11 September 2016
Little fluffy clouds.
I lived in Arizona once, in 1991. My time there wedged between the release of Smells Like Team Spirit and the Rodney King riots in LA. I had decided to hang up my boots and quit riding, make a go of it as an artist. Maybe the way to get people to pay me to paint was via the MFA, the last stop for artists before they become full time bartenders. Arizona seemed like a good flat place where death via earthquake was unlikely.
Right away I made friends, as well as enemies. Very easy to do in art school. I rented a room from 2 law students who loved roasting meat in the oven and might as well have come from another planet. I took up with some neighbors who were the entourage for a local hippie punk rock band, we went to shows in burned out warehouses. They knew the mountains east of Phoenix better than I knew the lines on my face, having meandered aimlessly through them on hallucinogens their whole lives and always lived to tell the tale. I didn't have a dog then, just my beloved old cat Civ.
All weekend, we'd walk deep into the Superstitions, this became more important to me than suffering through endless shrieking crits. They took me because I was afraid to smoke the ooze they squeezed out of the back of a toad's head, so I was a good one to bring since I could drive if they were still tripping. Sometimes they had to boost me up the highest rock walls, this was a whole different kind of hiking. I still have scars on my legs from run ins with the jumping cholla. They still knew the way out of endless desert passes and platueas, we always found the car again by dark.
I had a full ride to school there, but I dropped out. I loved the vistas and the mountains, but hated too many other things. While the riots were still blazing across the tv, I made my escape back to California. Haven't been back since.
Had no plans to go until yesterday, someone I know needed a team mate for the Cynosport games in November. Hadn't really considered going before that. Banksy's so young, and taking a week off work for a dog show is crazy and expensive, no doubt about that. A lot of better things I could do with that money I wouldn't be making for a week. Like pay for my car. Which would be a pretty cushy car to drive down to Scottsdale, actually. And Banksy was qualified, that just happened without trying. And we did get that bye in Steeplechase, which would let her go straight to the semifinals.
So on a whim, I said we could could team up. And found a room to stay in on airbnb, in some guy's house not far from the show, in a nice neighborhood near a park. It has a kitchen, I can make sandwiches all week, and visit my family the days before.
Just like that, road trip coming up in November, we're going to USDAA Nationals!
by team small dog at 7:10 AM