the good, the bad, and the gay. also, the burgers.
El Paso mad rad yo. Like we did so much fun stuff and Julia’s fam was so welcoming and wise and gr8. First we ate some gr8 fish tacos then we went out to a cafe downtown to hear local punk/ country bands— so ~real~ then we went to a drag show haay turns out there are gays everywhere danced our butts off. So fun. The next day we woke up to AWESOME Nutella pancakes by Julia’s 12 y/o cousin, got lunch at whataburger, apparently pronounced water burger so we observed. This Texas chain I rly think is THE BEST fast food burger. Got those avocado options too. And fries and chocolate shake because we don’t mess around.
Dropped Esteban off. It was getting hot but we wanted to hike , see the desert lizards chameleons, geicos, canyons, mountains cacti. Got real at cvs had our first quivel. Opened google maps looked for green patches. Found Franklin canyon, mountain, road or something. Drive to the outskirts of the city, and this was ~spontaneous~ so we had to get bottled water. Hit the offed road and dipped dipped dipped til we got to the trailhead, parked the car, found socks like a miracle and set off into the rocky unknown. We were hiking, surrounded by mountains on all sides, on the rockiest trail — it was steep and hot and dusty. As we for higher, we saw beyond the mountains. We saw desert and city and the sun was setting around us. We could see the cave in the distance now. That’s where we were headed- the ‘window,’ if you will. We could hear what sounded like a huge family reunion os. As we get closer, there was a man at the cave drinking a gallon of water. My heat crazed sweaty mind started to play murder fantasies, but somehow it seemed ok to keep walking, even as blood and gore flashed behind my eyelids. As it seemed ok to do a lot of things. We reached the cave, a family emerged, entertained us on the way down with hilarious commentary at every step they took. We finished, drove back, got in the car to head to Juarez, Mexico. Squeezed in the Back seat, headed towards the bridge and the border control, our international adventure. Car got searched, auntie Lisa spoke in Spanish, drove downtown. It was different than I remembered. There is lots of violence in Juarez today, lots of abandoned buildings. My aunt and uncle were anxious to bring us even though my uncle goes there all the time. Uncle Jorge called his brother, which was a hilarious screamed at each other on the phone trying to hear mixed messages bad signal phone call. We drove to where he said there would be ok restaurants to go to. We went to one, had margaritas and platos Mexicanos, and my 16 y/o cousin Esteban had his first restaurant beer. It was exciting and I remembered when I was in Juarez when I was 14 And had my first margarita. When we finished eating, we headed back towards the border to a much longer line. We bought Mexican candy though the window and began to play all kinda of strange games to pass the time, until we finally started I fall asleep. After about an hr we showed our passports and passed back through the border. El Paso and Juarez are touching when you drive down the highway in El Paso, you can see people in Juarez that’s how close you are, but the switch in the border Makes such an immediate shift. We’ve been through so many shifts, my mind feels numb. We’ve gone trough timezones, driven across states in a day, been surrounded by so many people and climates and cultures. And time warps. Sunday in El Paso, we went to white
Sands in New Mexico. We sled down the HUGE dunes. Chloe and Emily both flipping over themselves on separate occasions. Me reliving my cautious childhood and refusing to lift up my feet going down to go fast. Auntie Lisa flipping over, her lime green sled in the air. There was white, pure gypsum for miles. We walked around, found a camel named Matilda and a strange bible thumping camel man. We drove back, and delicious enchiladas, encourage Esteban to finally do his homework, and relaxed and planned our drive to Austin in the morning.
At around 11 we decided to take an hour long journey to the only Dairy Queen in the area that was open late. Yum, blizzards. I had no idea about DQ.
We are addicted to podcasts…
We are listening to:
This American life
Check check it out
2 hr trip to juarez, Mexico - cheq it
We left our coveted yurt at 7am, after watching the sunrise over lake cachuma at 6. the sunrise was perfect and the ball of the sun rose just as we had to leave. we went on our merry way, headed to the grand canyon. we had a ten hour drive ahead of us and were determined to get there by sunset so that we could avoid setting up the tent in the dark. the drive quickly turned from california palm trees and sunshine to endless desert. although beautiful, the desert was HOT. DRY. and VAST. we would drive for miles on end with no signs of life forms. then… after spending hours driving in the heat with our SVC TIRE MONITOR light flashing at us and no ac (too hot ~ how ~ironic~ as alanis would say) we entered a desert storm. the clouds began to loom over head… it became dark as if the sun was setting at 3 pm…my iphone began to flash WARNINGS OF A FLASH FLOOD!!!!! we panicked, entering a rain storm with dramatic lightning flashing all around us in the endless sky. we wondered if we should pull over, find shelter, wait out the storm and toss aside our grand GRAND CANYON plans. but no, we persevered. we even needed gas and braved the only gas station around, filling up outside and rushing before the power went out ~~~ and then. just as we were getting back on the highway, the storm cleared. it was very dramatic - out of the darkness suddenly the sky was visible and the sun was even shining through. there was hope for our night ahead in the tent. We drove right on over the rainbow into fields of greenery and blue skies. When we finally arrived at Grand Canyon Village, GC, we set up our tent. The tent was massive which we were not prepared for, especially because we only had a tiny twin bed air mattress to fill it with. also, there was no fly in the bag so thank god it didn’t rain. we probably should have set it up before we left but WHATEVA. so after we set up the tent, we miraculously put together a delicious dinner. Julia made rice the night before at the ~yurt~, and then we mixed the rice, black beans, salsa, and an avocado we bought at the general store (roughin it, nawt). then we heated it up on our candle lantern and ate it with some refreshing extra dry andre. after eating, we were exhausted, so we cleaned everything up and went to bed. the only thing we left out was our water jug. the next day, we were taken aback because we discovered that a RAVEN had pecked through our water jug to take a leisurely sip! we had to throw it away (duh) and get a much lamer 1 gallon jug. THEN we took down the tent, checked out, and walked to the “bright angel trailhead”. after getting lost in the forest, we emerged at the trail. it was indescribable, i’d say. gorgeous. amazing. you know - the grand canyon. we hiked down for about 1 1/2 miles at a leisurely strolling pace, refilled our water bottles, and then turned to casually stroll back up the mountain. that’s where things got life threatening. hiking back up is NO easy task. we were huffing and puffing and using full body strength to emerge at the top of the rim. it is STEEP! and the air is thin, and it’s hot. it’s beautiful but TOUGH that canyon. so then finally we emerged and we decided to not take a second hike but instead drive along a scenic route. We drove along desert view drive and reached many look out points - at one we did a lovely rosh hashanah ceremony and did tashlich in the canyon. we threw our whole wheat bread slices into the cavernous depths, releasing sins and regrets and ringing in a positive new year. people might’ve thought we were a bit odd but whatever. then we drove to the grand lookout, glanced out at the abyss, and went on our merry way - headed to TUCSON, arizona.
Driving through Arizona was literally gorge. We started in the greenest mountains ever, at altitudes of 7,000+— never ending mountains and greenery and sky. Then we found ourselves in the 115 degree heat of the desert as we approached phoenix. BUT WE DIDN’T CARE BECAUSE THE FRIG SUN WAS LITERALLY SETTING IN OuR hAiR aNd FaCeS. so beautiful- so many colors, mad colors. AND THE CACTI!!!!! Never in my life have I seen such an amazing sight. There were cacti EVERYWHERE, and they were HUGE. SO TALL like trees. Then we stopped in Phoenix (gr8 city) and ate dinner at Wile Thaiger. Who knew Arizona could make such rad curries and noodles. YUMM. Also we had a “Lucky Buddha Beer” which came in a buddha shaped bottle which was cool. More pics coming soon.
When we arrived in tucson that night, we were greeted by the exuberant and charming catherine radachi, circa camp canadensis 2012. she was SO generous and let us literally sleep in her studio apt !! the kindest. we were accompanied by her cat for the night - JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. this cat was buck wild and had very dog like tendencies. he loved us, we loved him, check out the vid below. then the next day we ate breakfast at the hotel congress where john dillinger was originally captured! oOoO. THEN we drove around tucson, went to trader joes, and headed out around noon to go to EL PASO TEXAS.
we now sit in el paso - in julia’s relatives’ living room. Here, we have done a lot - including a site trip to mexico - STAY TUNED!
The Natural Disaster
Woke up to this cat (dog) literally licking the face/barking