Day one

Several months ago my friend Zagy and I had the idea to embark upon a cross-country road trip for the purpose of sight-seeing, rock climbing, and general youthful shenanigans.  After a series of ambitious discussions we acquired two more friends, Baz and Nani, to accompany us to Los Angeles in Zagy’s blue mini-van. Some planning ensued, and we formed an itinerary:

July 2nd – Leave for Salisbury, Connecticut and stay with Nani’s family through the fourth of July.
July 5th – Drive west to a WalMart Supercenter in Cleveland, OH (camping is allowed in their parking lots)
July 6th – West to a WalMart Supercenter in Des Moines, IA
July 7th – West to Boulder, Colorado. Tourism in the City, Rock Climbing at the Flatirons, and sightseeing at Rocky Mountain National Park
July 10th – Northwest to Yellowstone. Fighting bears.
July 12th – Arrive at Lake Mead near Las Vegas. Climbing at the Red Rocks, swimming at the lake.
July 13th – Staying in Los Angeles with family friends. Day trips to Joshua Tree National Park.
July 18th – Grand Canyon!
July 20th – Eastward towards Alabama.
July 22nd – Steele, Alabama for rock climbing.
July 24th – Baltimore!
July 26th (or a little later) – Homewards

The road trip started off at eight in the morning in West Roxbury. Zagy, Nani, and Baz left for Salisbury, Connecticut, while I stayed back to nurse a knee injury I suffered playing ultimate frisbee the previous night. I was heartbroken watching the Netherlands – Brazil game, but relieved that my knee would be fit to heal in time for the trip. Later that night, at around one in the morning, I was watching a great documentary on William Kunstler when Zagy came to pick me up. We booked it back through foggy roads to Salisbury; I needed to be there the next day for a remote-controlled regatta.
-Ben

We (Nani, Zagy and I, Baz!) drove straight out to Salisbury to spend some time with Nani’s family in and around the fourth of July. Zagy drove the whole way, while Nani slept and read, and I (Baz) sat shotgun. On the way we played a license plate game that I am too lazy to explain, but I will tell you we got to 103.

We arrived at around 10:39 (before Nani and I are usually awake), and relaxed for a while before our work committee tasks began. Nani and I leisurely waited for machines to wash and dry, followed by some light folding.

Zagy’s work, on the other hand, consisted of wading in pond muck, pulling a canoe with him, and lifting thirty pound piles of pond weeds into said canoe. Eventually, after a good amount of reading, a cold 49 grams (the amount of sugar in the soda I was drinking) and watching Zagy’s struggles, I came in to help him, although was not able to grab as much. Soon after I got in he decided that one person on the canoe was enough, and proceeded to swim out to the middle of the pond and twist until he was covered in weeds. This resulted in him sinking under water for about three seconds until he managed to shake off about half the weeds. He then struggled to shore where Nani’s brother Billy had to help hoist the weeds out onto dry land. After that he was done, and took a short rest before, near single-handedly (Nani’s father helped) clearing lily-pads to form the race track for the regatta. Later that night Zagy was the only one to wear a jacket to dinner. Needless to say he won over the whole family.

After work the road trip group paddled off to adventure. We moved out from the pond adjacent to the house to the connecting lake. We stopped at a small island, where we found the grave of a woman named Terry and her daughter.

Dinner was pork marinated in honey mustard and lamb, both served with an Italian salsa. We savored it as one of our last real meals.

I (Zagy) left at 10:30 to pick up ben. At four in the morning ben and I got back. The group is back together.

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3 Responses to Day one

  1. Ben's nervous mother says:

    glad to see you’re all still standing one day into the trip! I’m in Bangor ME, not nearly as glamorous as a Regatta…but at least I won’t be sleeping at a Walmart anytime soon….

  2. janet yassen says:

    This is the most wonderful vicarious trip that i’ve ever been on…good friends and adventure….what could be better…(of course I’ll throw in good wishes for saftety from a mom!!!!). Of course zagy would wow folks….he wows us every day and we LOOOVVEEE him (and his wonderful gang!!)
    looking forward to more!
    janet

  3. pat hamilton says:

    Hello Zagy, Baz, Nani and Ben,

    It sounds like an absolutely wonderful beginning to your adventures. I am happy that Ben is in good health (and that all of you are in good health). Keep the blogs coming, they are wonderful!!! – Oh, and sleep well in the Walmart parking lots.

    Love,

    Pat

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