Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"Way...out in arizona..."

This blog is pretty much after the fact cause we have been in SF for three days now, but I will catch everyone up as soon as I get a chance. SF has been amazing, so you should read the next blog. Also, this blog is pretty wacky cause we don't have time to make it look good. Too much going on. Palying on the radio today in SF. Pirate Cat. It airs in LA, Berlin, San Fran, and San Diego. I'm excited. As I said, more info to come! :)

The last few days have been pretty intense. We left Albuquerque around 6pm after stuffing ourselves with Labor Day BBQ. The kitties were not ready to leave the cold tile floors at our friends place. Prochenko passed out on his back like a little baby that day. I don’t think he had slept in six days. L We then headed into Flagstaff, Arizona. It was dark but we could still see the huge red rocks hugging the road. They were lit up by a heat lightning storm. It was incredible. By the time we got to Flagstaff, which is right outside the Grand Canyon, we were ready to rip each other’s heads off. David threw down the USED kitty litter and it went all over my feet. That’s when I lost it! Biggest argument so far, which is pretty good for coming 2,000 miles already.

"Way out in arizona in a town they call winona..."

Poor creepy wild dog got in a fight with a porcupine. David said "wouldn't it be messed up if this sign was missing an s?" keep in mind we were already delerious from driving in the desert all day. :)

look out on the rock, can you see ashley?

We went to the Grand Canyon the next day and OMG, it is unbelievable. I believe that it is America’s beautiful va-j-j. It really does take your breath away. I believe I saw a tear in David’s eye and he’s hard to crack. J These pictures do not do it any justice. I highly recommend that everyone see it at least once in your lifetime.

“No language can fully describe, no artist paint the beauty, grandeur, immensity, and sublimity, of this most wonderful production of natures great architect. The Grand Canyon must be seen to be appreciated.” –quote on the information board at the Grand Canyon

Ashley kept walking out as far as she could and there were several instances when I thought for sure she would fall in and we would have to watch her fall for like ten minutes. UGH! She’s a risk taker. Me, I stayed safely five feet from the edge, and even there my legs were jelly. Ashley hiked out to a narrow extended precipice where she sang Rocky Top (see video). People were saying things like, “that’s why so many people die here every year,” and “Ahhh, look at that girl way over there.” A man told her a joke from the top of the canyon. “How do you tell one banjo tune from another?”…” They have different titles.” This joke insinuates that every banjo tune sounds the same, but once she started singing all the tourists listened up. They were smiling and laughing. The man next to me said she must be a Carolina girl. I proudly turned to him and said “Nope, we are from Florida!” She received a hearty round of applause.

At the next lookout point, we sat together and sang Do Right Woman as an offering to the canyon. A man pulled up in his motorcycle. The type that read Jack Kerouac back in the day and just never got off the road. He listened to the song and then said, “I guess that’s why I’m on the road!” Cause the song is about being a do right man. He was not.

“I remember saying something like, “I feel a bit light headed, maybe you should drive” and suddenly the whole sky was full of what looked like huge bats! Which were all screeching and swooping around the car, going a hundred miles an hour with the top down headed to Las Vegas.” –Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the late great Hunter S. Thompson

We left the canyon and were headed to Bakersfield, CA. We did not make it. We stopped in Barstow which is in the middle of the Mojave Desert. David was tired of driving and wanted to sleep. BTW, he is doing great job of driving. He has driven the whole way without complaining. It’s not that we won’t drive; I think he’s too afraid to relinquish control. However, I really wanted to make it to Bakersfield, because I really wanted to make it to San Francisco early on Wednesday so we could go to Golden Gate Park, see some hippies, and hang out in the daytime. I figured I’d be cool because I drove a car with a trailer attached with Amanda all the way to Chicago, and even some in the snow. I thought for sure I could handle it. So, I attempted to drive the U-haul and was fine until we got on a two lane highway with only semi trucks which nearly blow you off the road, honking at us for delaying their deliveries, riding our ass because we could only get to like forty miles an hour, being big jerks. I panicked. My shoulders tensed up immediately, my skin felt like pins and needles, and all the lights of the road began to blur. I mean really panicked, tears and all. So, I pulled over and David took over. I got in the back seat. And then the real horror story started! My anxiety was not lessened by being out of the driver’s seat; I was already too amped up and had a real impending sense of doom. I took a valium, prescribed! and tried to relax, but truckers started to downright antagonize us, riding our bumper, and holding down their mighty horns as they passed. A train was heading towards us on the other side of the road, creating psychedelic light show, which further spiraled me into a fit. All I saw was the great white light and for sure thought I was dying and going to heaven. I kept asking aloud, “Am I still alive guys?” Anxiety attacks put you into a very bizarre headspace. I was terrified and began to see things that were not there. And to top it all off, in the middle of this, like a beast ripping itself from the depths of hell, Margot’s head broke out of kitty jail. I’m not sure if she was trying to commit suicide or what, but she had wrapped the zipper strap around her neck in a way that was choking her to death. Her eyes were beginning to bulge out of her head. I screamed, cried and struggled to get her head out. As soon as she was freed, I collapsed into tears. I was so scared I was going to watch Margot choke herself to death and that I was not going to be able to save her. She’s fine though. The topper is that while this was going on we almost ran over a coyote that was taking a leisurely stroll across the highway. David stayed as cool as a cucumber throughout all of this. I think he’s magic. Or maybe all those years of meditation really helped him be a sound human. He never loses his cool. Maybe you had to be here, but this was all very intense. We are in the middle of the desert in the middle of the night. I insisted that we get off the road and get some sleep, but there is nowhere to sleep in the middle of the desert. We finally found a town called Boron with a tiny little motel. You know the type, only thing for miles, flashing sign, and inbred counter clerk. The place where horror films begin. I just knew I’d see a silhouette of a woman in a rocking chair as in Bates motel. Needless to say, I did not take a shower. Luckily, we made it through the night and are now headed to San Francisco. There is even still more desert to cross. Chelsea told me that the desert would make you crazy, but I never imagined it would make me hallucinate and panic like this. Note-Don’t drive through the desert alone ever and only do it if you are mentally stable. I keep looking at the map and cannot believe how far we have come. I’m a long way from home now! Day seven-2,644 miles. More to come. Gonna’ go get some San Francisco treats.


  1. I'm biased for you all, especially the banjoist but that was awesome and legit!! That's the real way to absorb some spirit and give it back at the same time. You all are R-O-C-K-I-N'!!!


  2. erin, your books came today!

    i am getting a phone tomorrow morning or early afternoon. woooot.



    Erin, I hyperventillated while I read your desert post. I'm sorry baby. Glad you got through it.