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    May 20, 2015

    Classified Mission To Iowa – Part 1

    May 18-19, 2015*

    My mission now took me from Flagstaff, Arizona to Henderson, Nevada.

    From there, we were to take a flight from McCarran Airport to Des Moines, Iowa for the second leg of the mission.

    Driving went well except for encountering some bums at a gas station before transitioning from the 40 to the 95.

    We pulled up to get gas, and I was immediately approached by some Indian looking guy who needed some help getting to Phoenix, because his car broke down.

    I told him, “Dude, I’m from Long Beach, I know a hustle when I hear one.”

    He disappeared only to be replaced 30 seconds later by a young white guy who said he didn’t have any money, but would like to wash our windows as a courtesy of “love” in return for any donation.

    I started pumping the gas and told him that my windows were clean, as I grabbed a squeegee and started to clean them.

    Was I being mean?

    Was I due for some karma?

    All I can say is, I got some sadistic joy in seeing their disappointed faces when I turned them down – much like the joy some women get when they turn down a handsome stud who invites them to dinner.

    We continued to the 95 North.

    Traffic was going fine – 80 miles an hour as I passed some kind of a parked state truck, with some guy on the side of the road waving a red flag.

    What the hell does that mean?

    I turned a corner and slammed on the brakes because of what we were coming up on very fast…

    Traffic Jam on the 95
    Traffic came to a dead stop, with vehicles stopped at least a mile in front of us.

    I mean, a dead stop… some guy was out of his car, peeing on the side of the road, other drivers were smoking and conversing outside of their cars.

    After almost an hour, traffic started to move, but very slowly.

    Approaching the accident after one hour
    After another hour, we approached the scene of the accident.

    A overturned motor home
    It was an overturned motor home that blocked both lanes – traffic was squeezing through the emergency lane, as a crew was crushing up the wreck and hauling it away.

    We soon made it to Henderson, Nevada to await our flight to Des Moines, Iowa the next day.

    Henderson, NV
    Henderson, Nevada looks nothing like it’s Las Vegas counterpart – the mafia must pay off the Henderson City Council to not build any casinos within the city limits.

    The next morning, we drove to McCarran Airport and parked the car.

    I hate airport security.

    After taking my shoes off, emptying my pockets, taking my belt off and putting my laptop in a separate X-ray tray, they wanted me to go through a porno-scanner.

    I told the woman, “I want to go through the metal detector, or take a pat-down.”

    “Male assist! Male assist! We have a voluntary opt out on aisle four!” she screamed for all to hear.

    Security at McCarran Airport

    There were some kids behind me and an old man.

    The T.S.A. lady closed the porno scanner and let the people behind me walk through the metal detector.

    I said, “Why can’t I go through the metal detector?”

    “You already opted out,” she said.

    So, fifteen minutes later, after the blue glove treatment and bomb swab, I gathered my stuff to go dress in a corner.

    A guy without pants
    Someone who just went through security forgot to put his pants back on.

    Macho Me at the Airport
    After a few beers and a shot of Jameson, we’re off!

    We flew the cheapest airline we could find – Southwest Airlines.

    And of course, with the cheapest flight also comes a cattle-run for seats.

    When boarding was announced for our sequence, there was a very condensed line pressing against the gate.

    A lady in front of me remarked, “This line is very cozy.”

    I said, “Just wait until you get in the plane.”

    I don’t know if it was the alcohol on my breath, or what, but she moved to the back of the line.

    The flight to Des Moines
    The flight to Des Moines was uneventful, but included a free bag of crackers and a Flat Tire Beer.

    I was reading the USA Today, Tuesday, May 19th 2015 edition, when on page 4A, I spotted the following news blurb…

    Nevada, Carson City: State Senators will vote on a bill Tuesday to ban punishment for students who chew a toaster pastry into the shape of a gun, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal
    Nevada, Carson City: State Senators will vote on a bill Tuesday to ban punishment for students who chew a toaster pastry into the shape of a gun, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal

    Holy, Fuck!

    How the hell did that ever even become a punishable crime?

    We landed without incident.

    We had found the cheapest rental car ever off of Craig’s List – $14 a day for a car, unlimited miles.

    The only catch?

    Rent a Trabant

    It was a 50 year old, two stroke Communist made car called a Trabant.

    There was a repair manual and tools in the trunk and instructions on how to mix oil with the gasoline when refueling.

    I had a hard time starting it, and when the engine finally did, it sounded like a lawn mower, and must have spewed out more exhaust in a minute than most new cars do in a lifetime.

    I know how to drive a stick shift, but three on the tree was extremely awkward.

    Having left the GPS in Las Vegas, we pulled into a gas station to buy maps to plan the mission route.

    First off, when I asked the 18 year old clerk where the maps were, he told me just to get online and Google it.

    Well, that was not possible, but low and behold – after some searching – I found some crusty old maps of Iowa next to the motor oil section.

    The clerk wouldn’t bend on the price even though they were old and damaged – we bought two different maps at a dollar each.

    Reading a map
    We carefully planned our route to the Motel and our mission.

    We are suppose to rendezvous with “Secret Agent K” tomorrow.

    More to come…

    *Post delayed due to security and other reasons.

    May 18, 2015

    Classified Mission To Monument Valley

    May 16-17, 2015*

    I am on a confidential two week mission; if the narration seems brief and a little incomplete, that’s because it is.

    I was met in the ghetto of Long Beach on Saturday morning to begin a seven hour drive to Flagstaff, Arizona.

    The first leg of my mission was to make it to Monument Valley, Utah.

    Stagecoach 1939
    The first movie to use Monument Valley as a location was Stagecoach, filmed in 1938.

    Since then, dozens of films have been made in the valley, or featured in part.

    And yes, there is a lot more to Monument Valley than just a movie location.

    Gas prices in California
    The price of gas in California, near the Arizona boarder.

    World's biggest golf ball.
    We passed the world’s biggest golf ball.

    It was a long drive – not for a trucker, but for me.

    We spent the night at a Hotel in Flagstaff, AZ.

    There, I was told of the location of several sealed envelopes for various contingencies including hospitalization, vegetative state and death.

    I hope the journey ends with those envelopes still sealed and not in my possession.

    After a night’s rest, the journey continued for another three hours to Monument Valley.

    Gas prices in Arizona
    The price of gas in Arizona – Note to self, buy gas in Arizona before crossing back in to California.

    It was a journey over a two-lane, two-way highway – a lights-on all the way, daylight journey.

    On the way to Monument Valley
    Me outside of Monument Valley.

    Right before we got to the “Monument Valley Welcome Center,” we crossed in to Utah.

    $20 was paid to the Navajo Nation to cross in to the Indian Reservation.

    WARNING: There is NO alcohol (a.k.a. Fire Water) sold on the Indian Reservation.

    I couldn’t tell if real Indians worked on the reservation, or if they were Mexicans dressed as Indians.

    Me at Monument Valley
    Me at Monument Valley.

    Please do not bathe in the restroon sinks
    Yes, you can get dusty there – I guess bathing in their restrooms has been a problem.

    Monument Valley
    Monument Valley from the Hotel.

    Me and Monument Valley
    John Wayne Monument Valley
    Is there much difference between me and John Wayne, except he stood seven inches taller than me and smoked five packs of cigarettes a day?

    The drive back to Flagstaff, AZ seemed a lot shorter than the drive out.

    The one thing that was not factored into this leg of the trip?

    Flagstaff is at 7,000 feet elevation – that presented some undisclosed problems.

    Onto the second leg of the journey today.

    More to come…

    *Post delayed due to security and other reasons.

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