Wednesday, February 23, 2011

robert burns was right

...The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,...
--robert burns

burns, of course, was referring to having plowed over a mouse's nest. my day was not quite so traumatic.

yesterday i drove about 300 miles, only to arrive back where i started-home. this was not what i had intended. i had planned (ha!-such a silly word) on going to someplace i hadn't been before (did that), camping for the night (didn't), hiking again the next day (nope), and then coming home. i didn't even take any pictures, a rarity on any given day.

i went to kelso dunes, a place i hadn't yet visited. i hiked around a bit. the light was too harsh to shoot anything. in a stroke of unusual self-forgiveness, i forbore frustrating myself. i declined to attempt photographing something in difficult conditions, with insufficient skills, and a singular lack of patience. i looked around, said to myself, "self, don't get into this", and hiked on. 

i then started the search for a suitable camping spot. the roads leading off the main drag were either too sandy or rutted for my decidedly non-off-road vehicle. neither getting stuck nor shredding the undercarriage of my car was on my to-do list, so i drove on.

i did find one place that was accessible. i parked, got out of the car, and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. not a good sign. i was creeped out, felt like i was being watched, and not in a good way. back in the car. quickly.

i drove up and down that road, looking, looking. no luck.

some years ago, i discovered that i like to drive long distances. no destination needed, i just like to drive for hours. in the process of moving here, i drove across the country three times, often 10-12 hours a day. it satisfies a need for movement, for silence, for space for thought. perhaps i should get my cdl license and drive the big rigs! i write poems in my head, promptly forgetting them. i write posts-ditto. i wrote this one about 4 times yesterday, none bearing but the faintest resemblance to the finished work.
when my plan went agley, i started driving. back to kelso depot, then on to baker, where i saw things i'd never seen before.

i've wanted to see this place ever since i saw the first billboard for it.
now, really, who could resist? 
sadly, it's not all that interesting, lots of jerky, hot sauces, nuts, candy, tourist gew gaws. the parking spaces in front are marked for alien parking only. i felt right at home.

then there's the bun boy motel.  
i considered staying the night there, but just couldn't bring myself to it. after reading the reviews of the other 2 motels in baker, it would have been the best, if not the oddest, choice.

after touring the sights of baker, i ate a horrifically mediocre late lunch/early dinner. even the french fries were inedible. that's saying something, coming from a person who loves french fries in all their iterations. too full to think, i parked myself in the desert, watched the light change, and read until it got too dark.

i drove home.

i can't pass this up:


  1. Mmmmm....classic Tom. Great song. I don't know that I could stay at a motel named Bun Boy either.

  2. I'm longing to do this too. I love traveling alone. As soon as I get all this estate stuff wrapped up, I'm off.

  3. lemmy-perhaps for different reasons?:)

    kass-where ya headead?

  4. I just watched The Book of Eli 3 times over the weekend. post-apocalyptic desert fun with Denzel and tom waits is what ties that movie to your post. I don't want to drive anymore. Was going to drive from Hemet back to the OV but after spending 48 hours driving to oregon and getting flattened by bill I chucked that idea. Now Shari or the Kids drive. They equate unsteadineess on my feet to unsteadiness behind the wheel; maybe they're right.
    The Crocus bloomed today

  5. tag-good to hear from you! i don't know that movie, and perhaps i should. unsteadiness comes in many forms, and they change from day to day, at least for me.
    ah, crocus! i'm glad it's looking like spring somewhere.

  6. The alien store anywhere near Area 54?

  7. kirk-you mean area 51? perhaps you're thinking of "car 54,where are you?", an old sitcom where 2 aliens impersonate police officers in new york, but no one notices?

  8. Area 51. I stand corrected, though that sounds like a good idea for a sitcom.

  9. kirk-ah, but i forgot, you're a young pup. there actually was a sitcom by that name, about 2 new york police officers (in the bronx, i think), but they were not aliens. that was my twist.
    area 51 is 80-some miles north/northwest of las vegas, near groom lake. but you didn't hear that here.

  10. Area 54 is actually in production on the syfy channel under the names Eureka and Warehouse 13.