Day 23 27th
Paul woke us at 5.30am, to get an early ride out of Mexican Hat. (JB tells us it was named so because back then no one knew how to spell sombrero.)
I ran up to Beckies to grab batteries & Paul’s laptop which she’d been charging for us in her hotel room. I was wary of waking her at such an hour, but she was as sweet as she had been the night before & wished us well on her trip, despite the hour.
I ran back & took my turn for a swim/bath in the San Jaun river, which feeds into Lake Powell.
We walked our way through the spectacular landscape to the road to hitch our way out of town. At the gas station where I was getting water, were a couple of women with a pick up. I asked if they wanted a bunch of vagrants on their tray & they agreed they could do that. And that was how we saw the Mexican & his hat that Mexican Hat was named after,
followed by the Valley of the Gods.
The ladies were turning off to go to New Mexico & dropped us out at Bluff.
It was a pretty spot, but for some reason we struggled to get a ride for a while.
There was another hitch hiker here, who claimed to be a son of the Gods & didn’t believe in touch. He’d been waiting for a ride since yesterday & didn’t want us talking to him or cramping his hitch space. Considering our looks, an understandable position.
I climbed the rock for a broader view of things & to pray. (If you can spot me...well you get nothing, but you can feel pleased with yourself if you like.)
Bluff, while in the middle of no where, really was a worthwhile spot to be left, stranded on the side of the road.
Once we got rid of the chainsaw, (see photo) a ride finally did pull over. They went back & picked up the Son of the God’s also & we all got taken to Blanding, where our sign was asking to go.
The ‘no touch Son of the Gods’ didn’t speak a word to us once he got out of the cab, but continued down the road alone.
I’ve been told that a new baby, if left without any touch, before long dies.
I wondered what kind of an existence it must be, to live as The Son of the Gods had chosen to.
Blanding had an incredible visitor centre & we got dropped right outside. I went in to use the facilities & was given a goodie bag with all sorts of treats, including granola bars & Pepto-Bismol.
We met Vince outside, who was going where we were, but had run out of money. He was given $5 gas money from the same amazing visitor centre?! Nateon went in to see what we could do to get Vince’s tank filled & they referred him to workers assistance, to which we headed.
Here we met with Joanie Alvarez, who was running on very little sleep as the result of jet lag & was looking forward to the end of the day so as to enjoy her weekend.
However, despite her physical exhaustion, Joanie went the extra mile, plus a few more for us. She not only organised a full tank of gas for Vince to get to Glenwood for work, but also organised some food money to go with it & didn’t require us to work a minute to get it, but instead offered us her blessing.
Never before have I seen a government department be so cheerfully helpful, with such efficiency for someone in need. It’s little wonder Joanie had awards for employee of the year on her wall. She was living the standard & personifying the founding spirit of the organisation.
A wise man once told me that the level of a society's civilization can be gauged by the way they treat their underprivileged. I guess it's fair to say that at least from our perspective, Blanding is a high society.
Vince, with his government funded full tank of gas, took us to Wilson’s arch,
then on through the West Water Canyon, to Grand Junction in his 1980s pick up with box top camper. Paul valiantly offered to take the 'back seat' in the camper in the 90 + heat while Nate & I enjoyed the stunning scenery from the cab.
We stopped once or twice to check Paul was still alive along the way.
Vince, or V Man as his friends called him, an ex Marine, was a great traveller who has been to most of America’s great parks & enjoys taking life as it comes. He was heading to Grand Junction to get some part time work, before moving on to Glenwood to get work on the roads, as he did last summer.
After bouncing some ideas off us, he decided he’d crank down, go dry & get straight into the work the very next Monday. He took us all the way to Glenwood & we camped out at a rest area there.
Paul’s survival is testimony to the power of miracles. I spent 10 mins in the back of the truck on the last leg & even with my robe around my face, came out with head spins & aches from the fumes. How Paul made 7 hours in conditions people use to end their time on earth, is beyond reasonable explanation.
Perhaps he's not human.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Day 23 27th
Posted by SocialMonks at 10:35 PM