Thursday, August 21, 2014

The beginning...or the end?

The journey began without much thought. I began to see how my future trips with AWL would go. I packed the entire car. He was responsible for his bag of clothes. I even packed his kitchen supplies and cooked up some yummy road snacks. I think he forgot underwear or something essential like that. However, after packing EVERYTHING we needed and the slackline and various books AND having somehow been deemed the knower of all things in all other states, I somehow forgot to pack the crash pad so we could boulder (which is climbing smaller stuff with no ropes, hence needing something softish to land on, i.e.. crash pad). I never heard the end of it. ESPECIALLY IN COLORADO.

"Oh look at those cool boulders...wish we had the crash pad."

"I thought we brought the roof rack so we'd have more space for the crash pad in here."

"I can't believe we can't boulder in BOULDER, Co."

(These are samplings that may or may not have been said, but they at least give the sense of what was going on.)

 He never wished he had an extra pair of underwear...

Meanwhile, we started our exciting trip! Our first stop: PA!  While I wanted to get the heck out of Dodge, it was our solemn duty to remain in PA for one more day. I was okkaaaayyyyy with it, but to be honest, my whirlwind plans were not set in the great state of PA. But, there we were in grand Morris, PA living the simple life.  Turns out, it was a pretty cool experience. You see, there happens to be a certain huntin' cabin (you can't say huntING, it's just not the redneck way.) where all the manliest adventures have taken place out in bumblepuck, PA. I was regaled with tales of massive bears practically knocking down the cabin door late at night, A Paul Bunyan type character (AWL) with vein busting muscles splitting the largest logs for the biggest wood pile that could sustain other bearded manly men for the brisk, world ending cold winter ahead, and many other manly tales. To all of this I ooooed and ahhhhhed and fluttered my eyelashes! (Just kiddding, that made me gag just thinking of doing that.)

Upon entering the cabin, which I imagined to be something like a wigwam with dirt floors and tarantulas taking up neighborly residence in the deep dark corners of everything (much like the scene from the one Indiana Jones movie where they are stuck with their elephant in the jungle and bats and pythons and huge bugs OH MY! came at them), I was surprised to find a bunch of lazy boys and couches and quite honestly, with a little swiffer action and some bug spray, one of the roomier, nicer kitchens I've witnessed in the mountains. I mean, it was basically a man cave in the woods. Needless to say I liked it.

So we bunked up in one of the rooms alternating between covering ourselves from the mosquitoes, and kicking off the covers so we could sweat pints instead of buckets and had a good old rustic time at the cabin. Waking early in the morning I had a unique after thought:

"This is a perfect place to murder someone... Is that what is going to happen?!"

"Did he take me here to END my trip instead of BEGIN it?!!?"

I looked around the place, and it seemed a lot less homie. There were all kinds of butchering tools, shovels, axes and a thing outside they used to drain the blood from the deer. There was NO ONE AROUND. I remember the night before looking up in the second floor area where there were lines and lines of old spring mattress beds that looked like a haunted orphanage would have. Maybe he's done this before! And he has a LOT of experience chopping things into little bits...

...Maybe this is like that scene in Indiana Jones...but Indiana Jones is the BAD GUY!

Apparently my brain melted from the heat overnight and oozed through my pores with my sweat.

Needless to say...I made it past the house of horrors.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tripping...For Two.

As my super loyal follower (HI MOM!) must know, I have driven across the country before. This would be the first time I successfully circled the nation with another human being, however. Unlike last time, I brought a companion. And to everyone's surprise, including my own, it was NOT Bert. Even though he wanted to...

As I was informed about half way through the trip while in San Francisco, it was rather ballsy of me to drag someone I had been dating for a handful of months through the U S of A in the tiniest car imaginable (with NO CRUISE CONTROL as I have been notified SEVERAL TIMES throughout the last three weeks).

To be completely honest, I kind of didn't think that through when I decided WE were going to do this. I know you're shocked at my lack of foresight. I know. AND to be completely honest, I don't think HE thought it through either. Some similarities are emerging!

Here's the thing though. As you may have noticed. We survived. I mean, yes of course we survived the travel. More importantly, we survived EACH OTHER! It was touch and go there a few times, trust me. BUT we did it.


It is not easy being physically next to the same human being for hours on end with such acute movements, even those movements start to hurt. I mean HE WORE THE SAME SHORTS ALMOST THE WHOLE TRIP! Thank goodness the scenery was changing OUTSIDE the car!

Weird microhabits start to form within the TINY TINY little red Hobbes we called home for the last three weeks.

First of all: I learned about the scan button in my car. I mean, I KNEW about the SCAN button in other cars, and I have even read the button on my dashboard. Here's the thing, though. Have you ever just NOT NOTICED something because it's always been there? Like the dishwasher? You know that thing that other people use like EVERYDAY, but you only see it in a passing fancy?! You know it!!!! That's my SCAN BUTTON!

 (Side note: one year I thought my mom got a brand new oven and I was so psyched about it, only to be informed that it would be NICE if it was a new oven. It was really loudly, even though I was right next to my mom.)

Scan button is really cool, unless you're a LITERAL stones throw from Mexico. Then you just find out about Mexican Rock N Roll and weird Mexican country hybrid music. That's when you play "OH MY GOD, IS THAT ENGLISH?! PUSH THE BUTTON PUSH THE BUTTON!"

Second: You play really creative games like "I bet you can't catch that combo in your mouth!" I know, it sounds complicated. Let me tell you the rules. At random moments in the long long LONG LONG LONG LONG LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG drive through Nevada you are asked if you would like a Combo (a pepperoni combo for those who are using all of their five senses).

If you say Yes: Suddenly the car needs to be expanded which can only be done by two humans simultaneously pressing against their respective door with their backs, resulting in the two players facing each other. This has to be done within seconds, with the driver only able to drop their jaw for moments only while facing the other player. The heat is on! Talk about a moving target! The passenger MUST launch the combo from basically inside the passenger door, as the pressing of their body has rendered them something like Han Solo as he was trapped inside his carbon frozen sepulcher.

If you say NO: You basically get pestered and tickled violently in a rolling red cage (WITH NO CRUISE CONTROL) until you say yes.  OR you get a combo thrown at the side of your face...

Beware: this is an extreme sport. Both people in this game have chipped teeth now.

Third: With the new realization that I do not ALWAYS have to drive because there is someone else on this earth that knows how to drive stick shift, and they happen to be on the trip with you, you now have plenty of time to experiment with new hairstyles.

I can hear you now: 1: Jax, that was a run on sentence. 2. Oh no! Jax is getting girly!
My reply: 1. I know. Indulge me. 2. You. have. no. idea.

The hairstyle I have mastered is absolutely remarkable and actually has two versions.  You start by putting your hair in two pigtails. Then, you meticulously twirl your hair for hours and try to find your favorite piece. THEN! You discover you have a favorite piece on EACH SIDE! GAH! THE GLORY! Next, you further discover that if you put them BOTH over your lip and make a pucker face...VOILA! you have a girlstache! (this is a mustache for girls. I'm brilliant!)

Wait, wait, wait WAAAAAIIIIITTTTT! Now for the alternate! After hours of giggling at yourself incessantly and trying to kiss the driver with a mustache, you discover even MORE! If you use the remaining part of the pigtails, you can wrap it around your chin and then you have a FULL ON BEARD! DOES LIFE GET BETTER!? DOES IT!?

Oh my god, pull over....we need to breath real air. Time for a beer....or would you like a Combo?