March 29, 2011

The highway and Hal

Day eight has come and gone. Long, beautiful, and boring. Stretches of straight road and odd bouts of memory loss. Yes, everything has officially blended together. Were we in New Mexico yesterday or the day before? I don't remember!

There were a couple high points however, mostly based on stupidity we thought was pretty hilarious. For example, we almost ran out of gas in the middle of the Mohave desert; and we nearly took a long detour out deeper into the heat-wave-flatness with only half a liter of warm water left. Perhaps, not our best moments!

More abandoned gas stations along the way!

After we found a gas station that was not abandoned and refilled our sadly enormous tank  (and bought water) we took the long route, route 66, around the desert to a town called Joshua Tree. Where we found Hal.

Not that his store was easy to miss. He had re-painted it himself in colors that specifically went against the trend of browns and golds that were spread across all the other stores in town. We walked in, and were instantly impressed with the collection of items spread around the large building. We knew we had probably found another one of our "amazing people places" when a man stuck his head around the corner and cheerfully yelled "Everything's up for bargaining at Bargain Alley!"

His name was Hal Hiner. He was a talker in the best of ways. We learned about his store, his youth working as a set designer, his rock n' roll grandson, and were even showed a picture of himself in the 70's -- which was awesome to say the least.

After bargaining for a great antique chair and getting a good deal on it, we decided to try our luck and ask the big question we've had anxiety over for the last three or four states: Does he know where we can get some old wood?

He said "Go outside!"

The back garage was his landlords property, but we had found some wonderful old fencing that we, not surprisingly, got pretty attached to. Hal, being the great man that he was, and not wanting to disappoint two insanely excited girls, made a phone call to the reluctant landlord who didn't really want to sell it, but I yelled "Fifty bucks!" and somehow, thankfully, it was sold.

We were so happy! Two huge cart fulls of old, faded fencing, some with paint, some with knots and holes and warping. It was perfect! Just what we needed -- A huge pile of old wood that came with a great story.

We had to rearrange the entire back to get in it, and Hal let us park on his sidewalk to load it up. Amelie had to crawl in the deep recesses of the truck to remove some bits and pieces of junk that were blocking the wood from sliding in all the way. After about an hour of heavy lifting, we were two extremely happy girls! Hal gave us both some fantastic hugs, wished us the best of luck with our journey, and we were on our way again!

Thank you Hal!

1 comment:

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