Northern Arizona through California

I couldn’t resist a stop in my second favorite Arizona city to see my large friend BMFH. Flagstaff is always a fun stopover on my way in or out of my homestate. It was a relatively mellow visit, compared to the wild and sometimes violent times I’ve had in the woods up there. We did some day drinking downtown. Later that night Sara and I soaked in Brent’s jacuzzi underneath the rural AZ stars with cold bottle of red wine. Not bad indeed. Whenever I enter Arizona, I get this calming feeling of not quite home, but belonging or familiarity. I feel welcome. I get a similar feeling when I enter Oregon, but not as intense because I have fewer emotional ties to the state. Often that Arizona warmth accompanies the desert’s night sky. That was the case when we crossed the border from New Mexico on the way in from Denver. Cactuses were flying past headlights and a shooting star flared up and twinkled across a patch of sky half width of my windshield. By the way, that soothing feeling goes away when I enter the Phoenix metro area.

BMFH is one of my very best friends and visiting him never disappoints. The morning we left, it was Flagstaff homecoming, when the entire town wakes up at 5 a.m. and starts drinking tequila. We opted out so we could get on the road, but BMFH came home briefly at about 10 a.m. to drop off a drunk ex-girlfriend at his house to pass out. He had drunken sex with the ex, she passed out and I drove him back to the bars where he would continue to drink with close to the entire town for the rest of the day. Ah Flagstaff. Here, he and Sara play air hockey at The Collins:

Camping in the Mohave desert. Cold.

Drinks at Lake Tahoe with my ex-friend Stan, and two old, wasted locals. The grey guy is a knife sharpener, and demonstrated his skills by shaving my forearm hair with a pocketknife. Everyone at the table was fairly certain he was going to slice open my arm. Later he would ask if anyone wanted to do a line with him. Instead we had Jaebos!

Camped in Northern California. This is a big fucking tree.

The very northern coast.

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