September 3, 2016
A very nice bearded man from Enterprise picked me up just before 10 o'clock this morning. He appeared to be wearing a suit, but when we got out of the car I realized that his ensemble was a black jacket with differently textured black pants. Both were mud splattered, and he was wearing peds with his dress shoes. His shirt was hanging out the back. His manager, who was better attired, looked a little like Ryan Reynolds.
The car I was assigned didn’t seem to have any windshield wiper fluid, so I returned immediately to the rental office. The bearded man attempted to fill the well, but the fluid drained onto the asphalt. The manager told me I could have either of his two remaining cars for the same price: one was a foot longer than a SMART car, and the other was a Camaro. I took the Camaro.
I like to sit up very straight when I'm driving which tends to annoy other people who drive my vehicles. When I moved the Camaro's seat to my desired position, I couldn't put my fist between my head and the roof's interior. I guess if you are tall, you have to drive a Camaro in a reclined position. I also couldn't see the top of the dashboard, which wouldn’t matter unless I ran out of gas or the car overheated. The blind spots behind the rear side windows were so large that a 747 could sneak up beside the car.
Prior to accepting the defective car, I had declined to upgrade to the Camaro citing its "give me a ticket allure." Who buys Camaros and Challengers? People who want to drive fast. I used the cruise control at the speed limits, and I only sped once to pass a car because the driver was traveling at inconsistent speeds. The other people driving through the Navajo Nation know it's lawless so they passed me like I was parked.
I drove to the Four Corners Monument from Enterprise. It was about an hour-and-a-half drive. Unless you are either trapped at an RV park you don't like, or going to the Four Corners is only SLIGHTLY out of your way, don't go there: it's a fucking dump. It's part of the Navajo Nation, so your US National Parks Pass is about as valid as your Metro Card in Moscow. The parking lot isn't paved, there are no flushing toilets, and the "monument" is flanked on four sides by permanent kiosks, each of which sells the same "authentic" native wears which are made in China. The "monument" is a brass plaque in the ground at 36° degrees north latitude and 109° west longitude. You have to wait in line to photograph it, and there is a three photo limit.
Shortly after I joined the line, an older couple stepped behind me and asked what the line is for. I said, "The Four Corners Monument." I should be a fucking tour guide. They said they knew that, they just didn't know what exactly the monument is. Then they asked me to hold their place in line while they went to get their friends. After they walked away, the man missed a step and went down on the concrete hitting his face. Behind me, I heard a woman ask her off-duty EMT if he should assist the man, but the EMT declined saying he didn’t think the fall warranted medical attention. I was underwhelmed by his lack of compassion. The couple returned to the queue with their friends, and I took pictures of them with their cameras therefore immortalizing his bloody face.
I circled back to Durango by continuing southwest into Arizona then east through New Mexico. The landscape was starkly beautiful where it wasn't trashed by poverty. Teec Nos Pos, Arizona has the Navajo Technical University where you, too, can learn to build the wheel. As I approached Aztec, New Mexico, I saw a sign for "Aztec Ruins" and I bit, my lack of cultural knowledge notwithstanding. It's a US National Monument and there's nothing "Aztec" about it: it's a 900 year old Pueblo ruin. I politely took the guidebook from the National Park Service employee. I covered the half-mile trail and set a non-drug enhanced record for the distance while Evelyn-Wood-speed-reading through the book. I then drove through the "historic" town center for further cultural punishment.
I haven't been sleeping very well lately. I usually don't complain about the quality of my sleep, but recently it's been considerably worse. On a friend's recommendation, I took two Tylenol PM at bedtime. From my mucous membranes' perspective, it was like taking 100 Benadryl. The net result was that I stayed up most of the night drinking water to rehydrate, then urinating. And, I didn’t feel the slightest bit sleepy. Now I know what to take if I want to pull an all-nighter on the john.
Tonight, I cooked the Andouille sausages I bought at Whole Foods in Park City. I've largely lived without Whole Foods since I left Steve & Karen's house in Columbus at the end of April. I have not found another chain which matches the quality of Whole Foods’ fish, poultry, and meat. I also haven’t found one which has pre-pared food like Whole Foods’ that looks even remotely appetizing: it would be nice to get a break from cooking once in a while.
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Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.