James C. Hunter is a friend of mine. He is a writer and keen observer of the human condition. He has a perceptive insight on many topics and he has strong opinions about life in the raw. He can brush aside the cobwebs of obfuscation - smokescreens and muddy water - and get to the heart of a matter. He and his wife Maddie Faye joined a group of friends and others on a bus trip to Albuquerque, and Tucumcari, New Mexico. He writes:
It was the trip of a life time. We have not traveled extensively in the Old West to see where the buffalo roam and where the law of the west was the big iron - pistol - cowboys wore on their hips. We wanted to see gold and silver mines, to stand on the board side walk and watch the walk down or shootout on Main Street at high noon or when the sun came up, between the Marshall and the outlaw. We wanted to eat some chuck from the wagon and feel the leather of the saddle on our Midwest sitting bones. We wanted to see John Wayne wannabes. We longed to see real cowboys and cowgirls in rodeos and actually working cows on ranches. We did.
The West is magnificent with it endless sky, towering and splendid mountains and the mesas that rise up like huge chocolate layer cakes and stretch for miles. Because it is quite dry there the vegetation is so different from the verdant – green – landscape in the Midwest. The cool, refreshing mountain air flowed down the canyons ruffling our hair causing our shirts to ruffle in the breeze. If Glade could put that in a can I would buy it by the train load.
We had a memorable trip. There is always a ‘but.’ But, human nature rose to the surface and exhibited the feelings of some who did not capture the spirit and intent of the trip. How do I know? They griped during the entire trip. Nothing pleased them. I wish they had stayed home so my ears did have to endure their constant carping.
A yell to the bus driver droned, “Will you adjust the air conditioning? We are about to die of heat stroke back here!” Then came the obvious next response, “Will you turn the heat up? We are freezing to death back here.”
“Why do the people in the front of the bus always get off first and we have to wait? It takes them an eternity to get moving; longer than it takes people to get off an airplane. Why can’t we go first sometimes?”
“Why didn’t the trip planner do a better job on meal planning? We don’t have enough options for lunch. I hate fast food and that is all we had at least three times.”
“I hated that video you played about the growth cycle of the earth worm. Who is interested in that? Certainly not me.”
Such is the burden of the trip planner and the trip guide.
[Larry Vandeventer. Go to my two websites – Larryvandeventer.com and wjrambler1956.com – and purchase my books. I grew up North of Calvertville and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State. Contact me at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.]