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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 02:55 PM
Original message
I spent a day with a woman in a desert oasis, a real happening place -- we got our kicks on Route 66
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 02:58 PM by ForrestGump
No, not Vegas -- Barstow, California. And to any who doubt it's happeningness, let me just say that this desert jewel has three hundred trains passing through each day, as we were told by Someone Who Knows.

And we had a great time: we visited two closed museums, several times drove right off the edge of the town, ate some of the best fries ever conceived...it was an epic piece of fun.

My little friend (no, she's not a Little Person...compared to me, a lot of people are, physically, littler in a relative sense) and I rendezvoused in the Crown City of the Mojave Desert as we did a year ago, almost to the day, to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We met at Starbucks (we saw two there, in line with the apparent rule that every place in the US must have at least two Starbucks outlets within every 200-meter radius) and left her car - and its famed hood -- in the mostly-empty parking lot of a mall that didn't actually seem to contain any businesses other than a restaurant with a sign that read "American Korean Barbeque Chinese Food." We might try that place, one day.

Within minutes of meeting, we were off on the first of a series of adventures, this one basically consisting of driving along the main street (known, you might be surprised to discover, as Main Street) of Barstow until, not too long thereafter, running out of town. There were some pretty desperate-looking buildings along the way, along with some new homes just sitting there on acres of dirt, but Barstow also has some pretty interesting little bits of architecture, here and there, especially of the sort common to the golden age of Route 66. We were on a remnant of Route 66, the legendary Mother Road, and followed it out in to the desert a while (we were in my new old car) over a long, undulating series of switchbacks. If you're unfamiliar with the desert and its great roads, think of the oft-filmed hills of San Francisco, like the chases in Bullit! laid out on a flatter landscape...actually, we perhaps could have taken her sporty car, because it turns out that Mercedes don't get airborne too easily off the crests of those switchbacks.

So we returned to town. And we went in another direction, within about ninety seconds finding ourselves on yet another edge of the town. That wasn't about to stop us, though, so I took advantage of the legendary off-road abilities of Mercedes sedans (well, all right, maybe that's not so, but they've got to be better off-road than are those poseurmobiles like Hummers) and we lit off along a dirt road until it turned into a tract of treacherous-looking sand with an unbroken horizon of killer desert beyond. We did, however, find vast vistas of one of the West's (no, America's) most hallmark sights: trash. Lots of plastic scraps and bags, to be more precise, but also chunkier pieces like a water heater, Jimmy Hoffa, and the missing Watergate tapes. Not Good.

So away we go again, within a few more minutes finding -- yes, you know it -- yet another edge of town and yet another way to get back to I-15 to return to the point of our explorations' start. It appears, actually, that all roads thereabouts (maybe even the dirt road, had we followed it further) return to the 15. It was all totally pointless, and that was the whole point. There's just not enough exploration for exploration's sake being done these days, so we determinedly did our bit. Besides, we could just as easily have been in a wind tunnel or some sterile landscape, because the best part was just being together.

On our previous outing in Barstow we stumbled across what we discovered this time was thought of as one of, if not the, best restaurants in Barstow. To be honest, there didn't seem a lot of choice...looks like most of Barstow's dining establishments have a drive-through window. This time, again, we got lucky and decided to try what we'd later find out was also a fine establishment, an immaculate coffee-shop kinda place called Quigley's. My companion's sharp eye detected a notice that said this restaurant was the meeting place for a Democratic group, so we took that as a good sign. And it was. Very nice, though my career-related Elvisness stood out there even more than it does in Vegas.

Soon enough we were off again, in the Forrestmobile (it's nice not to have to ride my bike everywhere now), and on our way to the Railway Museum. We crossed the many tracks of the Barstow rail yard -- the railway and mining made this town -- on a most excellent trestle bridge and descended toward the museum, housed in a really cool-looking (1911) structure that seems to be called the Harvey House (we were later enlightened to the fact that there were chains of these across the US, at some point). In the parking lot was an immaculately-restored 1940-something Chrysler that was quite stunning, so we went over and had a look only to discover that there was man laying across the front seat, trying to get some sleep (we probably woke him up, 'cos when we left the place we saw him parked off in the back, behind some rail cars, trying to get away from all the damned noisy tourists). There're rail cars and other stuff all over the place outside, but it turned out that the museum was only open on weekends and so we pouted a bit and ended up talking with a similarly-disappointed Canadian couple for quite a while. They were traveling about in a VW van, in search of a place in the sun to move to, and were no fans of George W, Bush or of so many American's deficiencies in geographic knowledge...we got an invite to stay with them should we find ourselves up in Canada (wherever that is).

We next went in search of the Route 66 museum, housed in the same building (I think I violated the facility's intricate and eccentric traffic flow system on my way there, and I certainly did on my way out...good thing traffic was not exactly piling up out there), and discovered that it was closed, but the quest for a bathroom took us into the adjacent Chamber of Commerce office just as the sole woman working there was about to close it up. She noted my sideburns (the concert jumpsuit, guitar, and three bodyguards may also have tipped her off) and informed me that Barstow was, starting next May, going to host a big Elvis festival that had a ten year contract, the venue being in one of those patches of desert that we'd earlier ended up to when we were exploring the town's dimensions. I talked with her a while about that and when my buddy got back from the bathroom we all had a jolly good natter. We learned a lot about the town and the area, and the depressed economy thereabouts and how, exactly, the town's residents can afford to live there with what seemed such a paucity of work (the railway's still big, the service industry, the freeway strip restaurants, etc, Wal Mart, and a lot of people on welfare). All very interesting.

Every place has got its stories, for sure, and even Barstow -- a place most people would only touch down in long enough to refuel (not least because of paranoia -- justified, to a great extent -- regarding running out of gas in the desert, a paranoia reflected in the price gouging by gas stations there and in the next desert stop, Baker) -- has no end of them. It's reflective of the desert, really: I've always been peeved by people who rip along on desert interstates and not only fail to see the stark, Zen-like beauty of the vast landscapes but will say that "there's nothing out there." There's all sorts of stuff, everywhere, if you just stop and really look and listen a while.

So we didn't get to see either museum, but we had a good time and learned a lot, all the same. There's plenty more to see and do there, next time, including the Calico mines and ghost town, The Baghdad cafe, and those two museums, but, really, we can go anywhere else we want and it's all really about spending some time together.

We trundled back across the trestle bridge, the setting sun turning the desert beyond into a glowing aurora of warm colors, and stopped at the Circle K (dude, "strange things are afoot at the Circle K") for liquid refreshment and then parked and watched the relatively modest lights of the north side of Barstow spread below us as we talked a while. A little later, at the McDonalds that's built around a bunch of rail cars (pretty cool), we managed to get someone to take our picture together to send to a friend we both wished was there.

Here's a picture of us, from that parking lot...I've modified it somewhat, as subtly and as unobtrusively as possible, to protect our respective privacies:













































:P

And I am happy to report, to all of the many here assembled who care about my buddy of these adventures, that she is happy and healthy and doing just great. She also shares her sandwiches, and that is an admirable trait in anyone (especially in anyone who eats with me).

We discussed the possibility of hot, passionate, lesbian sex in the Travelodge across the road from the dining-car McDonalds, but I discovered -- much to my chagrin -- that I do not actually have a vagina, so that kind of put a damper on that plan. That's kind of the story of my life, really. Nevertheless, we had a great time and, after much platonic hugging (really, I could have sworn I used to have a vagina, and I mean more recently than as a zygote, but the trouble with those things is that they're never there when you need 'em...truer words, indeed, have rarely been spoken), we left for our separate destinations, both very happy.

It was a great day. :D

I love that little girl.
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lizziegrace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. ...
Sounds like a wonderful adventure with terrific company. :hug:

I hope you have many, many more. (And that you write about them.)

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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thank you!
It was a Most Excellent Adventure.

Every day can be!

:hug:

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lizziegrace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. ...
:hug:












Oh and the photo?







To many more adventures!
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #3
24. To the biggest adventure of all:
Life!



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lizziegrace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. Needed the hug
Thanks. :)
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. In that case, here's another to keep on hand...


And refills are free.
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lizziegrace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. Woohoo
:pals:

:hug:
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SOteric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
4. Awwww. If I had known you were going
I'd have baked a cake sent a smooch along for your Nova Scotia-loving friend.
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I hereby retroactively dedicate
a cheek-smooch, rendered yesterday in the bustling metropolis of Barstow, in your name.









And not because I get all hot and bothered thinking about you two women kissing, because I'm not like that and any stories you might conceivably hear to the contrary are patently false slander and the people who tell you them are most likely Freeper infiltrators with unfortunately-sized reproductive units.


:hug:

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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
5. Glad to know she's doing well
and that you are too Forrest. :hi:

I think about both of you from time to time.
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Ms nova!
:hi:

She really is, and it was great to see her again.

It's good to 'see' you again, too!

:hug:

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some guy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. lovely story
thanks!

Happy New Year to you and to your friend ... on the hood of her car :D

:hi:

:hug:

:hug:

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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Thank you, Mr guy!
:hi:

That hood has room for a lot of people!

May the year end well for you and get better during every day of the next year.

:hug:

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buddhamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
9. i'll be dreaming of car hoods
tonight and dirt roads.

i love her too. :loveya: thanks Forrest. :hug:



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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. She loves you!
Yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you
Yeah, yeah, yeah
On the hood of her car
You know that can't be ba-ad...

:D

Hi, little mama!

:hug:

Visual aid, for the purposes of heading off into the sunset on your way to sleepyland:




:loveya:


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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. That's a fantastic photo.
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Bossy Monkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
12. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
Glad NSMA is doing well and that y'all were able to get together. Sounds like a fun time!
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #12
25. She is and it was!
:hi:

And we're both in serious danger of getting to love Barstow, in all its humble glory.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
13. You got to have lunch and explore Barstow with
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 07:39 PM by merh
our buddy and she got to have lunch and explore Barstow with you?

You guys are so lucky and I am sooooo jealous x(


:hi:

:loveya:




edited cause I can't spell.

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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #13
26. It was a great way to wrap up a year, too, though we've
got to stop meeting like this...

...by which I mean that we've got to do it more often than once a year! :D

Hi, Ms merh! :hug:
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #26
42. Hi ya Mr. ForrestGump
I'm glad you were able to meet with her, you both deserve the love! :)

I'm hoping to meet with you both one day. :hi:

:hug:

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Elidor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
14. Never stop in Barstow...
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
27. Ha!
:D

All the cool cats hang out in the desert.


(though my whiskers are shorter than that)
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
15. Where ya at, Forrest
:shrug:

Are ya working, whatcha doing? :freak:

:pals:

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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #15
28. Working singing, not sleeping
:D

The usual!

:loveya:
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
16. Great to hear ya'll had a great time....
....and lots o' love to you both!! :hug: :loveya: :hug: :loveya:
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #16
29. Thank you, Ms the_facts!
:hug:

Seems to be lots of love hereabouts, a harbinger of an excellent year for us all! :loveya:

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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #29
40. Yes indeed....
:hi:

....and as always...you're most welcome Babe!! :hug: :loveya:
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RetroLounge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
17. You had me at "three hundred trains"
:D

RL
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BrotherBuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Three hundred trains yet they never made to the Barstow Hump Yard
Edited on Sat Dec-30-06 03:02 PM by BrotherBuzz
:shrug:

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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #18
39. Hump yard?
Um... :blush: ...I'd just as soon keep that part of it all personal, if you don't mind...

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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
31. I'm well trained
Man, that was terrible...

We saw a whole procession of them during our time there, and when we were down at the old station we pondered the consequences of jumping one of them as they rolled through, but some of them really ripped through there quite quickly.

Always kind of wanted to try that, though, and the company would've been good.... :D

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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
19. All I can say is...
:thumbsup:
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #19
32. Well said!
:headbang:

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Madrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
20. What an excellent re-telling of events.
Sounds like you had GOOD TIMES - with exceptional people. :)
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #20
33. Thank you!
They were excellent events, truth be told. :hi:

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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-31-06 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
22. What a great day y'all had.
It's the kind of day I like to have. I drove back from NOLA several weeks ago--came up Hwy 51, the old route. Stopped at every flea market and second hand shop on the way. Ate at a greasy spoon.

I had my dad and kid in tow. It's the kind of day that will long live in our memories.

You two have a friendship that I envy. Not very often in life do people come along who are as genuine and compatible as you and that little woman are. I swear, if she wasn't a lesbian, y'all would have to get married. Since ZeeDub didn't let me sing at his and nini's wedding, I'd be available for yours and T's.

Two great people...I love you both.

:hug:
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #22
34. I love you, too!
And I know that our friend sure does. :hug:

It sounds like you've had many great days, with unlimited more to come...great whether writ large or more subtly so, because greatness is in the details. I love those Highway 51 days.

And if we ever get married, you could not only sing but pretty much do anything else you wanted!

I hope this year's one Big Adventure for you, every day, in a landscape of nothing but good in which curiosity and good works are rewarded by wellbeing, peace, and positive insight...

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #34
43. wow what a wonderful blessing
I'm jealous x(

though Maddy is well deserving :hi:



:hug: :loveya:
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
23. Your friend sounds a LOT like mine!!!
Edited on Mon Jan-01-07 02:10 PM by ZombyWoof
:D What a great time!!

She was a BIG HIT with both families last Friday! :toast:
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #23
35. I bet mine's cuter
:P

She even let me feel her arm (she's got some muscle there, dude) that, given that she had me give her thigh a good inspection last time, has me somewhat wondering what she'll have me feel next time! :D

'twas a great time!


Speaking of which, Mr nini...



Congratulations!!!


:D

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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #35
41. Being congratulated by Elvis
Is next to heaven. Or your friend's arm. :D

Thanks King!
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
38. Good story there Forrest
Tell your friend I said "hey".

I remember last year's post about this meet-up also. Hard to believe it's been a year.

Have a good one my friend!
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