Early day 37, some old stories

I took a bath in Lake Powell by sunset, ate my last meal (soup!), tried to sleep on the hot concrete, woke up at 3, rode by dark, then stars, then sunrise, into Hanksville, and right up to this latte, which I plan on snorting.

Now might be a good time to give you three stories that have slipped through the cracks.


I found another Shake Shack. This one is in Monticello, Utah. I can't say it was as great as my Shake Shack, but if gristle is any indicator, they do use real meat in their burgers.

The hostesses were two scarily Aryan sixteen-year-olds who were either sisters or the girls from Brazil. At the counter was Jed, picking up an order for Jred. It's rude to presume someone a methamphetamine addict, so let's just say that the lack of any fat in his temples did not bode well for his brain.

All of this did not put me in a turning around mood. Keep your eyes on your milkshake. Plus, I was in a booth. Behind me was a man and a woman and I swear they didn't have any children with them. Still, their conversation went --

M: Well anyhow it was great seeing you and Dan, and what are we dooey wooing...
W: Oh I know, bwabuwabuwaba, we've got to do it again.
M: Yes we do, yes we do.

It went on like this for twenty minutes before I ran out.


There are three lovely young Britons riding on the same route as I. They're being sagged by two very nice, older Britons named Paul. Occasionally, the Pauls will find me on the side of the road and offer me water and kind words from their red minivan.

This story was told to me by the dreadlocked girl at the laundrette in Salida. In the interest of narrative simplicity and making it seem like I'm good with names, I'll draw three from a hat for our Brits.

"I saw Harry and Hermione at the base of the hill; Ron was at the top and getting his face shouted at by a trucker who'd stopped in the middle of the road. I hate that that would happen in Colorado [Ed: so do I]. If you see them again, please apologize to them from me on behalf all Colorado."

I bumped into Ron again (smiling, Ron) and confirmed the story.

"Were you there? [I explained] Yeah, this van drove up beside me and he hit me with his mirror. I said something impolite to him and he stopped his van, got out, and then he hit me in the face."

This is the part that kills me.

"I thought he was terribly rude."

Trucker gets back into truck, Wendy's gets their hamburgers, Ron has been hit in the face on the side of the road, and this is the level of his consternation. Were it I who was hit -- and I wish it was -- I'd be Blackberrying you snide comments from a wood paneled circuit court in Denver. I'd probably be in a neckbrace.

Ron is a better man than I, and he has the right attitude. Whereas I would have spent the next thousand miles dreaming of fun and dangerous ways to kill that guy, I honestly believe the whole gang had forgotten about it until I brought it up.

"Yes I remember something about that guy hitting me with his car and punching me in the face, but, you know, water under the bridge..."


Three fishermen called their wives from the payphone in my bedroom yesterday night.

The first one called his wife 'snookums'. Honestly.

The second one called his wife 'babe', repeatedly. "Babe, the stripers were biting, babe. Babe? Babe! I thought I'd lost you..."

The third one called his wife Wendy. She seemed to have no idea he was off fishing. He had no idea she was away at a family reunion. He agreed that he should turn the water on for her when he got back.

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