entry) once I got back to town a
little after midnight. I had a couple pieces of toast and
about 6 cups of coffee. The place was more deserted than I
think I’ve ever seen it, especially at that hour. I sat
there, drank some coffee, reflected on the show, thought
about how I needed to write down a few things in my journal
(hence the 3 journal entries on the same date), and just
chilled for an hour. Then I drove back to my house, sat
down, and wrote some senseless ramblings that nobody will