Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Forth & Back...Colorado/Albuquerque

The trip to Colorado was cut short by rain. It started during the night while camped about 30 miles south of Farmington, New Mexico on the road to the Bisti Wilderness. The morning strutted the famous turquoise sky with some thin clouds on the horizon, but by 9:00 things had changed...those thin clouds had blown themselves up to all-encompassing proportions and were now heavy and gray. They were everywhere and after an hour of wandering around Farmington (enough to make anyone suicidal) I bowed to my intuition and headed back to Albuq. That was Sunday. The rain finally stopped yesterday (Tuesday).

The Plan is to depart on the first for the Windscape Kite Festival at Swift Current, Saskatchewan. In the meantime, I went to the U-Pull-It junkyard where I got lucky. 

The tale starts at 3:00 p.m. (gettin' hot) at the entrance to the yard. The young woman who takes yer money and stamps yer hand (like at a bar) directed me to the self-serve kiosk to find the location of desired vehicles. I'd gone online a few days earlier and , but according to *this* unit they didn't have any. I went to ask for a refund and instead she handed me a list; they were in the next-to-last row, a quarter of a mile away. (Mind you, 1/4 mile isn't that intimidating, but at 32 degrees celsius with armloads of junk it's a bit of a trek.)

An hour and a half later, sweating to rival Niagara, I'd morphed into a hording dragon. I had a radio, a practically-new driver's seat, window cranks WITH KNOBS and a variety of plastic thingies. Looping the hatch gasket (4m of rubber tubing) over my shoulder like a bandolier, I tucked stuff under my arms and clutching the rest, slogged to the front. They close at 4:30 and it was 4:20 when I presented myself to the cashier. She'd tabulated $75.00 when I realized I'd left the seat next to the car. She said they'd wait while I retrieved it. The line behind grew unruly as I inquired about where to leave my stuff. She warned that people might bother it if I left it there. Since I was now in physical danger, I stepped out of line and watched the toothless, howling horde surge forward. Eager to be home with their TeeVee(s), they practically threw the money at the cashier.

Roberta, Stan and Tasha

It was then I spied the young woman who'd stamped my hand two hours earlier. She was stocking the coke machine and with a quick shuffle I was at her side. In my best beseeching whine, a remnant from my panhandling days, I begged her assistance. Her gimlet eye prompted a self-assessment -- olde, unattractive and at her mercy. But she agreed, although I could tell it was "irregular" and an imposition. (I know this is tedious, but bear with me.)

I grabbed a wheelbarrow (courtesy conveyance) and blearing (sweat coursing off my brow) through the heat waves made the trudge forth & back. It was well past 4:30 when I returned but the pushers and shovers were gone. A quick inventory reassured me my stuff was still there. I pulled a $5.00 from my wallet and turned to begin my hunt for the coke-stocker when suddenly, she magically appeared. 
She wanted to know what it was for. 
I reminded her of my request to keep vigil. 
She feigned disdain. 
I demanded to know if she'd done the job. 
She admitted she had. 
After vociferously advising she "Just say thank you!!" she acquiesced. 

I then turned to the cashier, a different one than The Tabulator (see para above photo). Once again presenting my gleanings, she informed me she'd added them up while I was gone. And after deftly inserting the seat into her calculations, she announced the total: "$59.48."

As I scrambled to clear out, the parts did their damnedest to escape from under my elbows and fall from my arms, the coke-stocker enthusiastically wished me "Havva good day!" Her accompanying smile was worth countless five-dollar priceless treasure.

It's a fur piece from the junkyard to the residential area and the route passes by the University north golf course, a favorite walking place. As I approached a stop sign Roberta, Stan and Tasha rounded the corner. Hand-in-hand, obviously enamored of each other's company, their smiles glowing brighter than the day, I couldn't pass them up. They kindly agreed to be photographed.

You'd have to have been there to appreciate the cumulative effect: the spring in their step, the afternoon light, the satin highlights in her skirt, Stan's t-shirt and the incredible New Mexico sky. A splendid topping to a fine afternoon! Every once in a while "the city" manages to produce.