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Rumors that I pick my daily stops for their pun potential are completely unfounded. Maybe.
But let’s first go back to Alamosa, where a weather report indicated that the overnight temperature would be dropping well below 0°F, which the temperature should never do. Ever. There are warmer places on freaking Mars right now.
But this was my dashboard as I was about to drive out of town:
Yeah, I just have one thing to say to that:
Once I got out of that accursed valley, though, temperatures rose to a balmy mid-20s.
I passed through Pagosa Springs, Colorado, too early to do anything but take pictures of this too-hipster-for-words brewpub:
I did, however, manage to make it to this one in Cortez, Colorado by lunchtime (at which point, by the way, the temperature had climbed up into the mid-50s):
I hung around this also unbelievably hipster town (I’m sensing a theme here for Colorado) for an hour or so, because at that point I really needed to a) stretch my legs and b) apologize to the glowing yellow thing in the sky for calling it “the accursed daystar” and thank it for making the temperature a little bit less NOPE.
The rest of the trip today took me through Ute and Navajo country once more; you may recall I went through it last year. In fact, this route took me right past the Four Corners monument, though I didn’t feel the need to stop there again.
On the road to Page, I encountered some more awesome scenery.
Upon reaching Page, which is a small town just south of the Arizona-Utah border, I looked for a place that would sell me some Navajo frybread, which is as good a reason as any to be alive and have taste buds. But there wasn’t any. Instead, I found something far, far more dangerous – a sushi bar within walking distance. Okay, well, the sushi part wasn’t so dangerous, but it was also a bar bar. And they had sake. And absinthe.
I don’t remember much after that, but apparently I made it back to the hotel, and the reason this post is later than usual is I had to wait until I only had one screen to look at.
I’m pretty close to Vegas, now, less than a day away. Unfortunately, my reservation there doesn’t start until Sunday afternoon. I still haven’t decided whether to find another place in Vegas for one night, or maybe stay somewhere else. You’ll find out tomorrow. Later today, I mean.
I don’t think I’ll post much more until I leave, unless of course something interesting happens between now and then. I’ve moved my departure date to the 18th – it’ll help me hit more breweries on the way to Maine.
For one thing, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this month, and because I don’t think I’ll get much typing done on the road (in fact, I won’t get any typing done on the road, because that would be dangerous and illegal; besides, I’ve never seen a keyboard on a road), I’m trying to get all my words in early. Also, in an effort to be even just a little bit in shape for the journey, I went back to the gym today for the purpose of embarking on a five-day-a-week workout plan. I even hired a personal trainer to help keep me focused.
Since Ashley has the link to this blog, I’ll say she’s helpful, motivational, and kind. (That’s also not an actual picture of her.) In addition, she has promised to help with exercises to do while traveling, on the theory that if I end up having to walk 20 miles through a blizzard, I want to be able to walk 20 miles through a blizzard.
So between those two things and other stuff I need to do to prepare, most of which are boring to read about, I expect I won’t have much time to post. But rest assured, there will be posts and pictures once I get going.
And yet, after seeing yet another Smart Car while out and about today, I somehow found the time to create this (my graphics skills are rudimentary, but I can do a Google Image Search with the best of them):
One additional word of advice: should you ever have the occasion to do a Google Image Search for “clown car,” if you value your sanity, make sure SafeSearch is ON. (Feel free to turn it back off when you search for “dominatrix.”)
I don’t usually do Halloween costumes. I lack the creativity to come up with one, the skill to create one, and the determination to take the time to make anything. About the only burst of creativity I ever had involved dressing like normal and carrying around a box of Cheerios with a knife through it. But the “cereal killer” thing is overdone now.
Fortunately, there’s Amazon. While I don’t recommend going to that website while drunk (which is what I did, but we already know I’m a Bad Influence), I didn’t spend a fortune and got a current-events relevant costume.
Clearly, I still need to make adjustments to the costume. The hat doesn’t fit too well. I’ll be around drunk people, though, so it probably won’t matter. Tough to drink beer through the mask, but I’ll manage.
I don’t care one way or the other about the Occupy protests or the Anonymous group. I just like movies made from Alan Moore comics, and I wasn’t about to go as Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. People would run screaming in terror.
It’s getting to that time of the year… the Time of Avoiding Stores.
I actually went out today – not only for a wine & beer tasting, but because I wanted to get an emergency cold-weather sleeping bag now, rather than in November. November is the second worst month to go shopping, of course, second only to December.
I fear I was too late. It is already too close to November. The place was already crowded. The popular Charlottesville, Virginia shopping center, Barracks Road, has few parking spaces available during the Season of Greed.
And what does this shopping center do every year, knowing full well that it becomes impossible to find parking there in the late fall? Why, it tears up parking spots and puts up more stores, of course!
Worse, some of these stores start preparing for the holiday season in, like, June. While I can usually avoid such stores (fortunately, there is the internet), they proliferate and get harder to avoid starting around September and October. It’s bad enough they start stocking cheap plastic Halloween crap right after the Back-to-School specials; do they really have to load up on reindeer on Labor Day? Really?
I created a handy flow chart to help with this problem. Please feel free to show it to any store owners and managers you know.
The sleeping bag purchase was easy, despite having to park in Michigan. There’s an outdoors store in Barracks Road. Now, I’m not an outdoorsman; I don’t even play one on TV. I am, in fact, a dedicated indoorsman, and I’m sure that’s obvious when people see me. So walking into the outdoors store was like walking in on a Santeria ritual: You know vaguely what one is, you’re pretty sure it involves chickens, and you have just enough knowledge about it that you’re sure you’re going to say something embarrassing that they’ll laugh about after you leave.
Still, being a man, shopping is easy. I found the High Priest and told him I wanted a sleeping bag that would keep me from dying of hypothermia in North Dakota. He sacrificed a chicken and told me that nothing can stop you from dying of hypothermia in North Dakota, though the far greater danger there is boredom. But he showed me a sleeping bag that wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg (I’d neglected to collect body parts prior to shopping, anyway), and out I went.
But then came the real challenge of the day: I had two empty propane tanks to refill. I suppose I could have driven to another shopping center, one where I could have parked closer to the grocery store, but I was feeling stubborn. So I schlepped those empties to the Kroger store, dropped them off, went in, bought a few other necessities (no, not beer – I have a fridge full of beer) and purchased the hydrocarbon exchange.
Which is when I remembered that now I had to schlep two full tanks of propane back to my car.
Well. At least I got my exercise today.
The site Very Demotivational presents one of my favorite concepts on the internet: the Demotivator. Long ago, some company put out “motivational” posters in a very specific format: black border around an inspirational photograph, two sizes of text at the bottom containing, at the top in big letters, a desired quality or characteristic; and below it, in smaller letters, some further inspiration on that quality or characteristic. It wasn’t long, of course, before that got parodied, and rightly so, into Demotivation. Now, it’s a public activity, much like captioning cats. Today, it delivered to me what is destined to become this blog’s theme demotivator:
Other than that, I haven’t made much progress toward the trip lately. I keep meaning to make up a to-do list of things I need to get done before I leave, but I don’t have a to-do list to put that on, so I keep putting it off.
Plus, I keep looking at pictures of captioned cats.