Greetings from the road
People encountered so far:
San Diego, CA: Dan the car salesman, who, when speaking to me, ended every sentence with "sweetie."
San Bernardino, CA: The son of Paco of Paco's Tacos, which had (not kidding) the best tacos I've ever had.
Lake Havasu, AZ: The owner of "the first shaved ice shop in Lake Havasu." We reminisced about Matsumoto's shaved ice on the North Shore. His shaved ice was, in fact, comparable (although bean-free). Note: his stand was right next to the actual London Bridge.
Paulden, AZ: Our good friend Caiti, Caiti's mom, and Caiti's mom's boyfriend Tom. It was kind of funny to see where Caiti got her bookworm genes. And Tom was probably the epitome of an American Man (modern cowboy, furniture builder, and delicious breakfast maker). We heard about, but didn't encounter, Peewee, the unreliable Mexican farmhand.
Grand Canyon, AZ: Australian Hell's Angels complaining to each other about how impolite a German birdwatcher was, and about six sets of Francophone tourists.
Petrified Forest, AZ: The rudest ranger ever! "The park closes at 7:00. It's 6:47 right now. You only have 13 minutes. No stopping!!"
Los Alamos, NM: Big Ed's heir to the Black Hole, a shop that sells old science junk from the Manhattan Project and closed-down Los Alamos businesses. Big Ed died in February — this fact was mentioned to us twice. He had been a Los Alamos fixture. I bought 2 Pop Sci magazines from the 60s, a Life Nature Library book on Birds (for collage use), and a roll of Richter scale printer paper, all for $5!!
Trinidad, CO: Overactive State Troopers who inspected the registration on my car, since we were soooo suspiciously pulled over at the scenic viewpoint, taking photographs. A lady in orange got out from the backseat and observed our exchange. A half-mile later, we passed a truck that had been pulled over by the OST.
Ludlow, CO: The ghosts of the Ludlow Massacre!