From the Rhino's Heart

Crossing the US, Columbia to LA - Burningman 2013 Post Trip #2

   Wed, December 4, 2013 - 9:05 AM
All that planning for naught? Bullshit. I was going to go there, come hell or high water. What had to be done? One silly-assed sample for the lab had to be collected and turned into the lab. That meant in an approved carton, and input into the ‘Site Manager’ computer system (a real pain in the wazoo). So I went and got it. I got a shovel out from behind the seat of my truck (I carry one for other purposes), picked up a carton and a Sharpie, and then I went and got the sample. At 10:30 at night in downtown Jefferson City under a bridge in the bad part of town. Fuck it. I was going to Burningman.
I made it back to the lab building, turned in the sample with a note to the lab supervisor, and a short ‘thank-you’ attached, and put it into the computer program tracker in record time. With THAT, I headed out after putting a couple of shot glasses (Burningman 2013 originals for both the Black Rock Beacon and the Black Rock Division of Geology – my design) for the secretary – she collects shot glasses, and then I was OFF. I made it to Oklahoma the first night. I sure as shooting didn’t want to stay in Missouri longer than I had to. Heaven sent and Los Angeles bound.
It’s always been not so much the destination as the trip itself. Day 2. I stopped in Weatherford, Oklahoma for lunch and ate at a hole-in-the-wall called “Heapin’ Helpins’ Barbecue.” Sure enough, the pulled pork sandwich was HUGE. Fries, Okra, and a drink made the meal. I sat out in the parking lot and ate as I read yet ANOTHER Civil War book. And enjoyed it. I stopped again for my enjoyment at the New Mexico state line. I needed it. And I needed to find out about whether or not I could get to Glorieta Pass.
Why? Civil War again, and it has some interesting twists and turns to the whole affair. Seems like in 1862 Major General George Sibley of the Confederacy had a thought that the Confederacy could attempt to take gold from Colorado and later California but New Mexico had enough Unionists to stand in the way. Sibley’s troops won at the Battle of Valverde and moved north towards Santa Fe, taking Albuquerque. Then, the Union did something unexpected. Holding firm near Glorieta Pass at the Battle of Glorieta Pass, they sidestepped the Confederate advance, went further south and destroyed Sibley’s supply train. Sibley barely made it back to Texas. A final postscript to this was that a Confederate regiment that had been recruited to go east from Arizona (they would fight at Chickamauga) was cut off from home for the rest of the war.
Tucumcari, New Mexico somehow didn’t seem far enough for the night. So I kept driving, and finally pulled into Gallup, New Mexico about 1 a.m. Too little sleep and I was up for breakfast. I loaded up and what???? Three miles down the road I realized I DIDN’T HAVE MY WALLET! ALL MY MONEY AND CREDIT CARDS!
Time to kick in radical self-reliance. I went back and got into my previous night’s hotel room.After sitting down on the bed, trying to think it out and looking around in every place I’d been, I went to where I’d last seen it in my jeans, or so I thought. Sure enough, hidden by a curtain fold, there it was.
Breathe. Sigh of relief.
But, the time lost in Gallup prevented the Glorieta Pass sidetrip. No matter. By evening, I had completed another element of the ‘comedy trifecta’. I stood, however briefly, on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. Damn. Where was that girl in the flat-bed ford? Stopped at Chee’s trading post on the Navajo Rez, bought a book and a turqoise cabochon, and by nightfall crossed into California at Needles. There is a road I found in Needles called Spike’s Lane! For those of you not old enough to remember or have read Charles Schultz’s “Peanuts” comic strips, Spike was Snoopy’s brother beagle that lived in Needles. I crossed the Mojave the next day, and pulled into Los Angeles at midnight, going downtown to pick up Rocky. The adventure continued.



2 Comments

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Fri, December 6, 2013 - 8:43 PM
AH! At last I can see other people's posts again! Thanks Rhino--enjoyed the trip description
Wed, December 11, 2013 - 12:17 AM
Spike was Snoopy’s brother beagle that lived in Needles AHHHH thats why when I made the quicky stop in Needles from the Train to a bus for my trip to Reno the name sounded so familiar.. .. cute little town with a very cool little park near where the bus picks up. Glad you found your wallet..