Alright, so, Christmas was fantastic, New Years was uneventful except for all of the flagrant nudity and farm animals--nothing new. I still had some time off and not really anything planned. On Sunday last week, the 6th I was sitting in front of my computer, much as I am now, reading the Piracy Pub forum and ran across an entry about an estate sale in Texas. A buddy of mine, Blackbead, who me lovely wife and I met last year at PyrateCon posted a message about this estate sale in Weatherford, Texas. He lives in Fort Worth so no big deal for him. I ignored it the first time I read it but with nothing going on this week I had a renewed interest in the posting. Aw, hell. I am gonna do it.
It just so happened, my brother Rotgut shot me an instant message just after I decided to go. I messaged him back with a, "You wanna go to Texas?" His reply, "When?" My reply to his reply, "Hmmmmm. Tuesday?" His reply to my reply to his reply, "Let's roll!!!"
Alright, the plan was set, go to Texas for the estate sale and then hit a bunch of towns on the way back home. We had to be home no later than Saturday for the Pre PyrateCon party in Long Beach, California. No worries.
We have taken numerous little roadtrips before: Tombstone, AZ, Solvang, CA, Phoenix, AZ, and a few others around Southern California. This was to be by far the farthest trip and what a great one it proved to be.
Me lovely wife Salma Gundy was a dutiful wife and helped us gather provisions for our trip. Salma hooked us up with fruit and meats and water and Diet Coke and the works. I bought fruit snacks and goldfish crackers. We were ready.
Now, normally when I am off work I don't wake up before noon if I can help it. Tuesday morning would change that. I was geared up and raring to go. I awoke at 4:40 A.M. That was strange for I always believed that 4:40 A.M. was a myth that people made up to scare us late risers. BUT LO!!! It exists and she is a cruel mistress.
Anyhoo, I boarded me dinghy and set sail fer Rancho Cucamonga t'pick up me baby brother Rotgut (aka Jason Clay Dunn, renowned tattoo and fine artist--go check out his website and get a pirate tattoo for half price).
Rotgut and I set off and began a trip that would change our lives forever. (actually it didn't, but what is a good story without some sort of larger than life foreshadowing)
We trucked along the 10 freeway (the I10 to the rest of the world) and hit Indio around breakfast time. What we learned about Indio is that there are no restaurants within 30 thousand miles of the freeway. We had to add an extra day to our trip just to find a blessed Farmer Boy's Restaurant. Anyway, after a fine (and I use that term loosely since that is what happened to our bowels after eating there) meal we took off again. Not far to the boarder of Arizona, "The Land of Tickets and Dicky Highway Patrol."
We cruised right into Arizona with no real issues and drove and drove and drove and drove and drove and drove. Our final destination for the day was to be Van Horn, Texas. We rolled along through Phoenix around lunchtime. Now, me lovely wife Salma Gundy packed us some meat and cheese and bread along with mayo and mustard to make sandwiches...or did she? Both our mouths were watering for a nice tasty roast beef and swiss on wheaty bread with a slathering of mayo and mustard to moisten it just right. We had hit the convenience store and wizzled fo shizzle and grabbed a nice refreshing beverage and were set. We found a nice empty parking lot with plenty of shade. The weather was gorgeous and we had been driving for about 5-6 hours and were huuuuunnnnngggrrrryyyyy. We opened the ice chest, grabbed the bread, pulled out the roast beef, snatched up the cheese, picked up the box of plastic flatware to smooth on the mayo and mustard, we looked in the mounds of frosty ice for the mayo and mustard, but, to my surprise, there was no mayo and mustard. This couldn't be!! My beautiful wife bought little jars of mayo and mustard just for this trip. I laughed a her for it because I though we would just make our sandwiches as home, but she bought them. Where could they be? Were there rampant theft of mayo and mustard in Phoenix? Were there very sly highwaymen who stole our luscious condiments? I texted my sexy wife Salma Gundy, "We have to mayo and mustard babe? Someone must have stole them." She texted back, "I didn't send them. You laughed when I bought them so I took that as you didn't want them." Oh no. My wife was able to read my mind??? But, she is a freakin' dyslexic mind reader.
Rotgut and I ate our sandwiches without mayo and mustard while I contemplated making me wife walk the plank for the remainder of the trip. We managed to get them down. I had to spit on Rotgut's little bites of sandwich like a raccoon to moisten it just so we could eat the sandwiches that we had been so looking forward to. We had to cut open a cactus and suck out the water to help our dry parched throats after the sandwiches dried us out and left us for dead. Anyhow, then we ate some fruit snacks and felt better.
Off we go. The next stop ended up being "The Thing." Now, if you have read me other posts on The Thing, then you know what it is about. Rotgut however, had not and was really excited about seeing it. Billboard after billboard we flew by. "Come and See THE THING!!!" Each billboard enticed us with a larger than life picture of some snackable item like a chocolate sunday or a mouth watering burger with mayo and mustard all the while advertising The Thing. We had to stop.
We finally arrived. We were so full of anticipation and urine we could hardly stand it. We chose to make our bladders gladder before we entered to see The Thing. We walked through an array of western curios and knick knacks handled our business, paid our dollar each (Rotgut covered my fee) and took the walk to see The Thing. Now, of course I knew what lay beyond the miles of cement walkway through the big warehouse barns full of old cars and antique relics and wood carvings of Medieval torture rooms (just odd) as well as the Guardians of The Thing. The Guardians of The Thing are some sort of oddball twisted roots with eyeballs and mouths painted on them. In all their glory I could think only one thing--this fucker has a lot of time on his hands. Finally, we found The Thing. We were in awe. Okay, Rotgut was in awe. I had already seen it. Of course what lay before his wondering eyes was a miracle of miracles--a mummy, we think. With a little mummy, we think. I was just creepy and strange but well worth our admission. We sat and wept at the unnatural beauty of The Thing. The profound recognition that this bad boy had no freakin' clue his ass would be in a glass case, a spectacle for the world to see for a measly dollar. Sucks to be him.
We trucked along through the bottom corner of New Mexico and around a late dinner time--8ish our time, 9ish there time we caught dinner at an AppleBee's in Las Cruces. We chowed down and drank two very large beers. A waitress there was from Rancho Cucamonga area and Rotgut chatted away. We finished our New Mexico dinner fare and headed out. We were in good spirits, the waitress said our destination lay simple an hour and 15 minutes ahead.
We drove out of New Mexico and into Texas. El Paso, right on the boarder of Old Mexico was pretty happening. The lights were bright and the Highway Patrol was out. Big rigs barrelled down the road. The shanty towns of the wretched Mexicans living in squalor lay to our right and Van Horn lay shortly ahead. By all rights Van Horn should have been just a bit out of El Paso according to our waitress friend and we were beat. A full day of driving and in about 10-20 minutes we would finally be asleep. Just outside of El Paso Rotgut and I kept a keen eye out of a city sign of Van Horn. We sure did not want to pass it up. Rotgut had the atlas and we had a weather eye out. Hey, a sign with Van Horn. Let's see...Van Horn.....168MILES??!!??!!??!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! THE HUMANITY!!!!! We pulled off assumed the fetal positions, held each other and wept. A mother coyote came over and fed us milk and lay with us to keep us warm. An armadillo, feeling bad, gave us his beer bottle and curled up under our heads. The wildlife surrounded us, understanding our despair. The Mexicans threw sweetbread and chicles to us. Finally, we gathered our strength and journeyed forth. Finally, in what is known as 13 o'clock, we hit our destination. We checked in with Marcos who was pleasant, we got to our room, lay down, passed out and farted blissfully in the night.
We woke up the next morning, feeling, well, feeling rather fucked up. We gathered our ditty bags and on the way out Rotgut hit the bathroom again--always a prudent idea. I took the bags to the Jeep came back in and realized that we had been farting blissfully all night long. I immediately yelled to Rotgut that I would wait in the Jeep. One doesn't realize how foul one can be until fresh air is presented. Once my eyes finally stopped bleeding, we headed for our goal destination--the estate sale in Weatherford, TX.
We arrived close to the estate sale and met with the Realtor, Sarah Focht (pronounced fosht) and she drove us to the house. It set back deep in a nice area. The house itself looked like hell on the outside and the inside was all piled with different articles for sale. There were a ton of things from books to nautical items to simple household items. The house was very big. The master bedroom was gargantuan and had to full bathrooms with walk in closets attached. There were big picture windows and columns adorning the sides of the room. The bed looked minuscule compared to the room. One neat factor was a hidden safe room behind a bookcase and there was another secret room in the safe room.
Rotgut and I poured over the miscellaneous items of this persons life. We found trinkets and vitamins, and candle holders and books and statues and mirrors and lamps and magazines and pens and all the stuff you have in your home and on your desk right this very minute. It was amazing just thinking about the fact that you are literally going through some person's life. Screw it, what do we want? We found some nifty items and gathered them up and packed them in. While I was giving the final salutations to Sarah, her husband Don (I think) told Rotgut about a deer skull down the hill. Rotgut followed to check it out. Rotgut thought it was alright, seemed a little Deliverance to me but... Anyhow, Don was leading Rotgut further down the hill and Rotgut came to the realization that I probably wasn't going to let him bring a half decomposed deer with us on the remainder of our sojourn. I think Don was a little disappointed. I think he wanted Rotgut to touch it and figure it out. I don't blame him. Get some other sucker to do the dirty work.
Anyhow, Sarah was nice, as was Don and we made our deal. Rotgut felt I didn't haggle effectively. I would have to agree since I just accepted the price Sarah threw out. I gotta work on that. Man.
If you are in the Ft Worth/Weatherford area and need a Realtor give Sarah a call. She seems to have some integrity and was very pleasant. That large house with an incredible view will be available in March for around 550,000.00. I think that is what she said, but don't quote me and call her just to check it out. Her number is 617-372-9421.
We left the sale and were to meet up with Blackbead and his stunning wife Captain Jane for a bite of dinner. We finally hooked up with them and, let me tell you, their apartment building is crazy awesome. Clean and nice and all brick and inside their dwelling is just chock full o' cool crap. Just like my house. I knew I would like this place. Now, Salma Gundy and meself met Blackbead and Cap't Jane at PyrateCon last year. He is a vendor and sells hand strung necklaces and other items. Go check out his website and tell him I sent ya. http://www.blackbead-jewelry.com/
We all went to Saltgrass Steakhouse and chowed down. Blackbead mentors a young man and he and his brother joined us. Both were good kids who were polite and respectful after a bit and we all talked and laughed and ribbed each other. In retrospect, perhaps big thick steaks were not the best choice for a road trip, but we did survive.
We parted ways after a great evening getting to know our acquaintances better. We are looking forward to seeing them at PyrateCon 2008. I will be doing a write up on Blackbead's Jewelry soon and spotlight this great guy and his HOT wife. I tells ya, bein' a pyrate pays off. The good looking chicks dig us.
Rotgut and I head West now toward Colorado City to slumber after a nice full day. We had driven approximately 1500 miles in two days and we were feeling it. We landed at Colorado City, Texas and got to our room about 13 o'clock again. How the hell does this happen? We sacked out pretty quick. We had to get up early to go to Roswell, New Mexico.
We awoke fresh and, aw, who am I kidding? We were even more fucked up than before. We took off and hit the open road. Now this part of our journey took us off the Interstate freeways and onto the highways. Let me tell you, there is nothing more relaxing and cool than the open highways of America. The roads were clear and the scenery was gorgeous. We ran through farmland with large bails of hay. We went through cotton fields that just stretched for miles unending. There were elks and cattle and other creatures of the world.
Now, we had been in Texas and had yet to see a longhorn bull. We thought we were never going to, when lo and behold, there stood a longhorn in a small fenced area, just chillin'. We pulled around past the Dan Blocker (Hoss from Bonanza) sign and stopped to visit with our newfound friend. We snapped a few pics. The horns on this fellow were quite long. Rotgut and I made quick friends and promised to write. He asked if we had mayo and mustard but damn it...well, you know. On our way out we discovered why, even though other bulls make fun of their long horns, the longhorn bull doesn't mind. He used those badboys to scratch his ass. And it must have felt good too because his tongue was sticking out and the whole shebang.
We moved on and finally hit Roswell around time for a late lunch. First place we hit was a gun shop on the edge of town. We perused the selection. It was like a Circle K convenience store, except full of guns. Men, women and children were just walking in, "Can I get a Smith and Wesson to go?" "Would you like extra bullets with that? Would you like to supersize?"
We asked the folks in there, very very cordial folks, what we should see while in town. Now, you have to understand that Roswell is the mecca for Outerspace Aliens and oddball stuff like that. These people kind of were at a loss. "Well, there really ain't much t'see. Well, mebbe the Goddard museum? Mebbe." What the hell? No little green dudes? No, saucers? Crop circles? Finally, Rotgut asked about eating and alien burger. "Well, go down to Farley's for a burger." Cool. Alien burgers. Coool! We got to Farley's and went in and grabbed a menu..WHAT THE HELL...No freakin' alien burger. We got the waitress. Nope, but we have alien ale. Oh man, fine, gimme the bacon burger. Same damn thing. Then Rotgut made the mistake of the century when it comes to road trips..."Can I get the chili cheese fries appetizer?" Comin' right up. This was a decision we would soon live to regret.
Our waitress, Paula, was a crack up. An affable girl who smacked the table and had a great personality. When asked about growing up in Roswell, she told us frankly that is sucked ass. She made that lunch a fun experience for us. We laughed our asses off.
Next, the Roswell museum. We headed down to the alien area. Now, I
expected, this being Roswell, that there would be outer space/ aliens galore. Nope. Well, at
least we didn't see all the hoopla if they had it. There was a block area that looked like an old mainstreet drag with the museum and novelty shops. The lampposts had the eyes on them that denoted that you were in the alien district.
The museum itself was lacking. The information on what happened in Roswell was interesting but was scant and there didn't seem to be much compelling evidence necessarily. There was some interesting articles and pictures and some great speculation but the whole thing was rather disappointing. We figured that since this was the holy land of UFO phenomena that this museum would be a little more professional in appearance. Anyhow, there was an attached hallway with artwork and paintings. While Rotgut and I were looking around, the chili cheese fries phenomena hit. There was this loud, inexplicable sound that erupted from Rotgut's ass. Who knew where it came from originally, but we believe it was the after effects of an anal probe. We ran in to another room giggling like 13 year old boys who just saw some bare breasts when we found quite a library. Now, Rotgut held in any space gas at this point in reverence to the resource materials. There were tons of books, newspaper articles, periodicals, videos and more all about the space/alien stuff. Fascinating.
We then hit some gift shops, acquired our official Area 51 badges and went on our way. In once gift shop there was a portal to Area 51. We paid our dues (2 bucks) and entered a portal to a different dimension. Finally our questions were answered. We met many aliens just chillin and hanging out. We took a ride on a motor cycle with one. We shared a barbecue with another. Ended up in jail with a couple and even had to share an outhouse with one. The most odd encounter was the alien, glurblperb, who had an antigravity kitchen. He wasn't very nice.
Our visit to Roswell ended pleasantly, we hugged our new alien brothers and sisters (we think) and hit the dusty trail again. We were off to Magdelena, NM to get a good night's rest. Tomorrow we would hit Phoenix area and then home.
Now, throughout most of our journey we had been looking for trading posts. Let me tell you, they ain't around anymore. There used to be plenty years ago. Now, there aren't even Stuckey's anymore. If anyone knows of a good trading post please e-mail me and let me know.
Now, our goal for Friday was to get to Mesa, AZ and go to Wild West Mercantile and look at some boots for Rotgut. He had tried on some at a shop in Texas, but could find none he liked. By-the-way, in Texas, there is a bootshop every ten feet...literally. Rotgut did get a hat in Texas though. He was in love and now felt at home.
We got to our hotel Thursday night, late, as usual. The High Country Lodge was just what the doctor ordered. A quaint little hotel nestled in a small town. We arrived super late and the manager, Bonnie knew we were coming. Salma Gundy helped us find this room and let Bonnie know that we would be late because we took a wrong turn and were lost. Thank you dear. No one is supposed to know that. Bonnie was very hospitable and gave us a nice little room. She had gone in and turned the heater on and gotten the room ready for us. She was great. She also came in to cuddle with us, read us a bedtime story and give us some warm milk and cookies before bed. She was great.
Actually, I highly recommend that High County Lodge in Magdalena. Great room, very good price and superb service.
We slept in a little bit Friday. We were beat but still kickin'. We gave Bonnie a kiss goodbye and headed out. The highway was open and inviting. We hit a little town where we stopped to take care of nature's calling. There was a general store that we visited. Now, out here in California, we might have a little camera department, the pharmacy, cosmetics, etc. but what we don't have is a gun counter. They don't mess around. And on the entire wall of the store were animal heads. trophies all over it. There were elk, bison, cougars, red snapper, rams, whales and many many more. It was crazy. Rotgut loved it. We almost bought some chewing tobacco, but Rotgut whined like a little bitch, "Oh, that hurts my tummy. waa waa" wuss.
On the edge of town, which wasn't very far at all there were a few horses just hanging out. We decided to stop for some pictures. These horsed were great. Very amenable they were to having they noses scratched. The big one was all about what he might eat, like our fingers. But, they were really cool. Rotgut was telling some bad jokes, but the big one thought he was just a riot. Go figure. Horses aren't very bright. As we walked our way back to the Jeep the big one just kept following us. He was quite a social fellow. Alas we had to part ways.
We drove through the mountains of the San Carlos and White Sands Apache people. The mountains were gorgeous and the valleys or rather canyons were magnificent. We pulled off and grabbed some pics. Rotgut wasn't was thrilled about the edge of the canyon as I was but eh. We trucked around and over a bridge where we hit a rest area right over the San Carlos river. The restroom was scary in and of itself. The stall doors here made of iron and reminded me of a gas chamber door. The toilets were just these big tubes that led to somewhere. Probably into the river. Don't drink the water. It is brown come to think of it. The toilets are big.. the tubes anyway. I am sure many small children and midgets have been lost in them. Outside were tables set up with Natives selling handmade jewelry. They said they were handmade, but not who made them. Probably handmade by some Pakistani Indian. Anyway, we bought some things. I got a Navajo necklace purported to keep away evil spirits. Doesn't matter, I only drink the good stuff anyway.
Now, this is about the point where an unholy dance began for Rotgut. Rotgut entered the gas chamber restroom and was possessed by the spirit of the Chili Cheese Fries we had the day before. An exorcism began the likes of which will become lore and passed down from the elders to the young in the casinos of the San Carlos and White Sands Apache tribes. In fact, they have already named a slot machine after the episode. Rotgut found his strength to make it out alive after his spirit guide, the turdbird, visited him. We left quickly and made it to Globe, New Mexico. Now, by this time Rotgut had gathered his senses and a calm stomach and we hit Jerry's diner. Our waitress, Rosie, was a doll. She gave us some chat and told us where we could find some cool things in Globe. She told us about a store named the Pickle Barrel had a lot of trading post like items. We were on a mission. We got to the Pickle Barrel and it was chock full o cool Native artwork, kachinas, hats, and jut numerous cool stuff. We did some shopping and Rotgut bought a Kachina doll which truly represents him. The Red Tailed Hawk has always been something important to Rotgut due to a dream he had when he was younger. This kachina was beautiful. We also picked up some gifts and I bought meself a new hat. Now that we had some shopping done we headed for Mesa, AZ and Wild West Mercantile.
We drove and drove and finally made it in to Mesa. Before we made it to Mesa however, I got a ticket. Now, we had been driving really well the entire trip. No issues. And let me tell you, there were a bunch of Highway Patrol out. Seriously, they were everywhere. Anyway, we were kickin' along about 70 mph, speed limit was65. Okay, 5 miles over. The patrolman was very stoic. I am not an asshole with the law. I respect the law, but when it seems bogus I have a little bit of trouble. Now, he said he radared me doing 79. Maybe he did. I don't know where the hell he did though because I was traveling behind another vehicle doing 70. He didn't tell me why he pulled me over and was kind of a dick. He scratched me without a second though. I think I got a ticket for DWC, Driving While from California. And riddle me this, if he was behind me for so long (I was watching him) why didn't he just pace me. If I were driving unsafe, okay cool, I deserve it, but not this time. I am going to fight this one. I believe his name was Patrolman Dick.
Moving on, we found the Mercantile relatively easy and Rotgut bought some boots. They are sweet. They are comfy and tall and just the right size. I bought a western hat for Salma Gundy and we then made our way to the Heart Attack Grill. Now, this grill I found on the Internet. Supposedly they have these gargantuan 5 patty burgers and fries with gravy and chili. They are served by these hot babes wearing vinyl nurses uniforms. What could be better? Well, finding the damn place. Their site said Tempe. We got to the address in Tempe but there was no grill. Tempe had a grip of very large churches but no Heart Attack Grill. I checked the Net again on my phone...Phoenix. Okay, maybe they moved. We headed to Phoenx (about 12 minutes) we finally found the place...what the hell? It looked like a ratty assed ex taco stand. The sign said open and there were tv's on but all the stools were up on the tables and there was no one there. It was Friday night for cryin' out loud. We could see through the windows but nothing. Forget that. We decided that it did not live up to the hype and the expectation. That is too bad. It sounded fun.
We decided we could hold off and we would grab a bite later. It was time to head home. Now, here is the problem. Home was about 6 hours away. We both figured, eh, 6 hourse ain't nothing. Now, you tell me how freakin' twisted you have got be to get to a point where 6 hours may as well be a jaunt to the corner am/pm for a gallon of milk? Well, at least it kept our spirits up. We headed home.
We drove and drove and all was good. Quartzite was about the place we decided we had to eat. It was very late, and we needed food. There was nothin' but the truck stop. We went to the Subway in the truckstop. Linda was our server. Linda was a lovely lady with a soul patch and the demeanor of a person who recently quit smoking and hated everyone. We kept positive and I think she had a bit of a crush on Rotgut. At one point in the middle of making our sandwiches she turned and hacked up a tumor of some sort. I think the real irony is that took place while she was putting mayo and mustard on my sandwich. She was rough, but you know what? that was the best damn sandwich ever.
We got back on the rode and drove into the darkness until just after Indio when I need to rest. Rotgut and I crashed for about 20 minutes then stretched our legs. Rotgut fed the rest of his lung cheese filled sandwich to a local cat. It sucked it down with no hesitation. Back on the road and back home. I dropped Rotgut off to his fiance, sorry Linda, Powderkeg Penny and headed home for Apple Valley. I arrived to find me lovely wife and me dog, Sappho waitin' for me. We all went to bed and slept happily ever after.
Now, we drove our asses off, but I have to say, that was some of the most relaxing terrain and the most cordial people we have met. Rotgut and I are renewed and ready to take on the world. Coming soon, our adventures at the Pre PyrateCon 2008 Party in Long Beach. Also, my new leather projects.