To Boldly Go! — Where No Waldo Has Gone Before
The Waldos were obsessed with finding unusual places and doing out of the ordinary activities. Not content to live the same boring mediocrity every day, they were driven to accomplish missions of their own design. Many of their off-the-beaten-path adventures were also of necessity, to locate secret hidden places to get high given the extreme illegality of marijuana at the time.
In central San Rafael going back to the 1950’s there was a seafood restaurant called Dominics. Later it became the Seafood Peddler restaurant. And after Seafood Peddler closed it became a Grateful Dead themed restaurant and nightclub event hall called Terrapin Crossroads operated by Grateful Dead band bassist Phil Lesh, until closing. To mark the location over the decades, and even up until today, in the parking lot there was/is a fishing boat precariously balanced up on the top of some high wooden telephone type poles.
Waldos climbed the 50 ft. tall telephone style poles and located a circular hatch in the bottom of the boat to enter, and stepladders inside to get around. As one might expect, very illegal marijuana joints were smoked by grinning Waldos inside the highly perched fishing boat while outsmarted law enforcement cruised by below oblivious to it all.
(WARNING EXTREME DANGER. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CLIMB THE TOWER POLES—TO DO SO POSES RISK OF SERIOUS PERMANENT INJURY OR DEATH. THE TOWER/BOAT ARE NOW OVER 60 YEARS OLD MAKING THEM ESPECIALLY DANGEROUS . IF YOU SEE SOMEONE ATTEMPTING TO CLIMB THE STRUCTURE PLEASE CALL THE SAN RAFAEL POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 415 485-3393 OR CALL 911.)
Navajo Lodge Tepee
Waldo Steve took a trip down to San Diego, CA to scout out colleges. He found lodging at the Navajo Lodge Motel on El Cajon Blvd.. Late at night, not content to just sit in an ordinary cheap motel room, he sneaked and climbed up onto the roof and smoked out (not a peace pipe) in the motel’s rooftop hallmark-theme tepee. See Photo. Return trips to the motel’s distinguishing tepee with others followed.
General Dynamics Missile Adventures
Exploring around San Diego late one night in an industrial area known as Kearny Mesa, Waldo scout Steve found a General Dynamics Missile assembly plant. Out in front of the facility an Atlas class missile was proudly displayed on a concrete pad.
The bottom of the rocket had propulsion nozzles where high speed propulsion-producing thrust would eject a mass (a jet of fluid or high temperature gas) rearward. There was a space, a vertical height of about 12-18 inches between the bottom of the nozzle cone thrusters and the concrete pad it was displayed on. It was just enough space to lie on your back and slip under and then go up inside the nozzle cones with a flashlight. Up inside the missile at about seven feet height, there was a three foot wide horizontal shelf on the inside wall circumference.
We would pull ourselves up onto the shelf and sit there, and get high, ‘Bonging’ marijuana inside the missile was always a Waldo-proud high rated exciting activity/accomplishment, and well hidden from law enforcement passing by.
San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid
In 1972 the Transamerica Pyramid Building was opened. This modernist four-sided pyramid with two wings on each side lead up to a windowless point at the top. It was revolutionary architecture for an office building (in that up until then every other skyscraper in San Francisco was designed as a boring square or rectangular box.)
The novel building was alluring to the curious Waldos. We just HAD to see and know what was up inside the pyramid point at the very top, and we HAD to smoke some marijuana in there… it HAD to be conquered. We rode an elevator to the very highest floor, and then located and got into a non-public service entrance to the top. We climbed up a case of stairs as the angled inside walls of the pyramid closed in on us, wondering where the stairs would lead to. To our bewilderment the stairs ended up leading (nowhere magical at all but rather) smack into a concrete wall. Humored by such an odd and seemingly nonfunctional way to conclude a staircase, we got high-at the highest point and considered the mission accomplished!
Covered Wagon Waldo Pioneers
San Rafael High School had a student organized ski club that did ski trips to Lake Tahoe for those that signed up and paid the fee. The fee included the bus trip and lodging. Waldo Dave and Waldo Larry served as co president/vice-president and ran the club for a period.
On the way back from Lake Tahoe the bus would stop off for a meal at Sam’s Town Restaurant at a little phony historic western town Sam’s had built in Cameron Park CA off of Highway 50. While the other students were in the restaurant eating a meal, the Waldos slipped out to the front parking lot where an old pioneer covered wagon was on display. Needing a safe wind protected place, The Waldos climbed up a cement pedestal that the wagon was on, got inside and smoked a joint in the covered wagon. The Waldos had no idea that many decades later the term 420 would become as widespread and huge as it is …and that the Waldos would become the ‘The Pioneers of 420.’
Commercial Manufacturing Bakeries—The Evening’s Last Stop
In the Bay Area at the end of many evenings the Waldos ended up at, of all places, commercial -industrial baking operations. These commercial manufacturing bakeries would do their baking all night long for fresh bread deliveries to stores and restaurants early in the morning.
We would walk in the back door of a manufacturing facility at 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock, or even later in the morning. There was never any security at a bread-baking operation as it was just a bunch of guys up all night with loaves of bread… older working-class guys in tall chef hats. It was like walking in on half a dozen Chef Boyardees. And for a little extra cash in their pocket, they were willing to sell us each a loaf of bread, or rolls, just out of the oven. As in other Waldo adventures, we made the chefs laugh and they were always happy to see us even though we had a different understanding of ‘Wake and Bake’.
The hot French sourdough JUST out of the oven was always a very sensual experience while high. Like one of those food commercials you see on TV nowadays, where they present close-ups of juicy, colorful, hot, moist food in an attempt to get you to drool and run right down to the restaurant. In this case, the super-fresh-in-the-moment smell of the bread just out of the oven was an exceptional delight. And it was always a joy to bask in the warmth and flames of the commercial baking ovens on cold nights.
Elsewhere on the 420Waldos website
Adventures climbing high-up structures ‘underneath’ the Golden Gate Bridge
Adventures (James Bond style) infiltrating an active Air Force Base during war time
Adventures infiltrating mock desert scenes at Disneyland
Adventures with research scientists bending light in unimaginable ways