Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Truth be told, this is the least enjoyable leg of the trip. North Central Utah & Southwest Idaho are pretty places full of lovely human beings full of very warm karma, I'm sure, but it is boring to look at. Maybe it's just me. Maybe everything's a bit of a come-down after going through Vail/Aspen.
Nothing much to speak on. Like I said, this particular bit of the trip, like the bit between Tulsa & Dodge City, was something of a tedious slog. Too much already seen it. Or maybe I'm just tired for being on the road five days out of six. When I was a boy I wanted to be a trucker, still do at certain points. By the time I was of age it was obvious to all that I should not be allowed to become a trucker, even if all the rest are dead. Regardless, I have a greater appreciation for Dave Dudley, put it that way.
Ah, well. Enough gloom & grouch. I am tired. I have been driving a lot. I really need to get into better shape. It's pretty late. Most importantly, I am very stoned. Good for you, Colorado & Oregon. Tonight we lay our head down in Baker City, OR, a lovely little town that's a shade sharper than some of the thing I think eastern Oregon probably is. Good for 'em, anyway.
Monday, April 29, 2019
I'm sitting in the first floor of a hotel in Brigham City, UT, & it's the nicest place I've stayed in so far. First time there was more than one bed, too. I left Parachute, CO, at the last minute I could, partly because I dug Colorado so much & partly because I was so tired.
Four a.m. Saturday morning found me still wired & inspired, so I decided to stay another day. I went through the motions & fell asleep at around 10 a.m. Apart from an afternoon sandwich run, I couldn't tell me about the rest of the day. The plan is to push to Boise on a friend's recommendation for the afternoon, & then on into Oregon. One more night before I finish up at my brother's in the western part of the state.
This trip was a lot less mind-blowing & nerve-rattling than through Colorado. It was pleasant, but nothing shocking or that I hadn't seen before. This may be the longest I've gone without seeing poor people anywhere in any direction. The only thing I'll say about that is this is long as I've ever been without feeling like everyone has to hustle in some way or another. I'm sure they do & I just can't pick up on it, but it's a weird stroke.
There's money here but it's not like in Vail/Aspen. I didn't see where the workers lived, the people who cooked the meals & cleaned the toilets. I saw that in Vail/Aspen, but the thing is, that town was still sharper than anything I'd ever seen. I've seen wealth before, in Atlanta & Chicago & Miami. Thing is, though, there it's all behind a fence, especially the parts & the people they won't see. In Vail/Aspen, they were rich enough that they didn't care.
I went to the Arches National Park this morning & it's pretty neat. The rest of Utah looks much like what I saw once the hills started getting fierce in Colorado. It's got a little more color than Utah, but maybe that was because the weather's better. The rivers are more impressive than they were in Kansas & Oklahoma. I dig there's environmental issues, but those were muddy ditches, y'all.
Anyhow, I am wired & inspired again, & since I do want to sleep tonight & still have other things to do, there's more at Instagram & Twitter. I met yet still wrap all this up to see if there's any wisdom once I get home. So there's that there then.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
For the time being, here are my Instagram & Twitter accounts. The long & short of it is, I left my home in Peaceful Valley in unincorporated Itawamba County on Wednesday, April 24, heading west. Eventually, I will stop for few days, a week in Western Oregon to visit my brother & sister-in-law & their dogs. I ain't going to lie. Depending on how I feel, I'll head south to visit a cousin a couple, three days in Ventura, CA, & make my way back to to New Orleans for a couple, three days to visit with my friends there.
I started out driving through Arkansas to Tulsa, OK. I did this primarily because the old Don Williams song "Tulsa Time". That, & it was far away from being unable to turn back without it being a hassle. I spent an afternoon in Dodge City, KS, because of my partiality towards the old TV show Gunsmoke & general interest in the Wild West, as it were. It's a tourist town, now, & why not. It sort of reminds of what the Mississippi Gulf Coast was, except tastefully, focused & well-done, back before the casinos moved in.
I've pushed on through to Parachute, CO, via Pueblo. I've driven through Alma, Breckinridge, Frisco & Vail, & Colorado fulfilled all me expectations & then some, & the country is beautiful. Coming up & down that mountain is something. That's a bit too much, & there was at one point a heavy downhill run, the speed limit said 75 & it was raining fairly heavily. Wind was blowing, too, but the bottom end said I could do 40 & that's what I did.
I'm comparing all this to the first time I went to Memphis by myself. It completely rewrote my conception of reality, expanding & demystifying it. It becomes familiar. It becomes someplace I could call home, for a little while, anyway. That was a buzz, even if I'd been there before. Traveling to Europe, some place where I'd never been &, quite frankly, would've been seven levels of screwed had things gone south on me, was a buzz.
I like to travel & I prefer to travel alone. I can come & go as I please, within certain limitations, & I control the soundtrack. It's very important to play the proper music &/or podcast-type thing to maintain the correct road rhythm. Sometimes silence is nice. Sometimes it's necessary. For what it's worth, going up the mountain at it's steepest was Michael Martin Murphy, coming down the steepest was white-knuckle silence, it flattened out with Digable Planets, & once the Rockies got back to reminding me of the Smokies, it was the comfortable, old country music mix. Salve to the frayed soul. That's a whole lot of fierce hills & consuming curves.
Spent the second night, & the first decent rest, in an old-school motel in Lamar, CO, which reminded me of Amory or North Florida/South Alabama, but added with the vastness of Oklahoma or Kansas. Those states once you get away from towns of any size (Tulsa or Wichita), every place has plenty of elbow room. I'm sure there's an experience I'm missing, but I question calling damp ditches "rivers".
Anyhow, from there I stopped in Pueblo for a very nice clerk named Patrick at Maggie's Farm. He was very informative & the visit was illuminating & educational in general. I had planned on going up through Denver & stop in Boulder or maybe Laramie, WY. However, as I left out, I got the idea to drive to Woody Creek, CO, where Hunter Thompson made his home. I am a fan.
So I drove through the part of Colorado is either national park or ski park, & that was after the somewhat mind-blowing drive down from the Great Divide in the rain. Be damned I drive 75 miles per hour at this angle, even if it wasn't raining, honk your damn horn. I made it to the Woody Creek Tavern, which Thompson wrote about so much. I took a picture of the outside, Googled up the closet gas station, filled up & sat to get over shaking coming down that mountain.
My sister-in-law's been booking my rooms via her being really good at shit that working out in her favor. All I need is a bed, WiFi & to spend no more than what bourgeoisie as hell. It has been an up-&-down thing, but mostly okay. I should go to bed, it's 3 a.m., but here I am as inspired as I've been in months. It's a shame it's this pseudo-Gonzo horseshit is all I can muster. I still have 17 hours to go, I have no idea what there is to see in either Idaho or Utah I care anything about seeing. It's nobody's fault but mine, but I don't really have really positive outside views of either state. However, my brother says I can keep my mouth shut & my head down, so don't complain.
I may find some nice place about seven hours away from Parachute, hole up for a couple days before making the final push to the West Coast of Oregon. If I was younger, it'd be no thing, but I kind of want to take the rest. Not Salt Lake City, though. I don't really feel like it, though I'm told it's lovely & I can keep my head down & shut up. Hell, I may try to stay here just 'cause Colorado's cooler. I may stay up too late to need to.
Anyhow, we'll see.
Sunday, April 21, 2019
For the most part, we leave each other alone. They all know I'm a loony leftist, but only a couple know of my decidedly materialistic view of the world. As for the former, well, for the most part, they chalk it up to another instance of Matt just being weird, sensitive & overall naive. We've all accepted that. However, I don't tell people around here I'm not a believer. They're fine with me being a lost heathen but they've no truck with actual committed atheism.
My mom knows. She doesn't like it at all but she knows. She's a lot more accepting of my idiosyncrasies these days, though she'll still yap about grandkids from time to time. I have one other cousin, though, who knows & that's because I let it slip. She & I were vary close growing up. & we've reconnected to a certain point over the past couple of years.
Of course, we've gone on different paths since we were kids. She's been married 20-plus years & has three kids, two in college, & I have not. I went up to Memphis to visit her, & during a discussion on whether or not Jimmy Swaggart is a son of a bitch or not, I said I couldn't care less about "defending a member of my faith regardless" because I don't have one, & now that's all I hear. I know she means well & she takes being told to mind her own damn business well enough for life to go on.
Anyhow, I said all that to say all this. My birthday was a week ago this past Friday. Of course, I hadn't seen her, but the entire family got together yesterday for an Easter gathering. Much food was eaten & the little kids had fun searching for eggs, & we had fun watching them. She gives me a birthday card with a Chik-Fil-A gift card in it.
Now. I know this isn't her being provocative. She knows I'm pro-LGBT & I know she takes a "hate the sin, love the sinner" take on it, which she knows I think is bullshit. Still, I don't think she's given a thought to how much money the company gives anti-LGBT groups & just wants to share what most people consider good friend chicken. Thing is, the money's already spent so I don't feel I'd be "supporting" a company that's notoriously pro-bigotry. The other thing is, I can't stand friend chicken.
Again, I don't think my cousin meant anything by this. I just thought it was funny.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Hey, y'all. Sometime next week I'm taking a road trip out to visit my brother & sister-in-law in Oregon. Then, I'm going to slide down to Ventura, CA, to see a cousin before coming back to NE MS via Vegas, San Antonio & New Orleans. Any more suggestions are more than welcome.— Matt Thompson (@LHCBMatt) April 16, 2019
Monday, April 15, 2019
Now, I've never had sterling dental hygiene, admittedly, but I have done the bare minimum, at least. The only thing I didn't do was go to the dentist on a regular basis. Last time I saw one was well over 10 years ago. It was a free clinic because I didn't have insurance & it's expensive. Plus, you'd be amazed how tough it is to get into a reduced clinic in New Orleans. No excuse, but there you go.
From what the dentist & dental hygienist told me, the periodontal disease wasn't caused by poor habits or what I ate. Matter of fact, my actual teeth are in pretty good shape & I don't have a cavity in my head. This is just something that can happen &, as a matter of fact it does run in my family. Probably also explains why my white blood count's been slightly high lately.
And it probably kicked in serious when my blood pressure went critical a couple years back. Another thing that I had no control over, did everything at least not wrong, & still have to deal with. Between this, the hypertension & the sleep apnea, I'm having to put a lot of time, money, effort & pain into maintaining an existence I'm honestly not all that crazy about.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Monday, April 8, 2019
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Well, yeah. Reality sucks. Reality is pain. Reality is suffering. It's people you love dying. It's working yourself to death at a job you don't really care about & still wondering if you'll have enough money at the end of the month to cover the bills. It's wondering if you'll still be able to stand your spouse once the last kid leaves for college. It's your body falling apart as you inevitably get older no matter how much exercise you do or how well you take care of it. It's the hollow emptiness of a Sunday afternoon when nothing in your life has flavor. It's watching the rich & connected get away with pretty much anything while concepts like honor, justice or fairness are all dependent on how much you're willing to pay for them.
You can smoke a joint & realize the power bill will eventually take care of itself. You can do mushrooms & see the world in vibrant technicolor rather than the washed out mess life's mud has kicked into your eyes. You can chew peyote & feel the tug of gravity from the sun. You can drop acid & hear singing from the Holy Hosts with Duane Allman on slide guitar. I personally don't care for pills or opiods but they, at the very least, help people forget how utterly miserable life in these times are.
Life may suck but people don't deserve to have that life destroyed by fear & anger just because they want to forget.