One day I will be an adult, with adult things, beyond the adult toys. Until that time I will continue to have fun. Many years ago when I was young I went to Montana (thank you Big Man for the Surf Montana logo). The goal was to help a friend start-up a business using his newly gotten wealth. While by most measures my trip was a disaster, for me even today, my trip was one of those watershed life moments. I don’t have a lot of those.
I could tell you about the trip out there and how I know for a fact that when you take a windshield coated in dirt and dust, add a generous splash of cow urine (from a passing cattle truck), and a sudden downpour (common out that way) that you get a thick, stinky sludge that will keep windshield wipers from operating at peak efficiency. I could further tell how you that in order to avoid a head on collision I had to stick my head out of the window while driving and make a hole in the thick, stinky sludge with my hand. I could tell you that, but I won’t.
I could tell you how that if you are traveling out West that you had better find out when the Sturgis Biker Rally is. Not because bikers are bad people, but because they like having hotels and motels to stay in, and there are a lot of them. So many of them that the nearest hotel to where I had stopped for the night was over 100 miles away, there is a lot of dead space out West. I could tell you how I overheard a man on the pay phone (remember those) next to me finding out that the local campground had one place left and that I being the resourceful young man I was back then took my Omni (remember those) with the hand-made hole in the thick, stinky cow pee, sludge window and raced out of the gas station to get that last spot. I could tell you how I spent a night in a thunderstorm, in my car, in that campsite, watching drunk bikers piss on the telephone pole and fuck in tents all around me. I could tell you that, but I won’t.
I could tell you about driving up a mountain, in a car not meant for anything other than flat roads or steep declines. I got to witness lightning strike the top of the mountain and how at the top of the mountain, I saw an entire valley laid out before me and the most ominous storm clouds I have ever seen rolling into the valley. I could tell you about how back when I made my trip that being from Detroit was a scary thing in and of itself to people not from Detroit. How really nice people (everyone I met was really nice) when they asked where I was from would take a visible step back from me when I told them. Of course they didn’t know where Ann Arbor, Westland, or any other place I had been was, but the knew of Detroit that they stepped back just in case this white kid wearing a hoodie, cammies, and smelling like he hadn’t bathed in two days (I hadn’t) might kill them right there just because he was from Detroit and that was what they had heard. I could tell you that, but I won’t.
I could tell you how I was so hungry at one point, after discovering that my business partner had knocked up his girlfriend, wasted a ton of the money before I got out there (something he probably should’ve told me before I left), and staying in a place with no working water, electricity or anything else, I tried to run over a pheasant with my car. Pheasants are clever birds and fast and delicious, if you can run them over with your car and then cook them. I could not. I could tell you that, but I won’t.
I could tell you that I drove on a road that had no speed limit until you reached a three building town; a bar, a police station, and a hotel. Which were preceded by speed limit signs 55, 45, 35-the three buildings, one cop car, and mandatory drunk a half-mile later-35, 35, 55 speed limit signs. Each three building town was roughly 50 to 60 miles apart and you did not follow the speed signs because you were doing 80 to 100 miles an hour and you hoped that a drunk didn’t pull out in front of you (happened once) or a cop was sitting there (didn’t happen at all). You just blew through the three building towns. I could tell you about that, but I won’t.
I could tell you about the long horn cattle on a hill in South Dakota. How I was told that there would be a highway patrol car sitting in the middle of the very first cross path between highways, there was indeed a highway patrol car sitting there (that was the only police car that I saw the entire 400+ mile round trip). How I saw blue skies that I have only recently seen again up here (prior to moving up here the closest I got to seeing those blue skies was on Arby’s posters and sometimes that made me misty eyed). How I got to see and drive through mountains. How I saw the Mississippi River after the flood and could still see the high water marks on the cliffs. How there is a place known as Wall Drug where the advertisements start two states away on either side (turns out they have signs EVERYWHERE the photo is of a sign in Amsterdam) and how Wall Drug is one giant tourist trap. I could tell you these things, but I won’t.
I could tell you how when I got back after sleeping most of the way home, only waking up to find out that I had missed the Testicle Festival by one day, that I got my shit together and started working on becoming the person I am today. I could tell you that it was a long road. I could tell you that, but I won’t.