Welcome back, folks. Thank you for being patient, this is the long awaited and most requested blog so far…jackasses or not jackasses, that is the question. And I will answer it…in a minute.
We wake up in Carlsbad with much to do, and after We check out of the hotel, We are back on the road again. (Im starting to feel like a Willie Nelson cover singer 😉 ) Our first stop of the day, only about an hour from the hotel, was the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. We pulled up, got a stamp, took a few pics and left. There wasn’t much to do unless you wanna hike (there are 80 miles of hiking trails) but We weren’t down for hiking on that particular hot as hell day.
We spent a little more time there looking around and learning me some things. The Memorial is there to remember the conflict that Mexico and the US had over the land in that area for over 100 years due to the natural change of course in the Rio Grande River, and the agreement they came to with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. The US/Mexico border was right across the street, and the bridge you drive across to go back and forth was so close to the parking lot We could see the people in their cars…waiting. And waiting. And waiting. The line coming into the US was stopped, for like forever, and the line going into Mexico didn’t appear to stop at all. The memorial is in El Paso TX (and so is the Guad Mtn Park. Well, in TX, not El Paso.) It was kinda cool being able to look out the window and see Mexico from the car. I don’t know why, but it was cool. For reals. HA!
Our next stop, was less than an hour away. The stop you’ve all been waiting for…Beneath the Skin Tattoos and Piercings. The link goes to their Myspace. I did a little research before We got there…they were voted “Best Tattoo Studio in Las Cruces” in ’09 after not being open long. They recently relocated to a new building that used to be a Dr office, which means that their facility is likely nicer than most. I looked at the artist’s profiles and at pictures of the people We were looking for when We got there. They happen to be fans of suspension, what a coincidence…
We discussed calling ahead, but We didn’t want it to be a big deal that We were stopping by. We just hoped they were there. When We pulled up to the studio, there was a very attractive man that obviously worked there talking with a client (I recognized the man as Dorian Antes, the piercer and the “son in law”). As We got out of the car, We listened to their transaction, and I noticed right off the bat that Dorian possesses a polite and easy going personality, something a lot of people in the industry (that I have met) lack- especially when dealing with “regular people”. We walk up to the door, calling him by name, taking him by surprise, and introducing Ourselves. He and Alicia, (the daughter and his wife), had been told We would be coming, but of course had no idea who would be walking through the door, or when. The very beautiful Alicia wasn’t there at first, but she arrived not long after Dorian gave Us a personal tour of the place. Every room had sinks, every artist’s credentials were posted, the place was so clean and organized…they have a lobby area with a couch and a couple chairs so that clients can be comfortable while deciding how to be hurt ;). They do have some flash on one wall in the lobby, but most of what they do is custom. Their jewelry case contains a variety of pretty things in various styles…from the same companies that Cali has ordered from for years. All the threaded jewelry is internally threaded, which is better for your piercings, and its hard to find internally threaded jewelry that isn’t high quality metal so the standards of this place are high from what We could tell just walking in the door. We met Daniel, one of the other 2 artists, while We were there. He was going to the store and asked if We would like anything. A redbull did sound awful refreshing. Daniel and Dorian both insisted We put the money away…thanks guys!! We hung out at the studio a while, talking and getting to know more about each other, and discovered that they knew a few of Calis friends from the area and We had a fair amount in common. During the visit, my heart was broken when I found out that Alicia isn’t currently tattooing, but i got over it quickly when I learned its because she is pregnant!! Good decision if you ask me. Alicia and Dorian are not only both incredibly sweet, but extremely attractive
so that kid is getting a good start…not the least of which comes from the fact that the baby’s gpa is an angel 😉 I intend to eventually be stabbed by both of them, and I only trust my body to the best. We had to hit the road again before Justin came in (tattoo artist) so We didn’t get to meet him that time, but We had accomplished Our mission. Discovering the jackassery content of the children of the angel. The answer…they were as far away from being jackasses as possible. I adore them and can’t wait to see them again and would send anyone I know in the area to their studio in Las Cruces. 1325 California Avenue Las Cruces NM 88001 (575)647-1501
From there, We had another 150 miles to go until the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Mapquest said it was gonna take over 3 hours to get there…must be a mistake
We stopped at a kinkos to check into Our final destination for the day by fax, Our hotel in Tucson. By the time We got there, it would be Our 3rd state of the day. The drive to the dwellings didnt seem to take long at all, until We got the Hwy 15 on which We only had 42 miles to drive…damn if the sign didn’t say 2hours drive time from there. Ummm, what? So I call the visitor center for the dwellings and ask them if that is an accurate estimate. She says yes it is, and I look at the clock, and the dwellings close the gates in 1 hour 20 minutes. Do the math. Let me be perfectly clear about this next part…He.Hauled.Ass up the mountain. We made a 2 hour drive on a treacherous winding mountain road in 1 hour and 10 minutes. When We got to the visitor center, there were 8 minutes until they closed the dwellings and We still had a 5 minute drive to the gate. I got my stamp and had to pee so bad I couldnt wait. Dear jebus, dont let them close that gate!! When We arrive a the gate entrance to the dwelling hike, We were told it closed in 2 minutes, but the lady in control of the gate said she would let Us in. It was hot outside, Im sure she was ready to go home, but she was nice enough to let Us in. We practically ran up the trail for a half mile until We got to the dwellings themselves, of which there are 6, and another ranger volunteer who had to stay late because of Us. The man smiled as We approached and he hadn’t lost any excitement to explain the dwellings, even being ready to go home. We spent about 35 minutes walking around up there exploring with him and I even found a displaced corn cob that would have to be catalogued and left there until a geological scientist came to record the movement and put it back. More than likely it had been moved by a rodent, but still couldn’t be touched. Pretty cool.
We left the caves and strolled leisurely back to the car. The man told Us that We could take Our time getting back down because the lady at the bottom was his wife and wouldn’t be leaving until he got down there, and he would be a few minutes behind Us. So sweet. It was incredibly kind of them to allow Us in at the end of what had been a long hot day and the promise of home and dinner was only 2minutes away when We got there. Driving back down the mountain was not nearly as scary since We did go pretty close to the posted speeds…it did take 2 hours though.
I would like to take this time to thank Cali for not killing Us by driving smooth off the side of the mountain getting Us there on time. Thank You.
We got to Tucson around 10pm local time. The day had been long, and it was almost over. 3 states, 3 National sites, 2 new friends, 13 hours and sooooo much driving. We unload the car to Our 3rd floor room to which there was no elevator, only stairs, and passed.out.
The state of Arizona welcomed Our Fantastic Voyage of 2 the way 3 states before it had…with a well earned, good nights sleep. What wonders did Arizona hold for Us?