Last month I set out on a road trip to check in with the “mad scientist” that runs Last Refuge Hotrod. He’s working with me on a ”top secret project” . All I can tell you is the project involves one old trailer who goes by the name of Pearl. Anything more and I’d have to…well you know.
I can report that YES INDEED, my pretty Pearl is progressing and although slow (because I am a bit of a foot tapping ‘let’s get it done” personality—not to mention I am DYIN’ to launch her NOW!) things are moving along. And if I actually had a journal for “best road trips ever”, I’d have jot this one in it. Because as trips go, this one ranks smack dab at the top o’ my list. The visual stimulation was OVER THE TOP and CONSTANT yet at the same time had the ability to calm my soul. And I’m tellin’ you, I don’t normally run in “calm” mode. In fact I don’t normally venture anywhere near that vicinity.
It’s all because of THE DESERT.
Something about it just comforts me. Maybe it’s because I am rooted there, in the desert.
THIS DESERT, however, is on another level all together. Like a sort of SUPER DESERT.
The colors, the smells, the sounds, the creatures, the rock formations, the dust, the Indian paintings, the old buildings, the abandoned roadside fodder. I had a tough time convincing myself I wasn’t dropped,SMACK DAB in the middle of a JOHN FORD movie.
Time and again I would pinch myself just to see if I was delusional.
And that’s not an overreaction either, it’s reality.
The wind was blowing tumble weeds and dust across prairies that were speckled with buttes. Buttes that WITHOUT any sort of rhyme or reason, erupted randomly from the desert floor. And the blowing dust swirled all around them creating these super-strange sand paintings.
There were horses and cattle, all roaming across the plains. Occasionally I’d spot a giant, almost prehistoric looking black bird trying to make its way out of a dust cyclone that had caught it in its path. The birds would flap their wings frantically then eventually pull out of the vortex and soar away to the calm part if the sky.
Although my trip was fairly lengthy ( just over 7 hours) it flew by so quickly that in what SEEMED LIKE the blink of an eye, I’d arrived at my destination.
It’s likely Last Refuge’s manufacturing ‘facility’ has its own zip code. It’s THAT BIG. In fact, it’s GIGANTIC. I was told the building itself is an acre in size, inside. The size of the space lends itself to fantastic echoing acoustics. I regretted leaving before remembering to bust out yodeling…just to see how the giant acoustics would handle such a vocal display…but there’s always next time.
I can’t cinch up this post without mentioning Rosie. The sweetest of bird dogs… she smelled of dead pigeons. And her ears were like velvet.
WHAT a hound.
A brown velveteen hound with freckles.
Saying it was hard not to sneak her home with me (and give her a bath!) would be an understatement.
But I didn’t sneak here home, I left empty handed.
Well, empty handed EXCEPT for Pearl’s aluminum parts—which are now sitting in my garage, in desperate need of polishing.
I’ll share my visuals with you here…but you’ll need to forgive the hodge-podgy nature.
below: a peek inside LRH-
a current project inside LRH
below: a giant piece of equipment that breaks things.
a girly-sized Rock Star that comes COMPLETE with a tiny bendy straw. Cuteness. Didn’t need it because the landscape visuals kept me going but “just in case”, I picked one up. As energy drinks go, this one is pretty chic.
below: there wasn’t much in Cortez Colorado but they did have a liquor store with a groovy old sign.
(unrelated to liquor, I happened to have the best Cafe Americana I’ve ever had, here in Cortez. Got it from the espresso bar inside the Piggly Wiggly…that isn’t really the name of the market but it should be. Because it was very Piggly-Wiggly-esque.)
…and below, some of the roadside fodder I mentioned earlier.
This can be seen between HERE (Phoenix) and THERE (Cortez).