My regular readers know I’m in Death Valley for a few days. I have so much to talk about I will probably have to use many blogs to cover all the stories. But my first day with the Bucknell Geology Team, I scored four A’s. Yesterday I couldn’t spell gee-olly-gist and today I are one. Let me tell you about my four A’s.
The first “A” was for “AHHHHHHH shit.”
That was my voice yelling when the right rear tire shredded like a NASCAR wreck. Luckily we didn’t hit the wall but pulled over on the loose gravel.
My second “A” was for “Angela” my wonderful daughter. She was my passenger when the tire blew out and shredded. We were literally in the middle of nowhere. We had left the geology team finishing up their mapping of an ancient Cambrian rock display and father and daughter snuck off to Pahrump (or elephant fart, as the natives call it) for a late lunch. Pahrump was about 30 miles from the Emigrant Pass area and I knew a very special place in that weird town. In my traveling days I had discovered the Pahrump Winery and their gourmet chow.
So, we had that nice lunch and were heading back to the tents and cabins of Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley. On a desolate patch of Hwy 127 we had our flat tire. We could only get two of the lug nuts off the tire. We strained, grunted, pushed and pulled to no avail. No cell phone bars, and the closest town would be the 60 miles back to Pahrump. I knew I couldn’t drive 250 miles home on that “play” tire in my trunk so we would need to re-visit Pahrump IF we could get the damn lug nuts off. After 45 minutes of trying, and it was 90 degrees, an old beat up pickup truck came into view. My daughter waved him down.
My third “A” was for Alejandro. He pulled over and ahead of us and walked back to us with a big smile. He first introduced himself and wanted to know our names. He probably stood about five feet four inches and weighed a good 120 pounds. I told him I was giving those lug nuts everything I had but I had bad disks and he nodded and said he had back disks too. But he said, “I think I have what we need.” He walked back to the back of his truck. Oh, yes, I didn’t mention his truck was packed with many interesting things. He had a large cage full of rabbits. He had a television that looked like it was new in 1970. He had some plants and clothes and “voila” he pulled out a can of good old WD 40.
Alejandro sprayed the two frozen lug nuts, then took the tire iron and placed it on one of the nuts in a horizontal position. He then jumped on the tire iron and the nut was loose. He did the same to the other lug nut. Alejandro told us he still had seven hours of driving. He said he was a cowboy from way up on the Idaho/Nevada border. He then asked us to walk back to his truck with him.
The fourth “A” was for Avocados, which he insisted we take as a parting gift from him. He refused any money from us and smiled his big toothy smile and drove away, waving back at us for a few hundred yards.
I guess I should add a fifth “A” for ANGEL.