The Highways and GoodByeWays of America: Part 4

Welcome to the last leg of the journey. The final segment.

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For the past few years Jade and I have been discussing where we’d move if we left LA. On that list was Denver, Montana, Northern California and, until just a few months ago, Salt Lake City.

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This place is like little LA. It’s dirty, crowded and filled with crazies; the exchange rate is four Scientologists for every three Mormons, but it’s constantly fluctuating.

We spent roughly five hours in the city, driving around, getting lost, angry and annoyed until we finally stumbled upon the Great Salt Sea.

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We tried to park our car but were told that an Insane Clown Posse show was being held nearby and that we shouldn’t leave our automobile unattended. We drove down the road, past legions of men in their thirties dressed as clowns, until we found a little inlet. The gates were shut and I BELIEVE it was closed but we crawled over the fence and the dogs under and we ran across the dried up salty sea bottom.

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To get the dogs to do this we tell them both to look left. It’s really funny because Clementine doesn’t know her directions yet.

“LOOK LEFT, CLEMMY!”

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Jade says jump and I say…..

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We left The Great Salt Thing and headed south-west into the dark. When we awoke the next morning we found a dirt trail off the highway leading towards Blind Valley. I needed to know what it was so we followed the signs.

After only two minutes of driving it became obvious that this road was meant to be taken by nothing less than a Sherman Tank. There were potholes the size of tiny planets distributed fairly crookedly in front of us for as far as the eye could see. We finally came to a small plateau and decided we would never see Blind Valley, which was a little ironic. Instead we just crawled to the top of the hill and fed the dogs.

“Hey, Clemmy…..LOOK LEFT!”

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We’re able to take these perfectly framed pictures of ourselves in the middle of nowhere because I have ape length arms.

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Did I say we walked to the top? Kaidance is out of shape….well….she’s IN shape…..it’s just a nice curvy shape…..regardless, we never leave a man behind.

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Clementine faints from heat exhaustion in the Utah desert and Jade tries blowing in her ears. She says it’s a trick she learned in pre-med.

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Kaidance watches eagerly, intently, hoping, praying, for the death of The Small One.

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Revitalized at last she becomes strangley cocky because she has conquered death. “Big deal,” I say. “So what?” I say. “I’ve conquered death. I had cancer. You just passed out in the sun. Wear a hat next time.”

Little Dog challenges me to a duel.

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I teach her not to bite the hand that feeds and it lands me in the paddy wagon.

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We drive on into Death Valley, California and we watch the temperature meter….temperature gauge….thermostat……..it starts getting really hot and the thing in the car confirms it.

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Clementine has another heatstroke / panic attack / fainting spell and I lift the lost lamb upon my shoulder.

I don’t know. I really like this photo. It reminds me of…..someone…….who……

….someone who saved a lot of people……someone who was gifted with incredible abilities……..

….oh yeah, DUH!

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IT REMINDS ME OF BATMAN!!

We all run and play on the fine sand dunes….all except Clementine. She plays but she doesn’t run. On occasion she does this thing where she just mysteriously hovers inches above the ground and floats from location to location while a strange buzzing noise emits from deep within her being.

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…and again….still floating….levitating….

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…..while I just throw my arms about all willy nilly as I often do….

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WEEEEEEE!!!!! WILLY NILLY NELSON!!!!!

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We drive on to a place that was nearly the death of us….

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The Aloha Inn.

Room 119.

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This place was bad, bad news. We thought it was a hotel – you know, the kind you rent a room at and stay in overnight. The kind of place weary traveler’s might visit. No….no….not so much. This was a place for rehabilitating junkies and ex-cons. It was filled to the brim with people you’d cross the street to avoid. The sheets had blood on them and the room smelled like stale cigarettes.

There was a strange door in our room and I was certain Leatherface was going to come tearing out of it during the night with a sledgehammer and a bondage mask and we’d be done for.

This room, this night, was not enjoyable. It was SO bad that we opted to sleep in the bed, sans comforter, with all our clothes on.

Even Clementine, who licks the places dogs do pretty regularly seems to look pretty off put by the whole scenario.

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What’s that? A broom closet? The entrance to the pool supply closet? The janitor’s storage space? No. That’s our room. It’s right next to the drained pool with the dark brown water at the bottom and the fire pit with the cigarette butts and used condoms in it.

Great ambience.

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After the night of disgust we make our way towards home, back towards Los Angeles. Only four more hours….

I think Kaidance pretty much sums up three weeks worth of adventures with….

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