Sometimes it’s hard to know where to even begin. I mean, on a road trip, it’s mile 0 aka home. But when people ask about a trip, the answer is curt. In the case of my recent excursion, I say “great” and bite my tongue to avoid launching into 8,000 more words.
Where to begin? Sheesh. Where to end?
Well how about this:
Two of my roommates, Jake & Reid, and myself went on a little trip earlier this month. We visited: the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, Claremont & Santa Monica & Los Angeles, Solana Beach (San Diego), White Sands National Park (NM), Carlsbad Caverns (NM), and Austin for South by Southwest before returning home. According to Google: 3,390 miles and 52 hours. We did that-and more-in roughly one week. It was incredible.
Was such a trip a bit hectic? Rash? Needed?
To answer those questions, I don’t connect it to all the work associated currently with school, or the pressing need to acquire it shortly after school is finished. I think of a book my parents sent me before the trip: John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charlie. I made a meaningful dent into it I’m happy to say. As is my wont, I found some passages I liked. When I think if this trip answers those questions, my answer sounds something like:
“Who doesn’t like to be a center for concern? A kind of second childhood falls on so many men. They trade their violence for the promise of a small increase of life span. In effect, the head of the house becomes the youngest child. And I have searched myself for this possibility with a kind of horror. For I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I’ve lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment. I did not want to surrender fierceness for a small gain in yardage.”
With that mindset, we set out on Thursday evening. Leaving at such a time might have been an inauspicious, if not downright dangerous beginning. Night driving for the whole night is a bit of an undertaking-even for three people. But time rapidly passed through music-related word games, enjoyable conversation, two stops to McDonalds in the same state with one missing straw and one extra straw at inopportune locations, and the sheer invigoration that can get from shouting/wondering aloud, while driving through Amarillo, if this is the way to Amarillo.
Yet, something strange happened as day broke and we got nearer and nearer to the Grand Canyon…
I think the three of us soon all had our Dumb & Dumber moment: but instead of expecting the Rockies to be a lot rockier, we just imagined that Arizona would be a lot sunnier. We quickly did research and found we were indeed in Arizona and near to Flagstaff, Arizona. That happens to be near Humphreys Peak which is at an elevation of 12,637 feet or, “high.” We soon made it over to the nearby Grand Canyon hoping it would be sunnier and clearer and well…
The weather was so bad that for a second Reid thought the whole trip was ruined and considered ending his trip/more than that…
But then we reminded him it wasn’t so bad, especially because our 4th traveling companion (not Bain) was enjoying her trip.
So we decided everything was more or less okay. Next step, setup our campsite and prepare for a night that may just be a little chillier than our expectations had been.
I don’t mean to brag, but the three of us are pretty ingenious and innovative. By that, I mean we stayed warm by starting a fire. As a note to any future campers, there is excellent ‘firewood’ in the local Grand Canyon village grocery store. It is found in the free magazine rack. Reid left with a stack of around 400 of them (we also bought real firewood). Keeping with the genius-ness, we ate some delicious hot dogs on the fire.
Now, some may say that the hot dogs tasted a bit like magazines or that out of a 12 pack, 8 or so ended up in the fire. Jake and Reid were not deterred and instead created a new specialty: the grilled peanut better sandwiches…The only problem with this whole thing (besides our clothes becoming smoke-drenched) was that while we were cooking, sharing stories and interesting facts (the center of the universe smells likes raspberries…I’m serious) is that it kept snowing & getting colder. In fact, even after we went to bed, it kept getting colder…so at one point…Yeah well this may have happened.
Funny story about this picture. Reid actually did tough the night out in his tent. He comes over in the morning and opens the door, takes this photo and then a minute or so later starts speaking. I, in my normal morning cheeriness, start yelling how I was awoken by the cold the moment he opened the door. He shows me the photo…Touche. I wasn’t too bothered when I looked out the door though.
So, after that and still not being able to see the Grand Canyon in the morning, the trio + kitty decided it was time to head west. On the way, Reid lost his contact, but dam me if he didn’t keep his glasses on and see this:
Next stop & blog entry: Vegas Baby-Vegas.