out of sorts

Been that way ever since I got back almost two weeks ago from my trip. It's been a real struggle to feel even halfway normal about the routine again, but I'm trudging through.

The morning after the wedding I took the slow way back to my parents home via the Ortega hwy. It was the perfect counter balance to two non-stop crazy days. Later that night I had a big old delicious dinner with the folks and my sister's family. The following day was spent having meals with various friends and picking up a few odds and ends before returning home the following morning. I always stop by the Ranch 99 market to score some hard to get Chinese groceries and fresh Bao. 

My first stop was to Slab City since I forgot to leave my friend a few things on the way in. I got in much earlier and it was thankfully cooler than my last visit. After unloading, hanging out, and talking for a bit we went to East Jesus. This a place I've been wanting to see but didn't get a chance to on prior visits. It was everything I've come to expect of it but much better to see in person. It was about this time that the beagle started panting pretty heavily signaling that it was time for us to go. After dropping my friend off back at her rig we were back on the road. This time we took state hwy 78 out, and the drive is well worth it based on the scenery alone. 

The rest of the trip was uneventful except for two things. The first thing was in Phoenix where I made a pilgrimage to the Airguns of Arizona store and scored a few minor, but needed items for my air rifle. The second happened in New Mexico right before I crossed into Texas. Construction is in full swing there, and I had the good fortune of a rock being kicked up and into my windshield. It put a nice healthy crack across the lower half but has been replaced already. 


the speech went great

Lets do this!
I just got back from two plus days of non-stop action, heat, fun, and booze. Out of all the weddings I've been to this one went off without a single problem, large or small. This is a testament to my friends and their respective families. The day before the wedding all the guys went golfing. There was plenty of beer and tequila shots to be had and I modestly had my share. My game became progressively worse before even reaching the 9th hole. I'm convinced the local wildlife thought I was aiming for them with each tee off. I swear I even hit a roadrunner once but couldn't find the body. I also think I got a touch of poison oak, but it's mild and doesn't itch. I think I have the booze to thank for this. By the way, locking up the wheels on a golf cart as you screech to a halt, funnest thing ever! As the title states the speech went great. Great in the sense that I winged instead of scripting it. Well actually, I winged it within a traditional structure of what a best man's speech should be. Thank the parents, thank the guests, tell a story about the groom, and closed it with a quote as we toasted the bride and groom. Yes I was nervous and probably could've soiled myself without ever realizing it, but I didn't. This kind of stuff can be a little nerve wracking because of how much and what they mean to me. My friend's loved it and I couldn't be happier that I didn't let them down.

On that note I'm gonna go get me some beers to take the edge off this hangover.


on the way in

On this trip I got a head start by leaving 3-5 hours earlier than on past trips. Everything was packed and loaded earlier that morning which gave me plenty of time to relax. It also afforded me time to remember those one off things we all forget before long trips. The majority of the drive was luxuriously air conditioned as the beagle and I took in all the gorgeous summer desert scenery across four states. We were even treated to heavy rainstorms in Texas and again in New Mexico which took the edge off the heat and cleaned the bug splatter off my windshield. Thank you rain gods! We made great time and stopped for the night a few miles before the NM AZ state border.

The calm before the storm
The following day we arrived in Slab City where the local temp was 107°. The place was kind of a ghost town compared to my visit seven months earlier . When I stepped out of the truck the blast of heat that hit me was dryer than what I'd (sort of) gotten used to in Texas. There was a nice 8mph wind which made things tolerable in a "I'm standing in front of the worlds largest hair dryer" kind of way. After the greetings and meeting of friend 1's friend (whom I'll call friend 2), I unloaded all the goodies I brought for friend 1. That afternoon was spent getting caught up with friend 1 and getting to know friend 2 while I sweated profusely through most of it. This is why I didn't take any pictures while there. Sorry about that.

Builder Bill, The Groom, Sweaty Moi!

The groom arrived as scheduled that evening. He got a little lost so I had to drive over to Niland and lead him in. His reactions ran through the normal spectrum of anyone whose never seen a place like this in person before. Mostly they were good, but yes he was a little concerned about his safety at first. That all changed after some dinner, beers, and great convos with friend one and two. Later that night the questions about how do you, or would you handle this and that flowed out of him. It's always fun to see how a person can have their perception changed and why one would choose to live a lifestyle so different than what's considered the norm. He's been well aware of my plans and the reality of it hit him when he had a chance to experience it first hand. Granted Slab City (to the uninitiated) would appear to be the darker side of this life, but I think his perspective would be a little less ominous had he come in the winter when more people are around. Right after dinner the wind finally died out. This is also the exact moment when I realized that sometime earlier I had stopped perspiring and only because my skin became sieve like again. It was also now that the groom realized how much he had his heart set on camping in Joshua Tree (the originally plan). I tried to verbally agree but since there was so much water coming off me, everyone only heard a gurgle. Since this was a Sat night we had to make a pilgrimage over to The Range to see the weekly talent show there. We hung out for a few songs and then made our departure for Joshua Tree. Two hours later we arrived, made camp, and crashed.

Camp Bachelor!


when I was just a little boy ...

I asked my mother, what will I be?
Will I be handsome?
Will I be rich?
She just said lifes a bitch!

Sorry, best I can do given how busy I am preparing for my upcoming trip. I'll have something with a little more substance (pictures too), once I hit the road for CA this weekend.

Que sera, sera!