(Gaspin' in the Aspens, an informal
gathering in Northern New Mexico)
A hard road to get here. It started pleasantly enough in Durango, for a
few days of riding and reveling. (RMH'08) But then
followed a week of trudging across Southern California,
Somewhere north of
the better part of a week in Vegas at the annual bike show.
Las Vegas. always full to the scuppers with people trying desperately
hard to convince themselves and others that they are having a great ol'
time. Recasting their personalities in the inky shadows of Hunter S.
Thompson. Except they don't have a Red Shark with a trunk full of
mescaline, acid and ether, and no point mentioning the bats. None
of the poor bastards are going to come anywhere close to seeing them.
The long strange trip continued. I left the fear and loathing of Las
Vegas and wandered across the southwest, up though Mesquite, Nevada,
and across that funny little corner of Arizona, into Utah, skirting
across the flanks of Gooseberry Mesa. Then dipping south, back into
Arizona, traversing the Arizona Strip along the base of the Vermilion
Cliffs. I stopped the rig on multiple occasions and got out to walk
into the desert, relishing the silence, the vastness.
This is better.
I dove into the Navajo Reservation, then peeled off another layer of
the onion and drove through the Hopi Reservation. Strange names
chattered at me from the road signs. Late afternoon light, speed traps,
road kill. I crested a little rise and there just on the downhill slope
was a dead..something. Warthog, hyena, press secretary. Who knows, but
I couldn't stop in time, and swerving with a 27 foot trailer is an
activity only meant for special times, so I badum-adumped right over
it, jouncing the truck and trailer somewhat but only sustaining
emotional damage. Oh, and when I stopped for gas later on there was
something that looked a lot like beef jerky stuck to the front of the
trailer. Beef jerky with hair in it.
Copyright Estate of Anthony Vail Sloan 2009