01 September 2005

Skrappy Doo - Thursday, September 1, 2005

Since check-out was at eleven, I wanted to get up early enough to do some hiking. I had a map that had some trails on it, but the trails were hard to get to and most required a Red Rock Pass in order to use the parking facilities. As I did not want to get ticketed again, I finally found a road on which parking was not illegal. Took a while, driving all around trying to find the trail only to find I had to keep driving to find some spot to park. Wasted over a half hour of valuable hike time that way.

I got to the trail, about a two mile hike, round trip as it said. It was already hot and I had found that I dropped my water in the car when I had to go back and park elsewhere.

Here is a formation that the trail ascended up to.

Along the trail I saw this cool lichen, but the camera is no good for close-ups, so it does not look nearly as cool as it was. I mean, who takes pictures of lichen if it's not cool lichen. As I understand, they have some sort of symbiotic relationship with bacteria or something like that, maybe it was moss, and it secrets an acid that breaks down rocks, which creates new soil! Do you remember that episode of Daria where she babysits those two annoying, hyperactive kids Jane Lane couldn't watch over without losing her mind? Daria suggested they play a game of lichen, to see who could stay still the longest.

This spider's web was rather more impressive in person. I was expecting Shelob from Lord of the Rings, instead, I coaxed out a spider only maybe the size of a quarter. The trick to getting a spider out of its lair is to not just drop something on the web, which vibrates it once and which dissipate quickly. What you have to do is lightly vibrate the web repeatedly like a trapped insect. That is how I got the spider out. It's much like piquing a shark's interest. Splash about like a human or wounded animal and the shark, just doing its apex predator thing will think you're old or wounded and is only keeping the ecosystem healthy by eating your dumb ass. I've swam with them, they told me so. Seaspiders. That would be scary. Despite my arachnaphobia, I was able to get close to this one and that tarantula earlier.

I met some fellow hikers on the trail, mostly friendly. They say hello, I say hello. Some had dogs, nice dogs, unleashed dogs, please don't eat me dogs. I try not to be afraid, but have been attacked by dogs, so I have the fear in me. Good dogs.

Here's a view of. . . maybe from the top of the trail, which I was rather thirsty from hiking as it turned out to not be a round trip trail, so it was twice as long. Stupid map! I find myself running up slopes in order to make it back for a shower and check-out in time as to not get charged for day two.

I stop on the way out of town and eat at the Red Planet Diner, fashioned after a flying saucer. Didn't I tell you that Sedona is where they film lots of shows like X-Files and movies and what not. And it does have red rocks like Mars. There is even a place on Mars call Cydonia, where the Martian pyramids are. I wanted pancakes. Again with the pancakes. It's a diner. Says so in the name of the joint. Do they have pancakes? Do they even serve breakfast? No! Another grilled chicken sammich for me. The waiter tells me that lots of people come in looking for breakfast. I could have gone down to the greasy spoon off Highway 89, which I took out of town to pass by Bell Rock, which I had mostly climbed last century. I had a lot of fun doing that and would maybe hit it up again after the Canyon, on the way back to Peoria. The roadway met up with I-17 some miles south and I took it down to Peoria on the way to Tucson. I stopped by Erica's and she wasn't there. I waited a bit and printed out directions from Mapquest for other parts of my journey and researched Canyon conditions and suggested hiking times and gear. Tomorrow, Erica, Tyrel and I would be heading to the Grand Canyon. Erica showed up and I met her grandmother. She told me I would be mad, because she had gotten a job and wouldn't be able to come. I had planned on going to the Canyon with Tyrel the weekend before, but did those other things (shooting, caving) in anticipation that Erica and I would have been able to hike the Canyon the following weekend as she was now free to, which then included Tyrel as he was up for that jaunt as well as all the other things I had planned. At first she could go, then couldn't, then could and now seemed like she couldn't. I can't and don't blame her. She's got a lot on her plate right now and has other priorities, but I've only got so much time and money and need to accomplish what I want while out here in the few days I have. She says she will call later as she has to run out again. So I take off for Tucson to meet Tyrel and Suesan at Skrappy's, to see a band, Dredg, perform.

Here is the dust storm I drove through right before the rain storm upon leaving Phoenix, near Chandler, another suburb. Sure it looks like another cloudy day anywhere else in the US, but generally one can see for soooo many miles out here. This picture is of greatly reduced visibility.

After the dust storm and rain storm clear halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, a two hour drive total, I see several dust devils spinning out in the desert. The Native Americans believed they had evil spirits inside them, hence the name, Dust Devils. I pass some signs that say "High Wind Area." Will I get blown off the road?

I see a tumbleweed, literally about seven feet in diameter blow acorss the road. A semi-truck swerved to avoid hitting it. Pretty cool. Sure it's just some plants, but I wonder what it might do to a truck that size. Maybe nothing, maybe get caught in the grill. I don't know what more.

I get to the venue, Scrappy's, in time, despite my getting lost and going the wrong way once off the exit ramp. I got lost in the ghetto of Tucson, but found my way.

Tyrel showed up with Suesan, who now goes to school in Tucson. While he and Suesan wait outside, I change my clothes in the front seat of Tyrel's car, to something more suitable for a show. I haven't eaten since "breakfast" that morning so we all go to a restaurant and I get a turkey club. The waiter is very flamboyant and as we are all joking, I say something about "Queer Eye" over there, a little too loud, thinks Ty and Susie, so I finish up and we head off to Skrappy's across the street. I'm so insensative sometimes.

We missed Vega, the first opener, but caught Communique, who I actually thought was Dredg at first. I liked Communique a lot and planned on buying one of their CDs. I really liked the energy of hearing them live. It was great. I was getting into it, but Suesan said I was still too tense and wasn't rocking out like I should have been. I told her if it was DMB, I would have been. Hanging from the ceiling was a 1982 Skeletor action figure from the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toy line. The name of the venue, "SKRAPPY'S," was painted on the wall behind the stage with a giant, fierce white cat covering the "S," so it looked as if the place was called "Krappy's" as Ty commented. The cat on the wall was facing off against some gun toting cyborg if I remember right. Robocop anyone? I also met several of Tyrel's friends from Sierra Vista.

Dredg came into stage and all of a sudden, I felt as if I had been charged by a rhino. This huge bastard runs up to the stage and starts reaching his hands up, trying to touch the lead of the band. Another two guys charge by, but don't get as close to the stage. Throughout the show, this one lummox is constantly waving his arms in the air to the music like he's a maestro or something. I joked about it to Ty and Sue and they laughed. That guy was totally gay for the band. To each his own. That got a laugh from Sue and Ty again. The band was pretty cool. The lead singer has all these different instruments that he ran across this xylophone thing. Pretty crazy shit.

After the show I buy a Communique CD and the three of us head to the college so Suesan can talk to one of her roommates, the Alpha Male, to see if it's cool that I sleep on the couch there tonight, so I don't have to drive back up to Phoenix. Since I don't have proper ID, I can't go into the gym where Alpha is working out, so I wait outside and windowshop for the best looking girl working out there at ASU. Only been gone a week and a half and yeah. . . I miss the spoils of war, or that other thing that everything is fair in.

At ten-thirty, I call Erica and she does not answer, so I leave a message for her to call back. Since she's supposed to start her job Tuesday, there is no way we can leave when she would be able to and get back in time. I don't know why she didn't put Wednesday as a start date. Then things would have worked out fine, but every day I'm on the road and not doing something or spending good, quality time with a friend, is a bit of a waste of my hard-earned money I worked all summer for.

Ty and I discuss the situation for tomorrow and meeting up and packing the car for our trip to the Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, The Meteor Crater, The Four Corners and hopefully the Sand Dunes National Park in southwestern Colorado. All in one fell swoop if it can be accomplished.

The plan is to leave early the next morning. Tyrel will go on ahead a few hours, at about 4 am, to Chandler to see his friend and leave his car there so I don't have to drive him all the way back to Sierra Vista or Tucson, but he has to spend some time with his friend before he leaves as he had promised to. He's a pretty stand-up guy. I was to meet up with him at about seven and then it would be about two hours to Flagstaff and one more to the Canyon. Hopefully the weather would be good, though T-Storms were a good possibility.

Since it generally is required that camping permits be requested months in advance, on the off chance we could not get them the day of, Tyrel and I planned on camping illegally. It's a big canyon, who would know. This is something that made Erica a bit apprehensive about the idea, but as she said she wouldn't be able to go, that was no longer an issue. Anyway, what's the worse they can do, ask us to leave?

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