This morning I am thinking about Arizona for some reason. I don’t know why. I suppose it is because it is such a beautiful state and a wondrous place to visit. Recalling a time, now long past, when we were there and life was good.
We are eastbound, just outside Holbrook, Arizona, and the wife notices this huge reptile looking thing, which seems to be running alongside the interstate. After a little detective work we discover that it is a advertisement for a place called the “Dinosaur Monument.” We find the exit and do our thing, slowly driving down the road, we note “truck parking” and then down the road, the main body of the place.
A small parking lot, a few cars, and a little guard shack off on the left.
I pull into the truck and trailer onto the lot, there is one tired old soldier sitting there, run of the mill Columbia Freightliner, all alone and by himself. I pull up, make a slow leisurely circle and then slide up next to the Freightliner. This is when I notice what appears to be a guard or a man, who seems frantic, running our way waving his arms in the air. Shut the truck down, opened the door and stepped outside, and this guy runs up to me and matter of factually blurts out …. “You cannot park there!”
So I look at him and I reply, “How you doin’ neighbor?” and again he repeats, “You cannot park there.” The urgency is still in his voice, the lack of authority seems to be missing, but you can tell he is clearly upset about this entire thing.
I stretch a little, always good to stretch, to take advantage of the stop, and I say to him, “What is the problem here my friend, I do not understand?” He then points at the behemoth I am parked next to, the old Freightliner, and says, “this lot is truck parking only sir.” I look over at Cup Cake and I smile, she rolls her eyes, she knows what is coming next, she knows what is coming down, this is not her first rodeo.
“No problem pardoner, this is a truck and a trailer.”
He then starts gesturing with his hands and arms and making huge circles out of thin air. Once again, clearly confused and very much not in control, he blurts it out ……… “It is a truck and trailer lot for big trucks” which a new or old Freightliner would surely fit the bill. Unfortunately, my standard sized pickup and trailer also come under that heading, truck/trailer.
“I agree,” is what I answer up with and add, “and this, this is a truck and trailer parked in a truck lot.”
This time clearly with a sense of urgency in his voice for the second time he says:
“YOU CANNOT PARK THERE!”
I look at him and I say, “So in other words, you want me to drive this rig down there (and I point at the main body of the place, the small lot with a few cars) and you want me to park down there, is that right?” He smiles, he has won, the point has been made, “Yes! Yes!” he says. We both meet and agree on a mutual point and he seems dramatically relieved to have solved this monumental problem. Graciously, I acquiesce to his request and ask of him, “Can I ask one more question before we do this?” and he says, “Yeah sure, what is it?”
“I was just wondering. When I get down there to that very small parking lot, it will be okay with you and those people down there when I take up five to six spaces in order to park my rig? Is that okay?” He seems temporarily knocked off balance and asks of me, “What are you talking about, I thought we had a agreement on all this.”
“We do, we do, no problem there” I replied, “We do. We sure do not have a problem on that. But this thing is 43 ft long, you cannot stand it on its head in order to park it, it won’t fit in ONE SPACE it needs five or six.”
Quickly doing the math required to make all this work, Mr. Security Guard decides that perhaps the best thing for BOTH of us would be to just let it set where it currently was residing. He says, “Leave it right there where you have it, that will work.”
About that time a shiny little beamer (BMW) with New York tag pulls up, the window comes down and the guy in the driver’s seat asks, “Can you tell me how to get to Monument Valley, Arizona?” So the security guard points at me and says, “Ask him.”
So briefly I poop the guy up. I explain just how it is, that you get there.
“Go west on I-40 until you see a sign that says #89 north, Lake Powell. That is your exit. You drive north of Flagstaff and you will come to a fork in the road, one road heads north to the Lake Powell area and the other road bends to the east, it will say Kayantah or some other Indian name, heading east the road now turns into #166 at that point. This will take your right into the main entrance of Monument Valley.”
The New York couple thanks me and then they head off west. I look at the security guard and I say to him, “why didn’t you tell him how to get there, you live here.” He shrugged his shoulders and then said, “Hell, you seem to know everything else I figured you knew that too.”
Next time I will tell you about the couple we met at the Painted Desert by paying their entrance fee for them (told the gate guard to pick up the guy behind me, who we did not know). Turned out to be some pretty interesting people.
Life is short … Enjoy the Ride