Needless to say, after an hour spent trotting around atop the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon, taking so many pictures in so many poses that there were literally no physically possible contortions of the human body left for us to maneuver into, we dragged ourselves, numb-thumbed and hungry, back to the Altima.
Deciding that I would make Kaylen drive for once, I dug into the cooler, tore open a log of salami, leaned back in the passenger seat, and began to chomp on it like a burrito. Then I found an onion bagel, which I began to eat (cold and unsliced) simultaneously with the other hand. It was like a makeshift sandwich… only a little dry.
Meanwhile, Kaylen was eating cherry tomatoes or something equally unsubstantial.
The ride back to Flagstaff was uneventful, with the exception of my being highly amused by Kaylen’s erratic, brake-riddled driving. She sat pulled up impossibly close to the wheel, hands superglued at ten and two, and her head straining upwards for a better view of the road – from which she rarely averted her gaze. After all, can’t crash the rental.
Since it had been too cold to drink our Coronas in our ponchos at the Grand Canyon, immediately after we got back, I pulled out a beer, pulled on my poncho and sat on the futon outside our private hostel room to have a drink (alone). I stretched out my beer in a friendly cheers to the strangers who occasionally walked by. Almost on par with our original plan.
Later that night, after an Indian feast involving an abundance of chickpeas and naan, Kaylen and I wandered around in a grocery store for booze. As you undoubtedly know, assuming you’ve read Part III – which you don’t have to have read but I recommend it because it is highly enlightening – we had had a rough day exposed to the elements, braving the outdoors, becoming one with nature… and it was time to party Flagstaff-style.
I had my heart set on gin and tonics, while Kaylen was simply trying to find something that wouldn’t make her gag. With that being said, she decided to purchase a six-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade… [I know, it doesn’t make much sense; as I write this, over a month later, I still have four rogue Mike’s Hards rolling around freely in my trunk.]
As we checked out, the 18-year-old cashier asked us each in turn, as he handed over the bought and bagged booze, “Are you over 21?” #security #ajobwelldone #honorsystem #hashtags
Well, I’ll be honest… I’m running out of steam here. I can now say with unflinching certainty that I am truly able to relate to how J.R.R. Tolkien and/or J.K. Rowling must have felt as they approached the final writing stages of their sagas.
So here’s an abridged version of what happened next, for the sake of following through:
- We didn’t end up making it to any bars; our night in Flagstaff was spent drinking in the hostel with Jake (the crippled Canadian drug-smuggler), and some other strangers, most of whom lived and worked at the hostel
- One of them was a tattooed, pierced girl with a pixie cut who was unbelievably free-spirited and really broke the mold and lived on a beach for three months once (please note the heavy sarcasm)
- There was also a black guy with a mini fro and horrible teeth who would not stop playing bad guitar, a blonde foreign girl with a thick accent who went on and on about filmmaking, a creepy guy who appeared young but had salt-and-pepper hair and a blossoming beer belly, and then there was Josh – the cute guy who was on duty at the time, and who listened intently to our conversations from across the room, but who didn’t contribute a word
- The next morning we left for Las Vegas
- Before exiting the state of Arizona, we pulled off the highway somewhere and drove into the woods to take pictures in our ponchos (see below)
- I drank a ridiculous amount of coffee that morning (as I was intending to drive the entire way), and so spent most of the four hour drive either singing 90s pop songs at the top of my lungs, or freestyle rapping at Kaylen while she sat passively in the passenger seat and indulged me by laughing
- At a truck stop along the way, I bought Kaylen a box of mints with the phrase “100% Woman” stamped on the top; I figured she could throw out the mints and keep her pills in there.
- We passed the Hoover Dam! A pleasant surprise
- I memorized the lyrics to Ludacris’s “What’s Your Fantasy”
- We arrived at Caesar’s Palace. Unfortunately, however, what happened there stayed there (should have seen that coming), so I am consequently unable to share it with you.
Meanwhile, in the woods off to the side of the highway:
- Road Trip, Part I (lifeho.wordpress.com)
- Road Trip, Part II: “I’ll Rim YOUR Canyon” (lifeho.wordpress.com)
- Road Trip, Part III: “Excuse me, where are the VIEWS?” (lifeho.wordpress.com)