Sunday, February 26, 2006

If you're in Baja and you're dirty, look for Capt. A

Whew. He’s gone. Now we can talk.

Okay. You know that really sticky-sweet commercial for Disney with that little Welch’s-Grape-Juice-commercial-type kid (you know the kind – fat cheeks with dimples all trying to “act cute”), who can’t sleep the day before the big Disneyland day, because “I’m too excited to sleeeep.” That’s what it’s been like around here for the last week as Capt. America has packed and re-packed for his three-week-long dirt-bike-apalooza down the Baja peninsula with a bunch of other fire dudes.

There have been lists of things to bring, lists of things to do to the bike, lists of what to put in his day pack (item #9: lip balm), lists of who’s bringing GPS equipment, who’s bringing first aid, and who’s bringing the satellite phone (safety first – these are fire fighters, after all).

For each list, count two or three trips to outdoor stores, motorcycle shops, grocery stores, and bicycle shops. Then another for the one thing he forgot, or that they didn’t have. For each list, count two or three attempts at packing or attaching packs to his bike. For each list count two or three phone calls to consult with his fellow travelers.

Believe me or don’t, but a couple of days before they left, they all got together for a “packing dry run.” It sounds funnier than it was, I guess. They just wanted to make sure all the bikes fit in the truck and trailer. But is that not as cute as a Welch’s Grape Juice kid?

Believe me or don’t, but I saw two different types of “personal wipes” laid out for packing. I’m going to say they are for his first aid kit, or maybe for wiping the Baja dust out of his face after a long ride, because I just can’t imagine that he, all of a sudden, got so concerned about needing them for some “personal” use. Sorry about any unbidden mental images there.

So he’s gone and I have two Humane-Society-reject collies and a bad-tempered cat to keep me company. I have heard from a few women who would not even allow such a long trip. I say bring it on. I have lots of stuff to do around the house, a poetically large new shipment of paints, and after today’s excursion, a tank full of gas, thanks to the kind folk in Oregon who refuse to bend to the pump-it-yourself trend and allow me to steer clear of a phobic meltdown at a self-serve gas pump.

But I guess that’s a topic for another post.

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