Sunday, February 14, 2010

"God I can't wait for you to go home so I can get my bed back."

I arrived in Phoenix after a loooooong flight.

Since St. Louis is no longer a major airport, you can't fly directly anywhere. I had to go to Minnesota and then Phoenix. Explain to me why I must go North to go South. This makes no sense.

Anyway, I finally get into Phoenix on this swank large plane. I'm in row like 60. I look around and all the people in the back of the plane are in their mid-20s and all the rows in front of my are the oldest people allowed to fly. Seriously surprised no one was dead by the time we arrived. Since they were so old and frail, it took them about the length of our flight to stand up, get their overhead luggage, and get the hell out of the way.

So its so late when I get in that we don't really do anything and we fall asleep.

Saturday is spent at this giant outdoor mall thing, much like the Market Commons in Myrtle Beach. We have lunch, walk around, and then go to some to some hippie tower talking about the cosmos in the middle of the desert. It was actually a pretty nice area. Its hard to look out over a landscape of earthen rock tones and now get sorta sea sick. The land just seems to keep on going forever. I've realized that there's no way in hell I could've been a cowboy. The desert scares me, makes me thirsty, and I've never shot a gun. Essentially my skull would be displayed over some Indian's fireplace as he told "The Legend of the White Guy that Cried and Peed the Desert."

By the time our butts hit the couch, we're about to fall asleep. We end up kicking around the idea of going to a hockey game but end up staying in and going to bed early.

Today we took one hell of a drive down to Sierra Vista, where I was born, and Tombstone.

Sierra Vista was actually a little nicer than I expected, but the trailer park I lived in as a baby was much worse. I took a picture of a trailer we thought it might be, but again aren't sure. Half the lots were vacant, the trailers were rusted and falling apart, and the people living there were all stereotypes.

We also found out later that Sierra Vista is the favorite destination of Mexican drug cartels. Its good to know that the place I was born in has a growth industry supporting it.

Tombstone is not too far from Sierra Vista. I was excited to see Tombstone. I'm not your typical vacationer that wants to go up in the tall building or lay by the beach. When I go on vacation, I want to see the interesting historic sites. Tombstone being famous for the shootout at the O.K. Corral fits into this category.

Much to my dismay though, this historic town that hasn't left 1880, is really just a playground for a bunch of old people to dress like cowboys, wear embarrassing belt buckles that says things like, "Howdy Partner" in giant silver letters, and people gawk at more old people having pretend shootouts in the street.

Seriously, Tombstone's major industry seemed to be mock shootouts. I counted three buildings advertising "The Best Re-enactment of the OK Corral Shootout" plus there was a group of people doing it for free in the streets. This historic event lasted a mere 35 seconds, but every year 500,000 people travel to one of the lowest points in the United States to see it.

We went on a search to find a good beer and burger, but most the places were closing or annoying tourist restaurants where you were more than likely going to be molested by some "actor" that saw too many John Wayne movies.

We finally found a place to eat. Now, I want you to picture the most mediocre burger you've ever had. There's nothing really wrong with it, but there's nothing special about it. The meat is good, but not great. You didn't really get enough lettuce or tomato. The ketchup might be catsup, but you can't really tell. Now imagine waiting an hour for this burger. That's how lunch went.

We then went to Boothill. I imagined a cemetery that looked like all of those haunted black and white photos. Wooden crosses poking out of rock mounds marking the early, violent deaths, of these people.

Nothing escapes the tourism monster. This too was filled with people gawking at the cute sayings on the tombstones. Most of those buried were hanged or shot. What a life right? Then there were some deliciously racist tombstones. My favorite simply said "Two Chinese."

We started driving back home and soon ran into probably the most excited part of our journey, a border patrol checkpoint.

They essentially went on a trust system where they asked if we were citizens. They did it all intimidating like. I'm assuming this is to get people to crack under the pressure, but as soon as we said "yep" they just told us to move along.

Tomorrow we're going hiking in the mountains and then I'm heading back.

I'm sorta insane about taking showers in St. Louis. If I have even a small amount of sweat or grease on me, I want to take a shower. Its a different sort of dirty here. We hike up a tower and have been talking through a desert, but I have yet to break a sweat. Instead, I'm just dusty. I've seriously cleaned out my finger nails like 15 times since I got here, and 10 minutes after I clean them I look down and there's dust under them.

It doesn't really make me feel dirty per say. Just dusty and dry. Now, if this were July, and it were 110 degrees... then I might feel really disgusting. I don't want to think about dusty and sweaty Dan. That might require 5 showers. I would single handedly cause a drought with how often I needed to shower.

I also sorta miss the colors of trees. Everything is a color of rock out here. Even the plants are sorta "rock" colored. At the same time, its been the most perfect temperature and that rock color is beautiful and awe-inspiring in a different way. Its like the trees in Missouri have to try to impress you in the fall with all the colors, but the desert is just like, "f*ck it. I'm the desert. Try to mess with that. I'll kill all your plants and make your garden a sandbox sucker."