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I had just graduated from high school and my best friend Andy and I decided we needed to take a road trip around the United States in my 1966 VW camper van. Andy had a brother who lived on Long Island, New York, that we were going to visit. That was our ultimate destination, via Colorado and Florida.
We both worked at a grocery store as box boys prior to our trip. We would “occasionally” grab a can of corn, fruit cocktail or canned corn beef hash and stick them under the seat in my van after work. This was our pile of “on the road supplies.” We collected quite a lot of corned beef hash by the time we departed. We would grow tired of this delicacy about the time we got to Colorado, but we had enough to get us to New York, easily.
We also amassed about three ounces of the best weed we could find. We procured the classics—Thai Sticks, Gold Colombian (we called “Lumbo”) and the aromatic Panama Red. We even had a big chunk of Lebanese blonde hash, just in case we ran out. Our thinking was that we were leaving from Southern California, traveling to Florida then up to New York, and we had no pot connections anywhere along the way. So we loaded up (pun intended) and hit the road!
There we were, two long-haired teenagers from California, driving a true VW “hippy” van with California plates through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. We were certain we were going to be stopped, just by the way we looked and what we were driving. But to top off our paranoia factor, we also were going to have all that weed and hash on us. And there was NO WAY we were going on this trip without cannabis. No way!
So, we got creative.
If any of you have worked on an old VW van, then you know the heating system is basically a couple of big metal tubes that take the heat from the engine compartment and push it up to the front of the van. There is a “muffler” like device, back by the engine, on both tubes, that cuts down on the engine noise, a little. The “muffler” could be removed with a couple of bolts, which I did, and then discovered a giant cavity inside that would easily hold our illicit and delicious stash.
So that was it—we’d stuff one of the mufflers full of weed, reinstall the muffler and be on our way. We figured that if we were stopped, we would eat what we had on us before the cops closed in. And then when “they” searched the van, all they would find would be a couple of guitars, some cans of corned beef hash and a copy of Siddartha. We were good to go!
“Funny, why does it smell like pot when I turn on the heater?”
The morning routine was one where we would roll up a couple of fatties for the day and then put our stash back in the heater muffler. This entailed one of us crawling under the van, removing the heater muffler, sticking the weed inside and re-securing the muffler with two nuts. Safe. Secure. Out of site and smell.
It was around Crystal Springs, Mississippi, we stopped at a roadside rest area. On that day, we had run out of joints earlier than usual. So I crawled under the van, removed the heater muffler and took out the stash. We had perhaps 2 1/2 ounces left plus the big, sticky, chunk of hash. Andy rolled up a couple of joints and I put our stash back in the muffler. Everything was safely secured in the hidden muffler.
Two hours later, Andy suggested that we stop for some corned beef hash and hash. Sounded good to me! We pulled into another roadside rest stop. I jumped out and crawled under the van…the muffler was missing! Gone. Just a big open space where it use to be…2 1/2 ounces of weed plus all that hash, GONE! When I came out from under the van, I can remember Andy asking me what was wrong. I was white as a ghost. I told him the muffler was gone. No more weed! Oh no! What are we going to do? We freaked out for about two minutes.
We finally calmed down and came to our senses. We figured the muffler must have fallen off somewhere between the rest stop at Crystal Springs and where we were currently standing. There was only one thing to do—backtrack!
We made a big u-turn and drove back almost two hours to the Crystal Springs rest stop. Made another u-turn and headed back the way we were headed just four hours earlier. We were driving in the slow lane with Andy’s head hanging out the right window. We were hoping he’d spot the “muffler” laying along the roadside. Miles and miles went by.
One hour and ten minutes passed. We were becoming very despondent and losing hope when Andy yelled, “I think I see the muffler! It was back there in a bush along side the road.” Another u-turn. We both jumped out of the van, running towards the rusty tube laying in the bush…Oh my God, it was the muffler tube! We had found it! All the weed and hash was still in place. I could see from the scrapes and dents that the muffler had a very bumpy ride when it fell off the van at sixty-five miles an hour onto the freeway. And we didn’t lose a single bud or damage any other auto when the tube decided to fall off.
I think of all the time I have spent waiting to score or driving somewhere to buy pot. But this was the ultimate stoner move. Four hours lost because I didn’t cinch down one 14mm nut! But those were simpler times and we were just happy to have found the muffler and our stash. What a great trip!
Unfortunately, my good friend Andy is no longer with us. I miss him. He was my best “Bud bud” ever. If Heaven is all that it’s reported to be, then there has to be cannabis there? So I know I’ll be toking up with Andy’ again, someday. RIP Duke!
Story told to FunWithPot.com by Fred Daniel.
In June 1974, Steely Dan was touring the country with their “All American Tour” and one of the stops was going to be at my college. The venue was the gymnasium, and tickets were only $4.50 for students. Their 1972 release of their album “Can’t Buy a Thrill” was an instant classic and the following year’s “Countdown to Ecstasy” is still one of my Top 10 favorites. So going to the concert was not only a no-brainer, but a cause for a major pre-concert party. Sound familiar?
Shortly before the show, we got together at the apartment of a couple we’ll call Stan and Lucy. It’s not that I’m trying to protect their identities, it’s that I actually don’t remember their names.
Before things got rolling, Lucy brought out a plate of cupcakes with bright blue icing (I don’t remember her name, but I’ll never forget what the cupcakes looked like!). Of course, they were lovingly prepared with just the right amount of pot infused into the batter—Alice B. Toklas style. I recall her passing them around, eating one, and heading off for the show. And that’s all I remember.
I don’t remember getting to the gym, taking our seats, the opening act, or any of Steely Dan’s performance. And it’s not because I’m an old Boomer who can’t remember anything any more. My college roommate, who can remember details from those days like they were yesterday, doesn’t remember the show either. And I’m betting the others who went with us, Stan and Lucy in particular, are a blank as well. Conclusion: Those were some strong-ass cupcakes!
“Excerpted with permission from The Boomers Guide to the New Marijuana by G. Deyo.”