Co-Pilots Log: Day 5; the Grand Canyon. It’s the 31st of July, 2008 A.D. 11:26 P.M. Mountain time. We’ve just set up camp inside the Grand Canyon National Park. We set up the tent in the dark; it cost twelve dollars for one night on a bed of rocks. We’re surrounded by European Tourist German is being spoken to the left and the right; at the communal toilets I heard French and possibly Dutch. We are tired and we’ve logged as many fights as miles now. The trip out of New Mexico and into Arizona was long. Our morning began with a six hundred-dollar drop on new breaks for Murder van. The trip through the mountains of southern Colorado cost us dearly. We missed our scheduled trip to the Aztec ruins. By the time we reached Four Corners we were hot and at each other’s throat yet again. The arguing did not detract from the awe of the land. I saw through it long enough to marvel at the fact that we were standing on the edge of four states.
We passed a group of old men on big expensive Harley’s and I imagined myself making the journey back in similar fashion someday. Massive desert plains contain the odd husk of a burned out car dotted the route out. Arizona air is dry and the landscape is old I can see how a politician like John McCain could come to power here. The area we drove through was on a Native American reservation. It was one of four reservations that we passed through. The sheer poverty that most of them lived in was disheartening. Huge billboards with Native American celebrities I didn’t recognize stated oddly-“I care if you drive drunk”. Their ramshackle houses and broken down trailers where not eclipsed by their newly built community centers and food distribution centers. We rode with the feeling of being in a third world country. When other people complain of how bad they have it and how the white man is holding them down I will tell them of this shit. Yet the tribe which borders the canyon seems to have benefited most from the tourist trade. Their streets where clean and the town itself looked extremely typical. There were McyDs’ , and Taco Bell. We saw a Native American skate park and overheard a local punk band. I would have loved to stay and watch the show, but we were trying to make it to the camp ground before dark, so much for that. There’s a rock poking me in the ass and I reek of Deep Woods Off. I’ve now been hit up for change by three separate Native American tribesmen. I have seen some absolutely beautiful sites in the last five days my mind is fried. I have two shots of Moonshine left, and some warm whiskey to help get me to sleep. I’m beginning to feel the cab of Murder Van is too small for the Captain and my egos. I hope we can reach Vegas in one piece. I lay back and look up at the stars next to the Captain it’s almost too much to process.
Co-Pilots Log: day 7; Bakersfield, CA, we’re nearly there. Inside a Motel Six that, apparently doubles as a drugstore, (if you know what I mean). We’ve a little liquor left from the bottle of Patron we opened in Vegas. We had told our selves we were saving it for our arrival at our new home. But Vegas called for it. The Hotel we found was amazingly cheap and amazingly decked out. The pool was much-needed and things seem to be looking up. I’m getting ahead of myself though. The Grand Canyon came first and it was beyond words. There is nothing like it. Movies and pictures do not do it justice. The complete vastness of it would take years to explore. We saw only a small portion of the southern Rim but snapped about eight rolls of film. We woke up from our bed of rocks at what we supposed was seven A.M.
It turned out to be six but we didn’t find that out till later. It was good that we woke up early and beat much of the tourist rush. The area where the fancy hotels and cabins are located was disappointing and lame, but the throngs of foreign tourist and ignorant American brats running about was pushed aside for the majesty of the canyon. I’ve never stared so long at a hole in the ground. I wish we could have spent more time, but Vegas were calling and it was a few hundred miles away. After brunch at a Flintstones themed restaurant/gift shop/dilapidated theme park, we sped through the remainder of Arizona. I actually got to take the wheel for only the second time on the trip. I drove as fast as I could without alarming the Captain the stretch was long, straight, and flat. That was until we reached the winding down hill road of the Hoover Dam. That was after we survived a police check-point that reminded me of the old WWII films. “Where are your papers”, were the only thing they didn’t say. I angered everyone behind us as I took the turns through the Dam slowly. Had we not been hauling everything we owned I would have loved to stop and get a few pics. I relied instead on the Captain hanging out the passenger window. The ride out was equally as winding only uphill instead. Then it was onward into Vegas. After we got into some heavy traffic the Captain demanded the wheel back and we pulled into the hotel. Terrible’s Hotel and Casino, $39 bucks a night and you get a giant ass flat screen TV, a phat ass pool surrounded by Palm Trees and all the towels you can steal. The place was guarded by a Giant neon and steal Mexican sheriff. We were so giddy. The power of the Canyon had reinvigorated us and we were prepared to take on Vegas. I of course was pre occupied with hopes of getting hitched by the King of Rock’n’Roll. This caused some friction, but not as much as the lights and gaudy shtick on the main strip. We had more fun the next morning in the Hotel casino. I recommend Terrible’s to one and all. There service was impeccable and their steak was delicious. They were the only ones who actually paid attention to our empty hands and glasses. About $60 was lost overall, not bad. After our Steak and Nachos breakfast/lunch, the Captain gave in to my desire to be married by Elvis. Only there wasn’t enough time to get the license and the wedding without staying another night. The whole deal would have run us another four hundred easy and we simply couldn’t afford it.
So we’ll have to come back. Beyond Vegas lied Death Valley and 111˚temperatures. “Out in the Dessert”, John sang, “There would be no worries.” No worries Other than the van overheating, and not making it to any camp grounds before dark, forcing us into another motel. And any motel would be a letdown after the luxury of Las Vegas. And we weren’t any where special hidden three blocks off the strip. But dreams of penny slots will have to comfort me tonight as I drift off to reruns of Ghost in the Shell and crystal meth is bought and sold outside the door. I’m not sure how Cali is going to receive either of us, but we are here now. The heat is starting to subside. I think we may do alright.