Last scrap of journal I could find for this Kerouacian trip out west with Misha...
i try to get misha to go to mass with me. 'i don't have any nice clothes' he says. 'you don't need nice clothes to go to mass' i say. 'well, i'm agnostic anyway...' i stare uncomfortably at tacky christmas lights adorning the walls while the old priest cracks bad jokes. we roar out of town and head west towards silver city, only to find it isn't all that matt a. had made it out to be. we decide to forgo a night there and instead buy some groceries and head up rt. 15 towards the Gila wilderness. after getting up into the mountains, i feel like dean-incarnate zipping down switchback roads on momentum that twist like a snake and cause you to turn sharp every two seconds. a tourist greets us at the top...'we've got it better than those injuns, don't you think?' as he climbs in his ford f-350. i ponder the question...a night in the back of the truck in an empty parkinglot, we wake up with ice everywhere on the inside windows and roar out on a breakfast of evaporated milk and dried apricots, forgoing our plans at a 10,000ft. mountain climb. for some reason i develop a real hatred for the cliff dwellings and deny them a visit just to spite them. we even miss the wilderness hot springs, though that was a regret i mulled over for miles.
there was a time when there was nothing i would rather do than take a backpacking trip in such an exotic state, but i made amends with myself that such wilderness excursions were neither necessary nor a source of enjoyment. this is not the first time i've felt like this. the only difference is that i abandoned any lingering feelings of guilt over my domestication. my relationship with the wild has become personified in recent years, the more i think about it the more similarities it holds to any human relationship. we fall in love, we fall out of love, going our separate ways, yet being molded by the people that come in and out of our lives.
we stop off at a park cafe to get warm and plot our next course over a cup of joe. our waitress informs us that there was an explosion in T or C the night before; apparently someone backed into a propane tank and set of a series of explosions that rocked that dreary little town. to add to this, seven escape cons are roaming new mexico after a recent bust-out and there is a state-wide manhunt going on as we speak. we snub our butts and decide to head west, not wanting to stick around for a brewing storm.
we pick up a couple of hitchhikers on rt. 10 near the state line, deciding to take our chances that they aren't one of the Texas 7. turns out they were kind folk from minnesota, but they didn't have anything of worth to offer conversation wise and reminded me of the dime-a-dozen 20 something AT. we spent most of the ride in respectful silence. misha and i wonder where all the deans-and-sals are these days.