Monday, October 23, 2017

Friday (Forty Six Short)

Maybe the busiest day of the year. I'm full with one room, one hogan, and one house checking out and then filling right back up. Each time I go over to Last Hurrah to clean I have to get one of the guests to help me pick Kobae up and put him in the truck and then at Last Hurrah find another guest to help put him back on the ground. If there's a dog then I can use it as bait and he'll follow it into his pen and then close the door but on this day there isn't.   

The hogan checks out so I run over and clean it. A room at the lodge checks out so it's load up Kobae and drive back and clean and then the house checks out so it's back over there to clean.

With time it's getting dark and I have a whole bunch of guests that haven't showed up. Three guys come up the driveway pushing their bikes. They saw the arrow at Jackson Hole indicating the trail going up to the top, Jackson Ladder, but it didn't register. They've ridden all the way back to me and they are beat. This is a scenario that has played itself out many times. They are trying to figure out how to ask me to take them to town that will give them the highest odds of success.

"We're done. We got nothing left and it's almost dark. We'll give you $100 to take us to town." Guests for the main house haven't checked in yet, guests for the second house haven't checked in yet, for the male hogan, and for three rooms at the lodge. They are all missing in action and Kobae's on the porch. I can't leave. I tell them and their heads drop.

I ask "Where is your vehicle?" They say in the Amasa Back parking lot. I say "You can have my truck." One of the guys says "Then we get ours and drive yours all the way back here?" I say, " Leave it in the Amasa Back parking lot and after all my guests have arrived tonight and I've put the last one to bed I'll figure out how to put some head lamps on my trials bike and I'll ride out and get my truck. Are we clear?" He says "Yes, leave your truck in the Mazda dealer parking lot around back." What!

"We don't have a Mazda dealer. You said your vehicle was in the Amasa Back parking lot. Leave mine there and I'll come get it tonight when every one has checked in." They all take a beer out of the fridge to celebrate their day of constant sorrow coming to an end. Mine is just starting.

Right at dark one guest shows up. Five are missing.

I'm watching a little bit of the Yankees Astros game and then looking up on Hurrah to see if there are lights coming down. The phone rings and it's Enoch, a guest, says to get from Arches to downtown Moab took an hour. It turns out Utah has the largest high school mountain bike racing league in the country and 2,500 competitors are coming in to town for the race tomorrow. Enoch says he has four more guys in the truck. I ask him to swing by the Amasa Back parking lot and bring a white Ford 150 back, keys in the gas cap compartment. He says no problem.

I walk back outside and there are headlights off in the distance in lots of places shining to nowhere. I see lights wandering around out towards Jackson Hole and other lights have just gone up the sand hill towards Chicken Corner. Oh crap they missed the turn.

I jump in the jeep and head off for the sand hill. When I get up on top I can see tail lights in the distance. No problem. I'll catch them quick. They are booking. I'm doing 40 on whoop de doos and in sand and I'm not catching them. Finally after a five mile chase and losing walkie talkie contact with Base Camp who says there are lights coming up the drive way I pull up along side the jeep all the way out at the Lockhart Basin/Chicken Corner sign. I ask the driver if he missed the turn. "The turn to where?" "Base Camp." He says "I'm from Texas. I'm just trying to find a place to camp." It's not even one of my guests and when he saw me closing fast on him he went faster to try and get away from whoever the crazy person was following him.

I blow back to the lodge and when I pull up in the driveway there are vehicles everywhere and guests feeding critters. Enoch walks over and says "Are you Tom?" I say "Yes." He says "I brought your truck back. I hope it was your truck. There were a couple of them sitting in the parking lot." He hands me keys but they don't feel right. I turn my head lamp on and look down. They aren't my keys. Holy crap he brought the wrong truck back. I start shining my head lamp around the parking lot and spot a Ford 150. It looks like mine. It's got lots of red dirt on it. It's mine?

"Enoch, you sure these are the keys you used to start my truck?" I hand them to him. He says "Oh, those are mine. Here's yours."

As I'm driving the main house guests and hogan guests over to the lodge I spot the second house all lit up and people milling around. They apparently found their way to the house stumbling around in the dark.

As we get to the main house a kid gets out of their truck and says "Do you have scorpions out here?" I say "I've seen four scorpions this whole year. I turn on the lights and there's a pretty good size scorpion walking across the floor.

A few more trips back and forth between the properties getting people extra blankets and pillows and roll a way beds and all my guests are settled in. Lights start going out in the valley and it's truly dark across the landscape.

I walk out on the porch and all the little people are waiting The ringtails are in the rafters, the skunks in the hole, the raccoons consume six bowls of Kit&Kaboodle and fight with each other the whole time. It's who they are. Fox after fox comes to the sidewalk for a hot dog. There are three sitting on various guests vehicles, two at Breakfast at Tiffany's #1 and one on the hay bales at the fire pit. By the time hot dogs are done hitting the sidewalk, elevating to the ringtail rafters, and being drained down the skunk hole, there are 44 less hot dogs and an empty raccoon bag of Kit&Kaboodle.

I turn to close the door and see movement behind me. At Kobae's house and sitting on top is my friend who's eyes don't reflect. He jumps down and comes to the sidewalk. Make that 46 hot dogs short. 

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