I've spent the last few days in weather that has reached 121 degrees according to my car's thermometer, and now I'm sitting up in the mountains of Colorado and it's rainy and chilly, but my family and I have finally made it. I've had tons of thoughts running through my head, and have already seen an amazing section of the country, so now it's time to somehow organize them into hours, days, minutes, and pints of whiskey. I meant to update this on a daily basis, but the last few days have been so wrought with things I would have rather not dealt with, but were probably necessary to mold me into some sort of a man who knows how to drive around the country in a station wagon with a pop up tent trailer for a home attached. My family and I are like the Griswolds on a long term vacation....sorry Walley World is closed...I'm going to punch that fucking moose.
I'm amazed that the last 11.5 years spent in San Diego has been filed away in my memory as fast as a bad day at the office. While I do appreciate all that my harlot by the sea has provided me, in the form of a place to build up my career, I couldn't be out of there fast enough, and I'm sure that has contributed to the mishaps that have happened along the way. I'm not going to say we were ill prepared for the trip, but something in the air has made this trip VERY interesting, yet we are only a few days into the 6 month or so excursion. Also, for the record, I have never felt more a peace with myself or looked at my family with more pride than I have in the last few days.
I've always been one to look at hardship and find the good in it since I was homeless in New Orleans. Something about the lessons of the road have always cemented themselves to me like the spatter of bugs on the teeth of a psychotically happy biker. Nothing like moth wing as floss. A bit razor sharp though--gums might bleed. Speaking of which, just swatted a moth on my computer screen, leaving a huge stain of guts across this blog. Oh well. Time to move on...you are all looking at your half drank cocktails wondering if there's more ice, but desiring more whiskey and more to this story...
DAY 1 - I'll try to dissolve this tour into specific days, but I don't think it'll hold it's weight since the way time works on the road is by a series of events. Like just now the wind has picked up and is shaking my camper like someone trying to dry hump it. Day 1 was interesting. The first day without all the burdens of a cable/internet bill, or an electric bill, or mail, or wondering when your wife was coming home from her shitty job serving equally shitty Mexican food in Old Town. It was just day 1. We pulled out of Joe and Jenny Andrew's driveway and set off into whatever the road held. We had put a good amount of money into the car and supplies and planning. We were now pulling out and wondering if the transmission was going to blow up a hundred feet from their driveway. The trip, for me, seemed so surreal that I fully expected a large boxcar or Kirstie Alley's ass to fall on the car the minute I pulled away....wait....the minute my WIFE pulled away from the drive. Got to get facts straight...can't expect this monster to feed without straight facts. I'm not FOX News.
First day was LONG! Took too long to pack and too long to get on the road so it was the heroin of road trip days. Didn't get on the road until 1pm and had a, what turned out to be a, 12 hour drive to get to St. George, UT. The cast of characters that showed up for this first day included a broken A/C in 120 degree heat, a flat tire on the trailer in the middle of the night, and some soft of wolf spider coming to offer his services. That lead to having to get a Motel 6 for the night instead of the campsite as we didn't want to pull in in the middle of the night, or even knew if the office was open. Nice soft beds and a hot shower were a welcome comfort after that drive. Man, the trains are coming by tonight...running along the Colorado river I suppose...can't tell too dark. Alright, getting tired...2 more days to go...
Road trips are definitely one of those things that go by fast as lightning when you are sitting and reassessing what is only a few days, but feels like years--especially when your trip is wrought with everything that could go wrong. So day one in St. George was hot as fuck. Nothing else to describe but feeling like Cerebus, the three headed dog, breathing in your face with the heat of a thousand suns. Dips in the pool cooled us off for a minute, my daughter Gwen was making friends and learning of the joys of a jacuzzi, but no need for a towel as the moisture from the pool as well as every ounce of water in your body was sucked dry in minutes. I went and got the A/C fixed...was just out of coolant which is good. I was worried that I was going to have to replace the compressor as my local SD mechanic told me was an issue with older Volvos. So with that fixed the rest of the night went well. We had a nice dinner of salad, tuna and hummus, with plenty of water to wash it down. It felt so good when the temperature dropped to something more comfortable, and we were just able to enjoy each others company and some food. The night ended with a glass of whiskey and then some much needed sleep...
Another thing about road trips is that when sleeping out in nature, you wake up with the sun. Not to say I don't battle every ray to get some more sleep, but it's a natural alarm clock, and that comes in handy when you are trying to leave early so as not to arrive at every campsite at midnight when the bears and other wildlife are creeping around looking for a meal. That is, however, how we arrived in Glenwood Springs, CO on the 3rd day. We left Utah with a crisp, cool A/C running in the car providing us with the exact opposite of the sweltering bullshit we had to endure the first day. I was able to nap while Rachel drove, occasionally waking to take in a site or two, or get out at the rest stop. We were heading through some really wild rock formations in northeastern Utah, and the rain was starting to come down on us. Glad I had an umbrella though with some 1980's pink and white pattern on it to run to the restroom with. Nothing odd about THAT guy. I spent most of my day in a daze napping and snacking...trying to comfort our daughter who was complaining about her back from sitting in the car too long. We stopped at a gas station to get some food for the long journey ahead and that is when ANOTHER catastrophe happened. My wife's card was declined, which was odd since I was just ordering a few chicken sandwiches at Burger King, and not spending everything we had in the bank on the 60,000 piece nugget pack. I went to the ATM and found out we were over $300 overdrawn! Now, I'm not a math wiz, but I'm good at looking at the numbers and knowing what we have and what it's going to take to get through this journey money wise. Come to find out, and not to get too deep into it as we are STILL trying to figure out what happened, our landlord gave us our security deposit back in check form, Bank of America cleared the check, and then the landlord put a stop payment on it and BofA took all the money out of our account!!!! We still haven't been able to contact our landlord to find out what happened, and BofA is now on the shit list of the worst fucking banks to deal with. We called and asked why they gave us money that they hadn't verified yet, and all they could tell us was that we were 'low risk' customers because no check we had put into the bank before had bounced. I inquired as to how that is a smart policy and they didn't have an answer. If they give us the money, then it's THEIR fucking fault for releasing it to us and not ours, so why come back and drain our account? No wonder they needed 25 billion in bailout money! The manager on the phone wished us luck being stranded in the Utah desert and offered her sympathies, even though that fat cunt was more worried about profit and loss rather than if I was going to be able to get my family out of the desert alive. And we wonder why America's credit rating got dropped today. Don't think it's a shock! We've just got morons running everything. Anyways, looks like we are going to small claims court with our former landlord.
So after figuring out that we had enough money to get to the campground and pay for the night, we continued our drive up to Glenwood Springs. Just after dark a rainstorm hit--yes, a storm...I can't make this shit up--and we were forced to drive up the mountain at 35mph while semi trucks blew past at 90, their drivers obviously on some sort of meth high and wearing a wetsuit so that the drugs offered their maximum potential. We finally made it to the campsite and found our site number. We set up tent in the rain and got to sleep.
The next morning brought bad and worrisome moods. My wife and I were on the brink as we tried to figure out how to get out of this mess, and so after a few phone calls, we were able to drum up enough cash to continue on. It's a really shitty feeling, though, when you've spent months planning something and then one thing that you expect to be the last thing to fail, does. The campsites were booked....the car packed...the clubs and conventions booked...the morale high, and then the hammer comes down and you sit wondering who you pissed off to deserve this. If it was some higher power trying to help write the screen play for this journey, then I say to him/her "Please fuck off, I'm a decent writer." To ease the tension we went and played some mini golf. Not much to say about that other than it was a very well manicured site. Oh...and after that I dropped the wife and child off and went over to the....(see the next blog for the happenings at Woody Creek Tavern!)