TRAVELS WITH GREASE AND PADDLE
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Slept on a USFS road in the Gila National Forest on Tuesday and drove through the mountains to Hillsboro, NM on my way to NM State in Las Cruces. Then back north to Albuquerque.
In Albuquerque, I was hosted in fine style by Dara and Jeremy Johnson. Dara is the sister of my old friend and colleague Ben Houdek. Last year I worked with the third Houdek, Josh, lobbying Congress in support of a wilderness bill, so it was nice to meet Dara and round out the Houdektrifecta. Jeremy was busy in his role as outdoor programs director for a prep-school, so Dara and I biked and hiked around the area and hunted for grease. I found a huge score at a sushi place just down the street from their house, but the bin was locked. Decided to ask just to be sure. “We’ve been waiting for you,” the manager replied. Hmm. He’s made arrangements with someone and thinks I’m the one. Do I fess up, or just play along and score the fill-up? I fess up. “Uh, you must be mistaken. I’m just passing through.”
“Yeah, the bin’s full and we’ve been waiting for someone like you to show up and empty it for us. Go help yourself.” Someone like me…..
So the impeller in my gathering and transfer pump is broken and a new one and while Golden Fuel is great about shipping a new one, they can’t get it to me any sooner than Waco, some 1000 miles down the road. I result to the old dip and slop method. This works, but leaves me covered in grease and sweat. My high tech system has been taken back to a more primitive era. I resemble Daniel Plainview in the early scenes of There Will Be Blood. After a crazy time searching every business that supplies pumps to the southwest, I finally locate a hand-crank cast iron unit thanks to Dara. It will get me to Waco, but it won’t be easy. It’s a cool device though, really heavy and bright red, like something from a firefighting museum.
Now back south to Las Cruces- El Paso- Big Bend NP........