Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Unknown - Chapter 2 by nova

The Unknown - Chapter 2

He was right. It was almost two miles to the toll booth and road stop. I figured I could get a ride into Page, the nearest big town, buy some new boots and something to eat, and catch another ride to Flagstaff. I was looking good as far as making it to Flag and if Page looked interesting and had a good Mex restaurant I might hole up there for a few days. It all depended on what was running south and how fast it got there. Nowadays you never knew for certain what was being used for mass transportation. If I got jammed up I could always get word to my new employer. Wanabee warlords, if they could afford me, usually could afford the goodies that came with running a kingdom.

I had found out about this place from the two Navajos I had traded my bike to. I didn't get much as I was bargaining from a position that was one step up from nonexistent. At one point one of them told me, "Hey man, its not like that bike is going anywhere but you will eventually." My reply? "You want to watch me toss it off the side of that ridge over there? Then maybe drop some rocks on it?" They didn't have any problem believing I would do it either. I think it may of crossed their mind that I was also extremely well armed and we were out in the middle of nowhere. I ended up with enough water for 2 days and a pound of corn flour. I was happy. They were happy. It was one of my few win-win encounters. I kind of liked it but I didn't expect another one for at least five years.

I approached it from the back. Before I started down the dirt road to it I glassed it from the hill behind it. An hill that was crowned by a dried up pond that still had a wooden diving board sticking out of one side of the hill and as useless every hardon I had for the past six months. Willows grew around it and a few cattle skulls and bones littered the dry ground. Below me was a corral, then four houses and a trailer. Leading to them from the road below was an asphalt road that was not in the best of shape. Below that and off to the side of the road was a trailer and a small wooden building. A horse was tied to a rail in front and that was it.

Off to the right, sitting on a low plateau and maybe 8 miles away was the town of Page. In between here and there was the Colorado River, the still intact bridge, and the ruined hulk of the Glen Canyon Dam. The lake behind it still had some water. Getting to it though looked like a real bitch. The water was one reason there was still a town. It and the bridge across the Colorado. Once upon a time the Navajo Electricity Generating Plant had been a big deal. I had been told in Salt Lake that the Saints were seriously considering cutting a deal with the Navajo Nation and doing a joint project to bring it back, at least partially, online. It was an ugly looking plant and those three stacks must have done wonders for the air quality when they were running full tilt.

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