Monday, July 7, 2008

Entry 4: Amarillo, TX to Winslow, AZ

A day hasn't gone by yet without some sort of new experience or adventure. I mean, they're things that may seem trite to anyone who has experienced something similar....and I'll more than likely look back on these first entries in a year and think exactly the same thing.....but for now anyway, they're interesting.

The rest of Texas was OK. I think once I drive from Prescott Valley to Waco where my "official" first week is I'll have either a higher or lower opinion of the place. I didn't get to see enough of it to decide one way or the other. We only went through the top panhandle but checking out new types of moo cows I haven't seen in person was fun.

New Mexico was great as expected. I remember being somewhat let down a few years back when I was returning to Pittsburgh from California by train. The view we got then was severely lacking 'lines of majesty'.

Not the case today. It was flippin' awesome. Mesas and colors and things and stuff. Yeah, only the best descriptions in this blog.

I was thinking to myself as we drove through: "Where's all this crazy wind I was warned about?". That was of course answered later on in the day.

My dad requested a Mc D's stop (I kept my mouth shut about 'Fast Food Nation') so we got off in Gallup, NM. No sooner had we parked the rig that this Mexican dude was at my door greeting me in broken English.

"oh where are you from, where are you going, wow it's hot out here (actually it was overcast with a breeze)...." etc etc. Then the "Oh can you help me out? No? Maybe a sandwich?" Etc etc. I kind of brushed it off but then in the bathroom both my dad and got corned by another dude with the same story. We blew him off and sat down. Within 5 minutes the dude was back at our table asking for handouts again....... I politely said "No, I have nothing for you" and then ignored him. My dad followed suit. After a few minutes of just standing there staring at us he muttered a bit, gave a 'to hell with you' gesture with his hand and shuffled away. The same thing happened to me in the city of course, but this was kind of Culture Shock for me and I was a bit bothered. That's just how it is out here I guess...more on this later actually.

So after driving a bit, the awesome scenery worked its magic and all was well again. New Mexico did give me a little taste of Pittsburgh though, At least 20% of the time we were driving we were stuck in a narrow one lane construction zone with little work actually being done.

We were about 40mins from the final destination for the evening when I said to my dad: "Hey check out that little dust storm up ahead on the right" (It looked like a mini tornado maybe 12'-13' high...maybe 10' in diameter. I'm not sure what the proper term for the thing is). So yeah, I'm checking it out, we get closer then BAM! Middle of the road tornado thing plows right into us, tossed into the left lane (thankfully no cars), fisssshhhtalllle.....unnnstabbllleeee......then it was cool. Had we hit it even a few feet more in the middle I'm sure parts of the trailer, truck, and possibly us would've graced the landscape. Holy crap. Maybe this is normal but it was new for me. I felt like Jules in that scene in Pulp Fiction.....and I guess I am kinda 'wandering the Earth' now so I guess I can get away with putting 'Bad MF" on my wallet.

It almost looked like this but a little smaller:

Oh yeah....then we hit a second one. The left lane was clear so I drifted over into it like a dumbass (you see, when you see something like that approaching from your right.....the dumbest thing to do is move yourself to the left since that'll keep you aligned right with it.) Oops. We survived that one too.

A lot went through my head at that point. Thank MC 900ft our destination was right around the corner.

Btw...I'm getting a little better at backing the rig up....but not any better at avoiding panhandlers. As soon as we got out and leveled the trailer, I noticed two Native American dudes chilling in some brush just beyond the edge of the lot. I got the whole "We got in a car crash, they towed our vehicle over there, the lady is in the hospital for not wearing a safety restraint, the highway patrol told us it was dangerous to hitchhike at night, can you help us? All we have is this Gatorade". A 12 pack of Gatorade nonetheless. I could've pushed it and asked to see his license and stuff but just politely declined and they shuffled on their way. Then some lady ran over to us and tried to sell us a vase. It was actually pretty cool but would've been destroyed flopping around in the trailer.

So now I'm in the Flying J in Winslow, AZ typing. Short drive tomorrow and I'll be on the lot (hopefully with someone there to hook me up with power).

I'm going to run through the show again tonight as I am for sure going to play two of the shows in Prescott. I've only gone through it with a regular drum setup. I'll have to play it only Justin's weird setup where the hi hat is in the middle of the toms and the ride cymbal is always a hi-hat sample. Oh well.

I'll try to report from the lot tomorrow if I have interwebs.


  1. Well, you've already had a cooler week than anyone I know. Anxiously awaiting reports of your first time, uh, in the ring.

  2. Let me know if you need good food out in the middle of nowhere. I've been all around, and know some "not McDonald's" places all over the southwest.