Sunriver Meltdown


"Close to Madness"


A look at Mental Instability in the late Twentieth Century
by Dr. Durango Jones

Prologue

The following took place at the resort community of Sunriver in Central Oregon. Six different individuals with a total of nine different personalities were imprisoned in Hell Lodge on a deserted cul-de-sac for 5 long days of HELL.

The expedition had been arranged by a middle-aged married couple named Jack and Lulu. The other participants were their teenage son, Leo, a temporarily separated from her husband woman named Zelda, a compu-nerd, out-of-date, commie wannabe, who insisted on being called Trotsky;
and one totally well-adjusted, completely sane person, your guide on this journey into the netherworld of the human mind,
Dr. Durango Jones.....

Hell Lodge Nightmare Begins
We will jump quickly into the Hell Lodge Nightmare, dispensing with extraneous detail, just the facts, the whole truth and nothing but. This was supposed to be a mountain biking adventure to gather data for a struggling e-zine. Then Lulu decided to come along and turn the expedition into a psycho-drama. On my first night at Hell Lodge, Lulu insisted all partake in the assembly of a giant puzzle. When Jack and I tried to engage in a dialog about the struggling e-zine, Lulu pitched a fit and declared the subject to be boring. After many hours of puzzling with Lulu, Trotsky called. He was lost in the maze which is the road system of Sunriver. Jack went to find him.

When Trotsky arrived he immediately began to amaze Zelda, who had never experienced his rambling discourses on various subjects. At midnight I decided to go to my room, a large space in the attic with a bathroom, which I was expected to share with Trotsky. Share the bathroom, that is, not the room.

Better Than a MOTEL 6??
I went to bed and turned out the lights. It was very hot. The window was open. A large hole rendered the screen useless. A full moon lit the room. After about an hour of trying to cool myself with wet towels I saw a bat fly up to the window, silhouetted by the shining moon. The bat swatted at the screen, trying to get in. The heavy curtain kept the flying rodent out. The moon finally went away, in the darkness I could hear loud scratching and bat squeaks. This continued on into the night with varying levels of loudness. I slept intermittently.

I awoke early and went downstairs. I verbalized my bat terror and inquired as to whether anyone else had been disturbed by the virtual vampire infestation. Lulu quickly pronounced the subject boring.


After morning coffee and some breakfast bars everyone except Trotsky and Leo took a ride on the Sunriver bike trails. An incredible 30 plus mile asphalt bike trail system runs all through Sunriver. Our morning ride took us along the Deschutes River, by the horse stable, by the Skyport Houses (accessed from the airstrip), by the Village Mall. It was pleasant. There were no psychotic episodes. At least no major ones.

After the ride Zelda made delicious fruit smoothies. In the late morning Jack, Trotsky and I took off to drive to the trailhead of our first, and what would be my only, mountain bike ride of the trip. We were heading for the Cultus Lake Trail up towards Mount Bachelor. But, as usual, Jack displayed the irony of his many advanced education degrees and illiterately misread the map. After driving in the wrong direction for about 10 miles I asked to see the map, correctly plotted our course, got Jack turned around, headed back to Sunriver, took the correct road and eventually got us to the trailhead, but not before Jack had repeated emotional crises due to chipmunks which were darting out on the road, causing him to almost tip over the Isuzu again and again. These near tipovers occurred a month before Consumer Reports issued its first unsafe vehicle warning in a decade, targeting the killer Isuzu.

What does Anal Retentive Mean??
By the time we reached the trailhead, Jack urgently required a restroom facility. Being in a primitive campground he armed himself with a wad of toilet paper and ran off into the woods looking for an outhouse. Trotsky fiddled with his bike, like he always does. But then Trotsky needed something out of the Isuzu. Before I could stop him, he opened the door, setting off the ticking bomb-like noise which I knew would end with the horrible air-raid siren going off. About 30 seconds after the siren started we saw Jack running back out of the woods, his pants barely up, trailing toilet paper behind him, desperately clicking on the remote key to try to kill the alarm.

After that episode, the bikeride was okay. Jack went about a mile before his bike had its first flat. Trotsky had a spectacular bike wreck and landed on his backpack. After the ride Jack misread the map and got confused on the drive back to Sunriver and missed our turn. Again. Once back at Hell Lodge, I took a nap, having not slept the night before, I was tired. By the time I woke up Jack and Trotsky and the teenager Leo had gone into Bend on another ride. Lulu talked me into driving her and Zelda into Bend to buy groceries. The grocery shopping was not too psychotic. Lulu bought chicken. I bought a sleep aid.

The Sunriver Madness Begins
Back at Hell Lodge, elaborate cooking rituals began. A gas propane barbecue was rolled out. Lulu stuffed the fatty chicken with butter. Within minutes of beginning to cook, the butter-laden chicken went to flame. I rescued the charred birds from the grill. Butter was spewing like fireworks. I believe it was from this point the Sunriver Madness began.

Zelda cooked fresh corn and boiled the life out of fresh green beans and somehow peppered them, rendering them inedible, except by Trotsky, who babbled something about it being bourgeois to waste food. After dinner Zelda got into her cups and began to down a large quantity of some frozen concoction with a high alcohol content. Lulu imbibed a bit less. However Lulu began to affect the behavior patterns of a sloppy slurring drunk. Then she insisted everyone assist her with her giant puzzle. All did so, except for Jack, who had passed out, and Trotsky, who sat in a corner reading newspaper articles, out loud, about the world's largest smelly flower.

Zelda Hears the Noise
That night the bat attacks were louder. No one had believed me about the bats, so I went downstairs and found Zelda still awake. I forgot to mention, we had earlier gotten down to wearing nothing in an impromptu game of strip poker, so it wasn't embarrassing that both of us were virtually naked in our bedtime-sweltering heat-skimpy clothes. Zelda came upstairs and into my room. At first she did not believe my bat story because there was no noise. But then she put her ear to the wall and Zelda heard the bats. At about the point where both our ears were to the wall, Lulu burst into the room, without knocking. I will spare you the details of Lulu's diatribe, suffice to say it was totally inappropriate. Zelda and I are a little older than 21, after all. We can listen to bats in the walls, alone, if we so desire.

Thursday began with the usual morning bikeride through Sunriver. The purpose was for Jack to take a bunch of photos. We stopped at the Village Mall to buy groceries so Zelda could whip out something called Krona Pancakes. We stopped at a coffee shop where Jack drank an espresso. When we got up to leave, Jack walked away without his camera. I tried, twice, to tell Jack he'd left his camera. Zelda heard me and we both sort of shrugged and I then picked up the camera and stuck it in the grocery bag. Back at Hell Lodge Jack realized the camera was missing. He went into panic mode and rushed to the Isuzu. I got the camera out of the bag and waved it at him. Jack seemed grateful once he realized what had happened.

Jack Pitches a Fit
The Krona Pancakes were very good. After breakfast we planned to kayak the Deschutes River. Getting to the Kayak Marina involved another series of Jack driving confusions. The kayak float was fun and without incident except for Lulu telling Trotsky that she needed a time-out from his constant ranting. At the end of the kayak float a Marina bus picks up the floaters to return to the Marina. Once in the bus Jack thought it was the height of hilarity to squirt water on my neck. Back in the Isuzu I was sitting behind Jack when I returned the favor. Jack then lost his temper and verbalized his extreme displeasure. When he saw the appalled looks on everyone's face he realized committed a slightly hypocritical faux pas, and muttered something about he and I now being even.

Hell Lodge was located at Point A
Letters and Numbers
mark locations of various
psychotic incidents detailed in
this document.....

Lulu Pitches a Fit
Back at Hell Lodge, Jack and Trotsky took off somewhere on another bikeride. I had no desire to ride with them. The teenager, Leo, spent a few hours organizing the refrigerator and mixing a variety of drinks. His mother praised his efforts, the effect of which was to cause us to have a constant supply of kool-aid, which no one drank. After praising Leo, Lulu then did the classic double-bind thing and began criticizing him for some minor thing, the detail of which escapes my memory at present. I came to Leo's defense. Lulu then came unglued and declared she would not participate in the evening's Line Dancing lesson at the Village Mall. She then locked herself in her room to sulk. Leo and I decided to assuage his mother's demented overreaction. Eventually Lulu came out of her room, ready to go Line Dancing. Wearing one of her more odd clothing concoctions, which struck me as particularly ironic, because it was something about Leo's appearance which Lulu had criticized, which had led to the ugliness.

Anyway, Lulu has an interestingly shaped body. Her legs are quite shapely and not at all covered with cellulite, which is what one would expect on the legs of a self-admitted obese person. But there is something about the architecture of Lulu's butt which causes the skirts she wears to look sort of like she's got an umbrella for underwear, like one of those bustle things they used to wear in the Old South.

So, with Lulu dressed like a country queen who's had reverse liposuction of the butt, we piled into the Isuzu to head to the Village Mall for our Line Dancing lessons. Due to Lulu's temper tantrum we were an hour late. So the price for the lessons had been discounted to a buck each. Somehow I was made to pay for everyone. We got into the line. A very old lady in white go-go boots was our instructor. Jack and Lulu's limited attention span caused them to quickly give up. Trotsky did not even try, claiming line dancing to be a tool of the ruling elite designed to be an opiate for the masses, or something like that. Zelda would not let me quit the line dancing even though it was excruciating.

Eating Disorders
When the lesson's finally ended it was about 9 PM. Jack had not eaten all day long so it was time for one of his periodic mass consumptions of food. We found a Mexican Restaurant with outside dining. It was very cold and some hideous non-band banged out an annoying drum racket which made the ambiance even more miserable. Much food was ordered. Because of the late hour I was not hungry, so I just got a taco. Jack ordered a couple combination plates and 5 bowls of chips. Once the food arrived those connoisseurs of gourmet tastes, Lulu, Jack and Zelda declared the food inedible. So they proceeded to pass it all down to the Commie Trotsky, who had not ordered anything, because it was some class issue, but he was willing to eat everyone's leftovers.


The Sunset View from the deck of Hell Lodge.
Hell Lodge is reflected in the water in the inset photo

Back at Hell Lodge, after the Mexican Indigestion, Zelda got into her cups again. Lulu fixated on her puzzle. Jack passed out. Trotsky ranted. And Leo played Solitaire. I tried to maintain my sanity. About midnight I went to bed. The bats were quieter that night.

The next morning it was decided we were going to all explore the Newberry Volcanic National Monument with something called Paulina Peak as our destination. Jack, Trotsky, Zelda and I planned to bike down from Paulina Peak on something Jack told us was called the Paulina Plunge. The bikes were loaded on the Isuzu. Jack drove. Jack claimed he knew the distances and directions. As we left Sunriver, Jack once more turned the wrong direction. I got him turned around. Once we got on the correct road it quickly became apparent that Jack's plan to ride the bikes all the way from Paulina Peak to Sunriver was a total no-brainer. It was 27 miles til we turned off on the road which led to Paulina Peak. It was another 13 miles to the Ranger Station where we were told the road up Paulina Peak was treacherous and that there had been many bear sightings in the area.

The Final Meltdown Begins
After driving over 40 miles from Sunriver we were finally heading up the rather adventurous road to the top of Paulina Peak. About halfway up Lulu had a panic attack. She covered her head with a paper bag. We entered a tree zone and Lulu calmed down. Then we entered a drop off zone and Lulu had a total breakdown. She screamed for Jack to stop the car, she screamed all sorts of ugly invective at him. She got out of the Isuzu and began walking down the road! We drove ahead to look for a turn around. I told Jack he and Trotsky could do the bikeride, that'd I'd take Lulu and everyone else back down to Sunriver. We got turned around, and about a half mile down the road we came upon Lulu sashaying down the road.

We stopped. Lulu started yelling at Jack, telling him that he always does this, always misplans everything, on and on she went. Trotsky and I commented on what joy it must be to be married. Finally I took command, as I often must when dementia reigns. I told Jack to take off on his ride. I told Lulu to get in the Isuzu. I told Jack I'd come back and get him.

The ride back down Paulina Peak was uneventful. Jack is a horrible driver and everyone's nerves had been set on edge by his incompetent overspeeding on corners, so it did not take long for my calm driving style to have everyone happy again. Except Lulu. I drove us around and explored the Volcano. Then I drove us back to Sunriver. About 6 I decided it was time to drive all the way back to try and find the bikers. I expected to find Jack and Trotsky somewhere along the highway. But they were not to be found. I drove all the way back up that miserable road and was talking to the Ranger when Jack and Trotsky popped out of the trail. They seemed grateful that I had returned to rescue them from what had turned into a disastrous bike ride, during which, surprise, Jack had gotten lost.

Mount St. Lulu Erupts
Back at Sunriver, at Hell Lodge, Lulu started verbalizing her displeasure at Jack again. A raspy rant of shocking whiny invective. Jack then went into that affected public smooching thing they do, til the others began to experience mutual gag reflexes at the wanton display of public affection. Lulu went on and on how this was going to be the last bike trip, that she never gets to do anything, that she's sick of always waiting for him. Now keep in mind this was intended to be a Bike Trip to Bend. It was not supposed to be a Baby-Sit Lulu Trip. Also keep in mind that just the day before Lulu had gotten to go kayaking. Not to mention line dancing.

Jack Counter-Erupts
Jack got mad at Lulu and stormed off to sulk in his room. Lulu followed. After a short time an eruption of screaming and yelling exploded out of the room, through the house, into the woods. Security alarms were set off. Sirens began to wail. It was ugly. It was the worst bout of screaming I had personally witnessed since the macabre incident when Jack began yelling at full volume at some nice receptionist at Excalibur in Vegas, because he didn't understand what she was asking him. That was one more ugly incident where I had to intervene and diplomatically smooth over the neurotic firestorm. This entire episode was feeling very deja vu, and we were all afraid that the next act was all too predictable.

As the yelling abated, Trotsky announced he could take it no longer, he was going to go into Bend for the evening, to drown his sorrows at the Deschutes Brewery. Zelda and I and Leo prepared to go on a bike ride. We were shocked and a bit uncomfortable when Jack and Lulu emerged from their shouting match to announce they, too, were going on the evening bike ride.

And so we all pedaled into the evening.

A Public Brouhaha
About a mile into the trails, Zelda and I noticed Jack and Lulu had disappeared. I went back to find them. Screaming at each other. On the trail. In public. Security was summoned. I begged the pair to put a cork in it.

When I met up with Zelda, I told her it was ugly, let's ditch them, let's just go on a ride. And so Zelda and I and Leo went on a ten mile plus ride. It was very enjoyable. When we returned to Hell Lodge, Jack and Lulu were in their lovey-dovey mode, putting that damn puzzle together!!

The evening labored on to it's close. The puzzle finally finished, Jack and Lulu went to bed. Zelda and I stayed up talking about the past day. I verbalized my total disgust. Zelda begged me to let her ride home with me the next day, if the dementia had not abated by morning. I was agreeable, but appalled at the suggestion that the psychotic immaturity would spill into the next day. But it did. Spill over. Into the next day.

The Dawn of the Last day at Hell Lodge

Lulu Commits Unpardonable Faux Pas
When we awoke to my last day at Hell Lodge we were amazed to find Jack and Lulu acting all hunky dory and happy. This was a good sign. When Trotsky showed up I grilled him about his night at the Deschutes Brewery. He regaled me with tales of his assignation with a pair of compu-bimbos he met over a beer. I walked outside. Lulu followed me. She was wearing her patented look of madness. Suddenly she began spewing venom at me. I was totally shocked. I looked at Lulu and tried to understand what purpose she thought she was serving; but to no avail. I shut the door of my van, started the engine and slowly watched the Sunriver Madness disappear in my rear view mirror.

It was a good drive home.

*Durango recovered from the Sunriver Meltdown....
**Durango moved to Texas, where Lulu is not allowed....
***Jack still has no idea where he is....
****Zelda returned to her husband....


(some names in the preceding document have been changed due to legal considerations any resemblance in characters portrayed to actual people living or dead is purely coincidental and who cares anyway)

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