AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

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Expand view Topic review: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by Jizaboz » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:24 pm

I saw a fucking snake in my very desert-like front yard the around the same time and almost picked it up while picking up dead sticks.

Sometimes life just isn’t fair, man.

That’s cool you bought fossils! In my moms last few years, she was super into mining gems and finding fossils along the way outside of the tourist belt so to speak.

I’m still holding on to some of her best “rock specimens” rather than tossing everything to keep the collection going. It’s one of those things I always had interest in but never took the time to really hunt or tumble rocks and such.

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by AArdvark » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:45 pm

DAY TWO

SEDONA


"Ho-ly shit."
This was the extent of my vocabulary as we drove into the red rocks area. I couldn't seem to find a better descriptive term for the Sedona landscape. The closer we got the more incredible the scenery. Sedona is absolutely beautiful. All that scenic beauty makes you want to move there. Well, maybe not move there but certainly visit a lot. If I moved there I would miss the change of seasons. As it was, all the stores had their Halloween decorations up but outside it felt like summertime. I can't imagine Christmas in Arizona with temperatures up in the sixties.
If you're into art then Sedona is the place for you. The place is packed with art galleries and studios. There's so much of an artsy vibe they even decorate the trash bins and roadside sound barriers. Don't get me wrong, they do that in New York as well, only in New York they use spray paint and gang tags, it's not the same thing. There's this hippy, Burning Man vibe going on in Sedona that makes you want to sit on a park bench in the shade with a big sloppy grin, maybe play an Indian flute while giving your cash away to the passers by because money is just a tool of the establishment, man.
On top of the laid back vibe there's a big psychic, wacky, head-scarf crystal culture. All the women seemed to be dressed like Rhoda, weird. I bet you could stand in the main street with a rock and hit a dozen vortex mind and body cleansing spas/herbal tea rooms. The place reminded me of Roswell, New Mexico, which I've never visited but have a repressed memory which was, at a guess, erased when I was abducted by the greys. An hour of mind cleansing vortex spa treatments and some herbal tea would probably let me remember more clearly, but let's not get crazy.
One of the first things we did was visit the ruins of Palatki. This is actually a national park with actual park rangers. The thousand year old dwellings are some miles from Sedona and tucked back into the base of a large cliff. To get there we had to drive way out into the scrub and then down eight miles of washboard dirt road. It was pretty bad, like riding along in a cement mixer. Luckily we had a rented car with a damage waiver.
The rangers provided walking sticks for the tourists, which I thought was a little silly. I have gone on many a boy scout hike and never needed a stick to help me along. The rangers said the sticks would assist with balance because the trail up to the ruins is very rocky and uneven. Yeah, well I've had a drink or two in my day and I could tell you all about uneven walking. And those hard-core hikers that go around with those stupid ski poles, they always look like idiots to me, so I'll pass on carrying some dumb stick. The ranger went on to explain that tapping the ground with the sticks also alerts any rattlesnakes in the area that they need to get out of the way.
Oh, rattlesnakes. Huh, never thought about that, perhaps I will take a stick after all. Hey, maybe I could fight a rattlesnake, like Zorro, that would be cool! Hi-keeba, slithering death, take that!
My wife, who is deathly afraid of snakes was less than thrilled to hear all this information. She managed to walk maybe a hundred yards on the trail before she announced that she just couldn't do this. Her hands were already sweating and shaking slightly. She would go back and wait for us in the snake-safe zone at the visitor center and listen to some of the female tourists hit on the rangers. I tried, but I never saw any snakes, not a one. They must have known I was coming.
On the drive back to Sedona we passed many places where people had parked their trailers way off in the distance and were camping out in the middle of desert scrub nowhere. Personally I consider camping to be anyplace that doesn't offer room service, but these campers had nothing. No water or electricity or cell service, just whatever they brought with them. It looked very desolate.
"It's called Boondocking," my friend said. Being an avid camper she knew about these things.
"Boonwacking?" I asked from the back seat, not hearing her correctly, "Those people are called boon-wackers? What do they do it for?"
"It's being isolated. You know, a getting-back-to-nature kind of thing."
"So they're wackos going off the grid, only with rattlesnakes and scorpions stopping by for coffee."
"It's not that bad, they have their trucks and ATV's and things. All that isolation is supposed to be refreshing."
"So's a hot shower, "I replied, "but we don't have to go in the middle of nowhere to get one."

Back in Sedona we walked around the main street for a while, checking out the different shops. One of the cool places we found sold fossils. It was a high end store that was part art gallery/museum, of course it was. Some of the larger fossils in there sold for thousands of dollars. They cater to all kinds of rich folks in Sedona, think Indiana Jones with a check book. I bought a plesiosaur tooth, mainly because the cool fossils, like megalodon teeth and t-rex teeth were too expensive. Buying a rarity like a real live (dead) fossil made me feel slightly guilty, and I wondered if there were some black market shenanigans going on. The sales lady assured us that these were all legit fossils from Wyoming and didn't need to be in a museum or anything. I'm sure the fossil police or whatever, would have shut them down long ago if there was any shady back door dealings going on in there. After all, we could probably buy stuff like this online anyway if we thought about it. It's not everyday you get to walk around with a real sea monster dinosaur tooth in your pocket, even if it does keep poking you in the leg. It was like getting bit over and over by the loch ness monster and how cool is that?

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by AArdvark » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:23 pm

Dammit! I totally forgot about this place! We were SO tempted to stop, just because, well, wouldn't you want to stop at a spaghetti bucket take-out?



Image

THE
LONG HANDLED FORK
AARDVARK

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by Casual Observer » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:50 pm

On first blush it looks like the first couple of paragraphs of your story could be set to Garth Brooks Thunder Road.

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by AArdvark » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:41 am

DAY ONE

GETTING THERE

IT was four thirty in the morning. I was standing in a slowly moving line with my shoes in one hand, inhaling the aroma of feet. I wished that I was smelling coffee but there was no way I would get past the TSA screeners with a Starbuck's grande. I sighed, thinking that I would have to pay premium airport prices, something that I would get used to in the coming week.
It was vacation time and my wife and I and a couple of friends were off to Arizona for nine days. Let me say here that I am not an enthusiastic traveler. I can manage just fine when the need to travel arises but I am just as content to sit on my back deck with a martini, thinking up Crazy Doodles. But there's family in Mesa that we haven't seen in seventeen years and the wife is really jacked to see the Grand Canyon and other western touristy spots.

It was about then that I realized the foot smell wasn't coming from my own shoes as I had first thought, it was the guy in front of me. Breaking out of my no-coffee stupor, I examined him from the back. An average sized guy, middle thirties or early forties, blue jeans, long sleeved striped shirt, kinda dingy. When I get bored I play this game of guessing someone's occupation. This guy's got that doesn't-go-out-in-public look, so he's possibly a Unix programmer or slightly autistic janitor. Then I saw his hair. He's bald but is trying to hide it with a back-to-font combover. Imagine if a really bald guy grew a mullet (like that ugly heavy metal guy) and combed it up from the back.
Shuffling behind him I started wondering what the guy's ancestors looked like as cave men, and how his DNA survived through the eons. Must have been after they invented alcohol because his male ancestors sure weren't getting any sober procreation with hair like that. I wondered what other cave men would think of such a ridiculous hairstyle. They'd probably hoot and point and throw mastodon bones at him. This thought made me chuckle silently. Then I wondered if he did it himself or did he patronize a hair salon, run by, say, Helen Keller. I got an image in my head of this guy sitting in a Helen Keller hair salon, three or four barbers with dark glasses and scissors, all bumping into stuff and shouting Waaaa-Waaaa!
I laughed even harder now, snorting quietly. My wife, who knows me all too well, saw me laughing and then saw what I was laughing at and hit me in the elbow, something that I have grown used to. She gave me a why-don't-you-grow-up look, something that I have also grown used to. I was about to explain to her in whispers that it wasn't Wally Weirdhair (for that was obviously the guy's name) but a Helen Keller salon that got me going. But it was my turn in the scanner and I had to compose myself.

Flying used to be fun. Now it's just a bus ride in the sky. I always think of flying as kind of a bumpy airborne waiting room, but at least on an airplane you know when the wait will be over. This time while I was waiting I pondered some of the odd practices of airlines. One of the things I will never understand is why they never board the people sitting in the back of the airplane first. It would certainly be more efficient than having to wait for everyone to store their stuff in the overhead bins and sit down. But it's all about letting the first-class passengers go first. Perhaps they should institute a Last-In-First-Out prestige mentality, like the Grateful Dead. 'Plebes in the back, please.'
It's just so inefficient the way it is now. I didn't bring any carry-on luggage, everything got checked at the terminal. If they lose my stuff I can always buy more underwear and t-shirts. And I don't have to dick around putting on a backpack, feeling like the old Junk Woman in Labyrinth ('here's little horsie, ya loves your little horsie, don'tcha, hmmm?').
Another thing they should eliminate is the so-called food service on these regional jets. It's just a hang-over from the glory days of in-flight meals. These days they offer you a choice of a hamster-food biscuit or a pack of fun size Cheezits. Why don't they just hand that stuff out while boarding, or better yet, just leave snacks in the magazine pouch. I suppose pushing that cart up and down the aisle gives the flight attendants something to do.

We had a short layover in Chicago and my wife asked me to go buy some of that 'really, really good popcorn' they have here. I looked at the wall map. The O'Hare airport is really, really big and of course the popcorn store is at the most extreme point from our departure gate. It took me almost a half hour to walk there. Later I looked in the back of the SkyMall magazine and saw that the walking time from end to end in O'Hare takes twenty five minutes. Ug. While walking through the concourse I realized that airports are really just big malls for rich people, you can't shop there without a boarding pass.
Naturally there was a line at the popcorn store, because, as you know, it's really, really good popcorn. I got in line and waited, glancing up at the wall clock from time to time. Must move along now, people, got a plane to catch. After ten minutes or so there was only one person ahead of me, an old biddy trying to make up her mind what flavors she would have. Apparently you can mix two popcorn flavors together and get really, really super-delicious popcorn! whatever. I glance at the clock again. It's getting close to my boarding time and I still have to walk all the way back to my gate. The old biddy is having trouble dealing with mixed flavors of popcorn because she couldn't be bothered to figure this out BEFOREHAND while she was waiting in line. Then she starts texting her grandson to ask him what flavors he wants. Are you KIDDING me right now! My hands clench as I realize I have to perform a popcorn-related mercy killing right in the middle of a public airport. I don't have time for this shit.
But with infinite patience I waited my turn and bought two of the smallest bags of corn and zoomed out of there. Luckily I found a shortcut through the food court (yes, they have a food court there) and I got back just in time for them to announce our boarding. The popcorn was ok but not really, really great.

We stepped out of the Phoenix airport into ninety five degree heat. It was like climbing into a turkey oven. It turns out that they don't put the car rental places near the airports anymore, because that would make things too easy for the travelers. This way everyone has to load all their luggage aboard a shuttle bus and be driven to a different city. I swear it was a forty minute ride to get to the car rental terminal, with everyone making dumb jokes and small talk about the weather.

Getting our rental car was the last step. Soon I could be master of my own fate again. Of course they tried to nickel and dime me for everything, they always do.
"Sir, if you'd like to add an additional driver that will be an extra thirteen dollars....a day."
I wondered how they could know who was driving the car at any given time. "Er, no thank you."
"How about our Road-bug insurance?"
Maybe I was having heat stroke or something, did she say road-bugs?
"What's that?" I asked.
"If your car gets hit by a random road bug you're covered."
"A road-bug? But we already bought the damage waiver."
"Yes, but this is our Road-bug insurance. It's only twelve dollars....a day."
She presented me with a tablet and stylus. We were standing in a parking lot in five hundred degree heat. The sweat was drying on me as fast as I could produce it. I swear I could feel my socks melting to my legs. The bank clock across the street said it was only a little after noon but my stomach was telling me it was five o clock somewhere and how soon before you get something down besides hamster food, asshole. Our rental SUV was freshly washed and already running, I only had to sign the pad and I could climb inside into arctic coolness and start looking for a restaurant.
"Uh, no thanks, I'll take my chances with the road bugs."
Her smile faltered a little. "The damage waiver doesn't cover everything, you know. How about our kitty crash coverage?"
I was definitely having heat stroke. She offered the tablet again and I noticed that she had more teeth than was humanly possible, or possibly it was just the sun glare. I blinked and looked away, into the car. I thought I saw drifting snow coming out of the A/C vents and there was a penguin in the back seat eating an Eskimo pie. I understood her game now. She knew I was from the northeast, where the temperature doesn't get above defrost for much of the year and she wanted me to agree to any dumb extra charge before she would let me escape the heat. Relief was only a signature away. This was how they rented cars to prisoners in Guantanamo.
"No, no cats," I muttered, which sounded pretty lame, even to me. "Well, we'd better hit the road before it melts, ha ha." I cracked the driver's door and felt an arctic breeze waft over me, it was heavenly.
She smiled again. "If you have any questions or problems be sure to call our 1-800 number--"

But we were already halfway out of the parking lot on our way to Sedona.

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by AArdvark » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:53 pm

The only natives we saw were in Winslow. They were in a van, monitoring an old medicine woman (or something) who would come up to the tourists and ask for a donation to the Hopi tribe in exchange for a stick of rolled up herbs of some kind. I heard one tourist tell another tourist that when burned, it's supposed to cleanse one's house of evil spirits.

All my evil spirits are in bottles, on the top shelf of the pantry, so no need for wrapped up roadside weeds.

THE
BEGONE, FOUL CRONE
AARDVARK

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by AArdvark » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:48 pm

I saw her leaving, with clothes on and mask off, and I thought meth-head for sure. It's weird how there's SUCH a lack of self-respect on that street. It's bad enough with the skanks on the Strip, dressed up like showgirls with the big headdress feathers and suchlike, handing out pr0n flyers and asking twenty bucks to pose for a picture. Then there's the leather bikini skanks with whips and chains and things asking twenty bucks to let you pose with them (I didn't). THEN you hit Freemont street and you see topless skanks dressed like nuns, or the above picture. Even the bums have no self respect. I saw cardboard signs that read: "I won't lie, I need a blunt" or "Too ugly to prostitute, please help"

Man, I thought the homeless fake vets were bad, at least they're TRYING.

Didn't give away any money to bums, or slots.

THE
HARD EARNED
AARDVARK

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by Flack » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:47 pm

AArdvark wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:43 pm
Image

Amybody know whose Hopi kids those are?
During your trip, did you get hit up by any of the locals selling things?

The last time we were there, we saw people with big blankets on the ground covered in turquoise jewelry taped to the blankets. First sign of a ranger, the blankets got rolled up and whisked away... almost like they'd done it before.

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by Ice Cream Jonsey » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:34 pm

Jizaboz wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:37 pm
AArdvark wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:29 pm
Image

Sorry about that
I’ll let this one slide if the admin will.
It's fine, she's got a mask on.

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by AArdvark » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:29 pm

Can we move interstate traffic issues into the politics base so I can get back to posting more scenery pix and an epilogue?

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by pinback » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:54 am

Quick word?

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by Tdarcos » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:55 am

Flack wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:03 am
Hoover Dam is federal property. All vehicles entering the area are subject to search.
Flack, I want to apologize. I had to look it up. i thought Hoover Dam was still on a public highway, I did not know they closed the Arizona exit so the only way in is from the Nevada side. Federal property or not, the rules are different when traveling through on a public highway, especially if it's the only road in the area.

That's probably why they closed the road, turning it from a public highway into a restricted federal installation.

I didn't know it was exclusively a visitation site and was no longer a public highway. I apologize for my ignorance.

Chalk it off to me spending too much time talking to Pinback, I think his stupid is leaking onto me.

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by pinback » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:36 am

Tdarcos wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:21 am
pinback wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:56 am
Paul, can I talk to you for a minute, in the other room?
No. I already know what you're going to tell me, I'm ff topic and too wordy. I kind of realized it later but then it was too late to edit a saved message. He'd pushed my buttons by criticizing a person's right to exercise their constitutional rights.

But more than that, you quoted my entire message to make a one-line comment. That's a red flag of stupidity, when you're too stupid to know you're supposed to cut back the other person's quote to what's necessary. And I don't want to talk to stupid people. In fact, I shouldn't even be talking to you, the stupid might rub off on me. Ou weight, eye thinck I'm tew latyt.
Just a quick word? In the other room?

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by Tdarcos » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:21 am

pinback wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:56 am
Paul, can I talk to you for a minute, in the other room?
No. I already know what you're going to tell me, I'm ff topic and too wordy. I kind of realized it later but then it was too late to edit a saved message. He'd pushed my buttons by criticizing a person's right to exercise their constitutional rights.

But more than that, you quoted my entire message to make a one-line comment. That's a red flag of stupidity, when you're too stupid to know you're supposed to cut back the other person's quote to what's necessary. And I don't want to talk to stupid people. In fact, I shouldn't even be talking to you, the stupid might rub off on me. Ou weight, eye thinck I'm tew latyt.

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by pinback » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:56 am

Tdarcos wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:54 pm
Casual Observer wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:18 pm
AArdvark wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:10 pm
I was just honest with the security checkpoint guard and told him we were all firearms free, its better than being a dick.
Its best not to fuck with those guys.
There is a BIG difference between interstate crossings and border crossings. The government has a legitimate security interest in keeping contraband out of the country, and the Supreme Court has recognized their right to search incoming persons.

This does not, however, apply to interstate inquiries, including border patrol checkpoints within the United States. One is not "being a dick," by refusing to answer questions, one is standing up for their constitutional rights, something that people fought and died over to provide them to us. You are under no obligation to answer any questions even at the border, and outside of border crossings you are under no obligation to permit a search. In fact, like anything else not regularly exercised, you'll lose the ability to use your rights if you don't exercise them. In fact, if you refuse a search, they do so anyway, and they find something they think is contraband, it's much easier to get the search results suppressed in court if you refused a search. In fact, it's basically impossible to exclude search evidence if you consent.

Oh, but you're innocent? Do you know everything that happened in that car? Was it absolutely impossible for anyone near it to have ever stashed or dropped something in it? If you bought the car used, what might a previous owner or user have left behind or secreted somewhere? If you're driving a car and you were stupid enough to consent to a search and police find contraband, you're responsible for its possession; not knowing it's there is no excuse.

Police are not your friends, your confidant, or your buddy. They are here to prevent crime, and collect information to solve crime. You do not want to be the target of their investigation or supply them information that can lead them to suspect you of committing crime, and the easiest way to prevent that is to keep your fucking mouth shut.

Professor James Duane gave a classroom lecture on why you should never talk to the police, including how an innocent, truthful answer given to the police could be enough to get an innocent man convicted, whereas if he had said nothing, certain evidence the prosecution was able to use to help convict him would have been inadmissible. At the end of his speech, Prof. Duane turns it over to a detective for the Virginia Beach police, who, the first thing he says, is that everything Professor Duane said was correct. And he explains ways he gets criminals to confess. It's only 45 minutes, very interesting, and well worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE&t=304s
Paul, can I talk to you for a minute, in the other room?

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by AArdvark » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:55 am

Are we still on about this? I answered truthfully and we went on our way.

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by Flack » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:03 am

Hoover Dam is federal property. All vehicles entering the area are subject to search. People refusing to answer questions will not be allowed access and may be detained by federal authorities for further questioning and/or searches.

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by Tdarcos » Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:54 pm

Casual Observer wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:18 pm
AArdvark wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:10 pm
I was just honest with the security checkpoint guard and told him we were all firearms free, its better than being a dick.
Its best not to fuck with those guys.
There is a BIG difference between interstate crossings and border crossings. The government has a legitimate security interest in keeping contraband out of the country, and the Supreme Court has recognized their right to search incoming persons.

This does not, however, apply to interstate inquiries, including border patrol checkpoints within the United States. One is not "being a dick," by refusing to answer questions, one is standing up for their constitutional rights, something that people fought and died over to provide them to us. You are under no obligation to answer any questions even at the border, and outside of border crossings you are under no obligation to permit a search. In fact, like anything else not regularly exercised, you'll lose the ability to use your rights if you don't exercise them. In fact, if you refuse a search, they do so anyway, and they find something they think is contraband, it's much easier to get the search results suppressed in court if you refused a search. In fact, it's basically impossible to exclude search evidence if you consent.

Oh, but you're innocent? Do you know everything that happened in that car? Was it absolutely impossible for anyone near it to have ever stashed or dropped something in it? If you bought the car used, what might a previous owner or user have left behind or secreted somewhere? If you're driving a car and you were stupid enough to consent to a search and police find contraband, you're responsible for its possession; not knowing it's there is no excuse.

Police are not your friends, your confidant, or your buddy. They are here to prevent crime, and collect information to solve crime. You do not want to be the target of their investigation or supply them information that can lead them to suspect you of committing crime, and the easiest way to prevent that is to keep your fucking mouth shut.

Professor James Duane gave a classroom lecture on why you should never talk to the police, including how an innocent, truthful answer given to the police could be enough to get an innocent man convicted, whereas if he had said nothing, certain evidence the prosecution was able to use to help convict him would have been inadmissible. At the end of his speech, Prof. Duane turns it over to a detective for the Virginia Beach police, who, the first thing he says, is that everything Professor Duane said was correct. And he explains ways he gets criminals to confess. It's only 45 minutes, very interesting, and well worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE&t=304s

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by Tdarcos » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:34 pm

AArdvark wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:45 pm
Funny how they all look the same after a while, no matter how old they are
'Vark, Matthew McConaughey said something like that about high school girls in Dazed and Confused.

Actually he said they keep staying the same age matter how old he gets. But the comment still works.

Re: AArdvark's Arizona trip thread

by AArdvark » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:45 pm

Image

Funny how they all look the same after a while, no matter how old they are

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