The Tempest Online™

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Tell Someone Who Cares – 01/17/08…Okay,and HNT

Posted by Daniel on January 17, 2008

Dear Tempest,
A few of us are planning a trip to Arizona – probably Phoenix or Tucson – and we were wondering if you could tell us anything about either of these two towns. We know you love to travel and, considering your rumored exploits, we decided to solicit your advice. Anything come to mind…?
Thanks from the Un-Tanned Wonders
Olathe, KS

Dear Pale Faces:

Now that you mention it, I do seem to recall one particular trip West into the desert. On a whim my gal-pal Gina and I thought it would be cool to take a trip down to Tucson to visit some friends who were recent transplants from Kansas City. We were also in desperate need of vacation/R&R. We spent six months verbally ping-ponging the pro’s and con’s of flying vs. driving. To Gina, flying obviously meant we would have three extra days to enjoy the arid Arizona climate. But who doesn’t love the scenic views of a cross-country drive? Biggest ball of twine…World’s Largest Frying Pan (so they say)…Turtle with three heads (one of which purported to be that of a duck).

It was a no-brainer. We had the time, the means and the stamina for such a drive. And besides, Gina hardly ever won a debate with me, mostly because I’d have to constantly remind her of the time she decided to drink half a bottle of something called “AfterShock“, then threw up in her coat pocket so as not to miss out on the conversation we were having with some friends at a bar. But I digress…

We chose to drive because I thought it would be a shame to miss all of those kitchy little shops along the highways. You know the ones…thimbles with baby scorpions embedded in a tomb of acrylic; real authentic Navajo rugs made in China; those fun fridge magnets that read, “My friends went to Arizona and all I got was this cheap-assed magnet” (of which I bought MANY); and who can forget those adorable REAL frogs that have been taxidermied into poses that, to put it mildly, just plain give me the galloping creeps? I mean, just how “natural-looking” are dead frogs playing in a five piece piano band??

Who the fuck collects this stuff?!?!?

Anyway, I’ll cut to our destination because, as it oddly turns out, we didn’t really stop for sightseeing all the way down there. Except for gas and food and pee breaks, we pretty much red-lined it there. Hey…it was fuckin’ hot!!!

One day was spent river rafting at Snake River. Know why they call it by that name? Well I do now!! Suffice it to say that I can actually fly if given the proper motivation. At least I jumped high and far enough to have given that impression. And I’m sure the coyotes ears are still bleeding from the not-so-masculine shrieks that are, I’m sure, still echoing off those canyon walls. Imagine my embarrassment when it was discovered the anaconda I thought I was being mauled by was, in fact, just a long piece of discarded rope.

While floating down the river – Gina’s and my tubes tied together…safety in numbers, ya know – I do remember happening across a giant raft with a motor attached to it. In and around it there were all these fireman. I believe they were there earlier for training purposes, but were no there for relaxation. Yeah, that’s what my heart was doing…relaxing!! NOT!! I think these guys must have fallen out of some calendar. I can tell you I have plenty of pictures of those scenic views. (Note to self: Get telephoto lens!!) One in particular…blue shorts…bluer-than-blue eyes…blue cap…no shirt…flexing. His name was David. We met.  We talked.  We had a date.  More (much more) about him later…maybe.

Of course during this time it’s impossible to go river rafting in the desert without bringing enough to drink…not to mention water. By the end of the day we were plowed enough to decide to go hiking in the granite mountains. We all sat atop “Saddle Rock”. Which, amazingly enough, looks remarkably like one…a rock, not a saddle. We admired the stars and none of us were even remotely aware of the 800 foot drop just inches in front of us. Until, that is, I dropped my cocktail. Once again, there were shrieks echoing through the canyon walls. Those poor coyotes.

Another day was spent in Nogales, Mexico. You just can’t have enough kitchy stuff!! Ever wonder where Pier One gets all those fun and unique nick-nacks? I found out. And guess what…Pier One is cheaper. Here I was thinking I could barter some of those prices down a tad. No such luck. Honestly, if those were actually genuine Rolex’s, (and they were remarkably genuine looking) why were those kids chasing me down to give them to me two for ten dollars?!? These watches, of course, went to two of my very dear – yet very cheap – friends back home. We did, however, manage to find some very cute things including a set of flatware that can only be described as stunning. It’s so nice, I doubt I’ll ever let anyone use or touch it. (Note: Mother has already placed “dibbs” on it after I die…where’s the love, I ask you?!?)

The rest of the time was spent laying out and enjoying the sun. Sun block? I was practically stuccoed in the stuff. Didn’t matter, though. I had on so much sun block that I felt like I was wearing a hard candy shell. The sun is extremely intense and the altitude (over 4000 feet above sea level) made it a non-issue. And, like the true naturist that I am, I tried to cheat by first using a sunless tanning cream and then laying out. Not only did I burn, and I mean everywhere, but my hair (and I mean everywhere!!) started bleaching out. If I didn’t act quickly I would end up looking like an old worn out wallet. Were it not for a product made by a lovely woman named “Clairol”, my hair would still be that delightful shade of “Blow-in-my-ear-and-give-me-a-refill-and-I-deserve-a-sore-on-my-lip-just-for-

The weather averaged over 100° every day, but you know what they say, “It’s a dry heat.” Guess what? It’s still fucking hot!! But it was made bearable with the occasional monsoon rains that passed through…actually, those rains were quite a treat…if you like it raining mud and sand, that it. On those occasions that we couldn’t venture out, we sat around and played gamed and watched movies and talked.

Okay, after one day of that I really needed a drink.

So, one night we decided to hit one of the local clubs to toss back a few and shake our money makers. I started off with my tried-and-true favorite beverages…beer. A half-hour into all of us sitting around staring at the front door praying for the drop dead gorgeous to walk in, a friend suggested I try one of his drinks. It was an Absolute Cosmopolitan…and it looked like the gayest drink I’d ever seen…and I loved it…and I wanted more…and it was two-for-one night.

Long story short, I hate to dance, drank eight Cosmo’s, and danced so much I was sweating like Brittney Spears in court. This club is one of those “open” places. That means you can walk in and see the well-dressed rich and pretty sitting at tables with some amazingly well-mannered bikers and skinheads. The crowd was eclectic and we had no problem giving a show on the dance floor. It was a great night.

At least, what I remember of it.

In all, it was a great trip. Tucson has much to offer the weary traveler because of it’s laid back, no hang-up’s attitude. As a whole, they don’t care who or what you are so long as it doesn’t hurt or intrude on others.

Enjoy yourselves, and if you see a gorgeous fireman named David, give him my love…and my phone #.

Skip Phoenix.

Happy Trails,


A Little Black & White


3 Responses to “Tell Someone Who Cares – 01/17/08…Okay,and HNT”

  1. I have been visiting this site a lot lately, so i thought it is a good idea to show my appreciation with a comment.

    Jim Mirkalami

  2. RevelKC said

    And you need a gorgeous fireman to have your phone number…because…..???


    Just so you know honey I am popping in here now and again….


  3. Kirk said

    The road trip from hell… Hell, Arizona, that is!

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