A Travel Journal, SUVpacking America

On the road. Discovering who This New Man is.

Unexpected Gusts


January 11, 2013. Barstow, Arizona. The cold spell is freezing most of the Southwestern US, adding a chill and needle pains to my fingers and toes. We find ourselves staying in camping cabins, hotels, on the sands of the desert, even stuck in the unexpected snows about the Grand Canyon (GC).  

Gusty winds of change were in the air day after day. What’s with the guys and their wears? There is a story here.

The men we met in the smaller towns were often gathered in Starbucks or local coffee joints. WiFi binds them. Most of these talkers were snowbirds that traveled in the winter or who gambled that retirement deserved warmer places. But they were surprised by record temps.

Funny, though: Most found themselves so stuck on what they wanted to experience that they were wearing shorts and sandals, like me, even while they advised us to be smarter than we seemed. Flip-flops in this weather? (See Allan’s feet in the newly fallen snow!) But these men were almost fighting to be allow to have the change they wanted, no matter that nature wouldn’t give it to them.
We soon chose to drive Highway 40, heading toward Flagstaff for a turn north to the GC. Friendly suggestions made us choose the Wallace route, a lonely winter path. Even the tourist info guy closed his office and said, “My advice is to head home. You might be more comfortable like that!”
The canyons lived up to their promises. Awe-inspiring. No change needed for them.  

We circled through the South Rim and headed toward cowboy country. There the men all looked a lot like the ancient machinery, buildings, working mines of gold and trails of western living. We found most of the cowboys to be cold, dirty, mostly for show; a dollar per picture, even though theirs were hardly fashion statements.

The isolation tells us something about why the men here see and experience the world differently. Those on the promises of WiFi stayed true to their dreams; those without, were hardly looking to change their horses.
U can also follow my journey at Twitter or my Instagram

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This entry was posted on January 20, 2013 by in Erick Says and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

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