Once again, my blog entry begins with me walking out of my Chinese class. 很好！This weekend, I’ve got very special activities planned. I will be leaving the PRC with my friend Kevin Johnson, A.K.A. Wild Bill Johnson, and heading up to Durango, CO. I’ve randomly stuffed some clothes in a book bag, and shortly after Chinese we are sitting in his Toyota Tacoma preparing to cross Northern AZ, or “shoot the Rez” as we like to say. As we drive through Flagstaff, we see a massive train derailment on the side of the road. Wild. Not only that, we see an RV dealership that has been torn to pieces. RVs are flipped to and fro. They lay upside down and gutted like empty sardine cans that some giant has tossed aside. In Tuba City, AZ, we stop to get a Taco Bell fix. It is at this point in time that I learn that Taco Bell has unveiled new sauce flavors. If you’re a Taco Bell fan like me (and like most every other busy student at ERAU who travels to the T-Bell down the street far more than is appropriate or healthy) you must be excited by this development. They have introduced “Fire-Roasted” and re-introduced “Verde”. I still remember the day I learned Taco Bell wouldn’t be making Verde anymore. This is a very important topic for me. The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful.
Upon arrival in Durango, Kevin and I went straight to his Alma Mater to watch the Durango Demons play the Blue and White team (Whatever they were) on the gridiron. We actually went to watch his sister dance, but it was nice to see some high school football since I haven’t had a chance to watch my hometown team play since coming to ERAU in 2007. Kevin’s sister did a wonderful job at dancing.
Afterwards, we all went to one of the most delicious Pizza Place’s in the world to eat some supper. “Homeslice Pizza” is soo good. Run by a bunch of hippies, they boast a wide variety of delicious pizzas from Thai Chicken pizza with chicken and peanut sauce to Autumn pizza with apples and cashews. For the rest of the night, we played around with toys in his dad’s shop. We set up a smoke machine and shined lasers through it, we shocked ourselves with electricity and moved a giant TV (this will be important later in the story).
Slept in. Best thing ever. You take these opportunities when you get them. Kevin’s parents made us some awesome biscuits and gravy and we got ready for the day. We pulled out a couple of dirtbikes and got them started up. Once we’d gotten them started, we climbed on and drove to the top of the big hill that Kevin’s house lays on. On the way down, we stopped by an old water pump for cattle and pumped out some ice cold, clear mountain water. I drank some and haven’t gotten stomach parasites yet, so I guess it was good water. We then set about cleaning out the shop. The giant CRT TV we had moved the day before was to be put into a dumpster, but, it’s pretty much impossible for us to leave well enough alone. We decided it would be necessary to test the thickness of the glass. I began to smash it with a cinder block. The TV annihilated the cinder block. Kevin then took a steel rod to it. That finally did the trick.
Later that night, Kevin’s family had some neighbors over for ribs and we set some old branches on fire. I love fire. We also set up some targets and shot at them with .22 tracers. Kevin made a ridiculous 30ish meter shot with a pistol on his first try.
Sunday was pretty incredible. We decided to load up some cooking gear and ride dirtbikes to the top of a mountain. This made me pretty nervous as, prior to this point, I had only built up about 30 minutes of motorcycle driving time. None of this time adequately prepared me for what was about to occur. Sitting up on a Honda 600, I began the ride easily enough. It was a nice flat, dirt road and a lovely day. Soon, however, I began to realize I might be in for a rough time. The bike path suddenly dove into the woods and turned to nothing but grapefruit sized rocks. I would carefully navigate down the path until I reached the bottom, which was almost always a stream, with or without obscene amounts of mud. It was like riding a bucking bronco. I had never experienced anything like it. The rocks would toss me from side to side and every time I hit a switchback, I felt like I was knocking on deaths doorstep. And the big 5 foot wide 1 foot deep mud puddles? Forget about it. I was sliding all over the place. I rode pretty well, but eventually, the path got so rough that I was outclassed and had to switch to a four wheeler. I only fell three times though, and I broke no limbs. I would consider that a success. It was definitely worth it though, the views were absolutely spectacular.
At the crest of the mountain, we stopped and cooked up some burritos on portable stoves. The drive down the mountain was much simpler. I plugged into my iPod and tuned the world out. It was pretty magical riding along in the colors of the CO wilderness listening to the sounds of the Silversun Pickups.
It was a wonderful weekend, but school beckoned to us, so Monday we packed up the truck and drove back to the PRC. We both had a midterm that night in Business Law, so we spent the 6 hour drive studying. So much studying.