According some government document, we are only allowed to drive for 10 hours, but work a 15 hour day. In the last four days, I have worked 67 hours. We work 15 hour days. 15 hours of sitting on my ass. 15 hours a day without a coke. 4 days without a coke. I awoke this morning at the usual hour of 530 because that is when every one else wakes and there is no point sleeping. I started the DMOB process and then at approximately 730am, I headed out of camp on the dirt road and into civilization. My first stop was the car wash where I unloaded the entire truck on their sidewalk. And when I left I gave them a case of gatorade and some water. Second stop was Wal-Mart.
I had 5 things on my list. Things to replenish my fire pack. Most importantly on the list was the lotion. Your hands become so dry during the fire. And I couldn't find any lotion while I was there. I walked out of Wal-Mart with just under $100 of junk that I probably didn't need. How does that happen?
My third stop was going to be Starbucks, but they didn't have one. I hit the Interstate and called BF. He was just pulling into Starbucks. I told him he sucked. I drove up the Interstate and when I gassed up I finally purchased that coke. It was 1030am so I was allowed to get one. That is my rule. I headed up through the mountain road to say hello to some people I went to EMT school with. The drive was unbelievable. Through the forest I traveled. The cliffs rising overhead were spectacular. I stopped and said hello to my friends and asked which was I should go. Scenic that way, shorter that way. I went scenic.
The state Utah is so damn diverse. On the drive over, I went through three different climate regions and on the way back, I swear I went through more than that. There was the forest which then opened up to the lava beds which then opened up to the plains and so on. It is crazy. I was sick of being in the vehicle though because that was all I did on the fire was sit on my ass. So I was making quite a bit of stops and snapping photos.
I came back to the Interstate from the backroads and saw a sign for a state park 5 miles in the opposite direction. Ah, what the hell. I have 15 hours to burn and I am only up to about 8. So I drove down the road and wondered what was at all the point of interest signs, but refused to stop and get out of the vehicle. I stopped at the visitor center to inquire about hikes that I might partake in the future. The 900 year old woman was attempting to talk to me through fits of coughing. And she wasn't that helpful anyway. But the coughing was scaring me so I decided this park wasn't for me. And once again I headed down the road. I passed a highway patrol officer who had this pickup truck pulled over with something in the back piled about 3-4 feet up in the bed of the truck. The officer had to be laughing his ass off when he pulled this one over because holding down whatever was in that bed was duct tape. I am talking about a mound a duct tape that was taped to the vehicle. I was laughing so hard. I mean it had to be like 20 rolls worth. I didn't have a chance to catch the plate to see where the redneck was from.
I made phone calls when the Verizon man visited the area even though I still think he has never been to Utah. I listened to the Xm comedy station and sang along with the other music stations. I did the speed limit, but frequently thought of throwing on the lights and rolling back home quicker. And then I got a craving of French fries, strawberry shake, and a coke. The coke was an afterthought. I pulled into McD's drive thru. Med. fries, strawberry shake, and a coke. "Sorry our shake machine is out right now". Ok. She was actually very apologetic when I paid for the other items. I drove across the street to Burger King. Strawberry shake. "Sorry our shake machine is out right now". WHAT! Are all the shake machines out in the city? This was a conspiracy. How can that possibly be. I drove away thinking if I see another place will I stop. I didn't see another one though. I drove on and on and on.
I stopped twice more to snap some photos (located on More Photos on sidebar-Square Fire at More Photos link). I made one more phone call in a zone I knew worked, but was short lived. I knew that too because it was where I slapped my phone on the steering wheel two weeks prior because I had lost signal. And then I finally made it into town and to my house. I immediately started laundry because it stunk, did some little chores, and then headed to Banditos for dinner. I love going on trips, but hate coming back because there is so much to do.
And for the first time in a year, tomorrow I will be strapping the heat on my hip and getting on with my career. Be safe out there.