Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Edge

Something about long car rides, they get me thinking.  It seems that hurtling along a freeway at 80 mph is the perfect catalyst for brain activity.  No matter if its driver, passenger, full car, or just me, it seems I always slip away into my own head for however long the ride takes.  Not saying I'm just a mute for a whole ride, no one would drive with me.  I chat and make jokes and entertain conversation but I feel a disinvestment in it.  Its hard to fake not being completely immersed in my passing surroundings, save for the fact that my one excuse would be "this is my first time in the desert."

We left Tempe and Phoenix and traveled through a wide open urban/suburban sprawl that seemed to reach for miles, until it subsided to trailer parks and vast empty lots with "for sale, 5000 acres" signs and evidence of some vague preliminary construction.  Little bright green grass farms tapered off into unfilled irrigation ditches and parched sands.  It seemed the desert was the only thing surviving the journey westward towards Joshua Tree.  Soon after we left the city and its withering stretched out fingers we entered complete wilderness.  The road was the only sign of civilization aside from large telephone and electric lines traveling along with us.  It was as if the further we went the more the sand crept up against the shoulders of the interstate, the mountains loomed larger and more comfortably on the horizon, and the more I felt like I was entering a space that was not my own.  

There was a strange comfort in it, unlike an intruder crossing a forbidden threshold.  I felt more like I was being welcomed into the outstretched arms of big sky and big country.

The only sign of man out here is the staccato tick marks of rumble strips. 

While we were at Joshua Tree we had the interesting and pleasurable experience of meeting a couple other fellow climbers who we cooked a fireside dinner with and talked over cold tecates.  Apparently Arizona is crossing out calendar boxes until the day they literally run out of water.  All the while, cafe and sushi-goers in Tempe and Scottsdale alike enjoy misting devices while they dine on outside patios simply to cool them off in the thick of the summer.  Everything in the city limits is so well developed it seems its gotten to the point where its reached a fever pitch of non-sustainability.  While dry cracks and barren lots seem to edge closer inward rather than be stifled and stretched further, the city-goers enjoy water waste in a blissfully decadent and unabashed manner.  To boot, while this waste goes unchecked and seemingly uncared for, the Dept. of Agriculture and the US Gov are buying up water rights for large ski areas, allowing them to use reprocessed water rich in birth control hormones leached from surrounding water waste systems, this disrupts reproductive processes in surrounding ecosystems, most noticeably with amphibians and reptiles in the area.  All the politics aside (something I really want to steer away from), it seems as if nature is slowing creeping back to claim its right on the land.

The sign next to this one said "Reserved Parking Only"

The brink seems like quite an interesting place.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Help! I'm in an Airport

When I was still an adolescent I had this grandiose and romanticized view of flying in airplanes.  Just the sheer idea of flying is exciting enough for an 11 year old.  You hop in the car with mom and dad and a bunch of your stuff in big bags and drive to some big glass building with lots of people and noises and announcements and all of a sudden you're on a huge winged beast hurtling over the earth thousands of feet in the air to some far away land that usually had palm trees and large mascot like characters.  

They say as you get older you gain a certain perspective or wisdom about things.
Flying fucking sucks.

I am currently hanging out in the Gate 7 "lounge" on my computer surrounded by what appears to be a group of equally disinterested and disconcerted people, trying to busy themselves with whatever electronic device they have (for instance there's some kid a few seats down to me with an ipad...this is matt's raging jealous heart).  To make matters worse, at least for this traveler, on my past recent bouts with flying I've endured some mind numbingly painful sinus migraines that have brought me to the brink of my pain threshold.  For this trip I have armed myself with afrin and some type of hardcore headache medicine to hopefully thwart these vomit inducing skull fucks of head aches i've had.  To boot, its 12:03 and my flight doesn't leave until 1:20...

On an up note, when the flight reaches its destination it will have plopped me into Phoenix where a couple of certain friends happen to reside.  Even though now I'm wrought with angst over this pending potential airborne fiasco I'm pretty sure that the end result will be well worth any pain endured or fluids lost.