Day Ninety Six.....
I haf no time left.....
WAS planning an early morning wake up and then a cab ride to the skooter hospital to grab the Helix, brekker, and then out the door and on the road at eight-thirty or nine AM at the dead latest this fine Monday Morning in the Mile High City.
The Mexican and The Korean put a halt to the best laid plans.....
I HAD planned to have a couple mellow pints with them sometime Sunday Afternoon and then return to my Cherry Creek lodging, where I'd write a bit.....watch TV a bit.... read, and just generally vege and git to sleep reasonable early.
Ended up that The Mexican swung by the lodgings and picked me up around 6PM. He then stated that we were going to return to his compound in the Baker* Barrio to partake in a $30 buy-in Texas Hold 'em tournament. I was reluctant, as A) - I did wanna git to sleep kinda early and B) - I absolutely suck at Hold 'Em poker.
Well, I went along. At a tourney of nine, I think I somehow lucked out to the point where I DID outlast two other people. Seventh Place generally doesn't pay out anything amongst nine players, though......
The Korean joined us later and acted as all-time dealer ('cause I can't shuffle or dole out cards very well at all if my life depended on it!!!!). Several pints and several hours later, the match ended. It was then determined by my friends that we, The Mexican, The Korean, The White Chick and your blog author, would then proceed to a pub called "Don's Tavern" on Sixth Avenue in good ole' Capital Hill (an area I had resided in for many moons) for an after-match debriefing.
Now, I'd never been inside Don's before. I'd walked past it thousands of times, where the front neon sign only said - "Don's Club Tavern - Mixed Drinks" and that was all that was on the front facade!
I had always wanted to go and have not a pint, but rather a mixed drink inside Don's. That neon sign just held sooooo much power of suggestion with just five words!!!
So, I grabbed a mixed drink....a very yummy gin and tonic.....
......actually, I grabbed a few of 'em.
The Korean dropped me off back at the lodgings in Cherry Creek at some ungodly hour (I do remember that we closed Don's Club Tavern), and I went straight to bed......simply DREADING when that alarm was gonna go off in, like, three-and-a-half hours!
Turns out that I needn't have dreaded, as when the son of a bitch did blare it's painful cacophony of buzzers and rubbish 70's music at 120 decibels, I just hit snooze.
Thirty minutes later, the cacophony returned......
.....so did the snooze button.
I can't remember what happened after that. Think yet again, a half-hour later, it went off again. And I think I was in so much pain that I just fucking lost it on the third time, grabbed the plug, pulled it outta the wall, and left the clock-radio in the trash bin.
Errrmmm......NOT conducive to an early start, then.
Natural Time woke me gently at around 10:30am. It was gently for a moment.....
.....I started heaving under my breath - "Holy shit....holy shit.....holy shit.....and I still hafta pack, shower, eat brekker and take a cab to fetch my skooter! Oh nooo....OH NO OH NO OH nooooo....."
Did all that and ended up leaving Denver around 12:45PM.......
I then thought to myself that I had ONE saving grace - that today was gonna be kinda an easy ride....185 miles to Craig, Colorado.
HOWEVER.....I got to Craig, and then screamed at myself - "No, man.....nuh-uh!! You gotta plug at least 300+ miles today. E, man, you gotta be in Rockaway by 3pm Friday, for Chrissakes!!!"
Not being aware of the geological and economic conditions in the region, I made a horrific screw-up.........
....I had decided to do another 130 miles to Vernal, Utah.
I got into Vernal (it's the place where the Vernal Equinox was invented) at around 8PM Monday Night and swung by a Days Inn.
No rooms available.
The very nice girl at the front desk kindly gave me a telephone book. I called EVERY Hotel and Motel in a 75 mile radius.......
No rooms available.
This was looking veeeerrrrry dodgy! I was literally looking at doing another 175 miles to Salt Lake in the dark on a veeerrryy rural road. Either that, or sleeping on a park bench.
Apparently, referring to the aforementioned geological and economic conditions of the region, Vernal is surrounded by a huge tract of land that sits on thee largest dinosaur fossil field in the U.S.!!
Old dinosaur fossils in abundance mean OIL!!! NATURAL GAS!!! OIL SHALE!!! And the town took advantage of $140+/barrel oil prices and EVERY room within a 75-mile radius of Vernal between Sunday and Thursday Nights is filled with roughneck oil-field contract workers!!!
After 45 minutes of foning EVERY Hotel and Motel anywhere near Vernal, the girl at the front desk at the Days Inn took pity on me.
"Well...I DO have ONE room, but the electronic lock is all messed up!! I can break in and rent it to you tonight. You just can't close the door when you leave the room........"
"Ooooooh man! Hell YES! THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!"
"OK....great, I'll go break in, open the room, and you'll be set. That'll be $101.65, please."
"Uhhhhh.....do you have a Triple-A discount or something......"
"I'm sorry, that is THEE very lowest rate that the computer will let me do...."
My jaw hit the floor so hard that it left an indentation! WTF????
Considering it was that or the park bench OR the 175-mile ride in pitch blackness on a very rural highway......I took the room.
Big Oil fucks the lone traveler once again!! And THIS time, it wasn't even at the pump!!!
Stopped at a beer house in Vernal forra couple pints, then bought a six'er to go, as they shut the pub down at 9:30pm (????!!??). I'm not a big fan of Wasatch products (they really don't taste that great, actually)....but their labels keep me coming back for more and more -
And, as the label of Polygamy Porter asks - "Why have just one?"
Well, believe me, after getting shafted for a hundred buxx for a severe dirtbag motel room, I WILL be taking more than just one!
Brigham City tomorrow....Oh, my heck!!
*Baker is a neighbourhood in West Denver