Monday, May 30

This used to be a hotel in the tiny hamlet of Clayton, Idaho. My friend Jami's grandma stayed here when she was little, and says it was haunted. The ghost rocked a rocking chair and similar. It looks too small to have been a hotel. Could it have been bigger? Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 29

Salmon Trip, Day 4: Funniest Thing EVER

(This is a travelog of my adventures at Kelly and Caleb's wedding.
Link to Salmon Trip, Day 1; Salmon Trip, Day 2; and Salmon Trip, Day 3.).

Sunday dawned bright and pukey--at least for Tyler, that is. Although the word he used was “upchuck.” We were so fucked up we forgot our vitamin C and B-12 before bed, and it hurt. Noel was, of course, fine. Bitch. We finally checked out and made our way to The Coffee Shop, where we waited longer for our food than anywhere I’ve ever been. Some sort of spring was broken on the door to something in the kitchen, and there was a sign on it saying, “Spring broken! Close tightley. Move fingers and nuckles!” Tyler thought “tightley” sounded like a British last name, as in Mr. Tightley, Sir Tightley, Lord and Lady Tightley, Baron Tightley, etc., and this amused us all for quite a while.

Our food, when it finally arrived, was made all the yummier by the fact that we had to wait forever for it. We hit the road after we ate, watching out on the way for rocks in the road, so that we wouldn’t suffer the same fate as Kelly and her mom the previous Wednesday of “hitting a rock.” I’m still not sure what exactly the rock they hit did to their car, but I know it must’ve been bad, because when I asked, they just said, “We hit a rock!” Whether that rock punctured the tire, forced them off the road, got wedged under the car or is some sort of colloquialism for alien abduction, I will never know. I just know they could not continue driving afterwards.

We all pulled off the road just past Stanley to take some pictures of the Sawtooths. I had some fun with my camera trying to take pictures out of the moving car windows. We saw a billboard advising campers to drown campfires in which a bucket appeared to be barfing on a campfire.

What happened next has gone down in history as the funniest few moments of my life. I was absentmindedly staring out the window when one of those “Deer Crossing” signs went by. My eyes were unfocused as though looking at one of those 3-D computer generated posters. The deer sign filled my vision and the instant I realized what I was staring at, we passed by the sign and it was gone forever.

The deer had a cock!

And not just any crappy crude drawing; someone took the time to fashion the deer dick out of some black electrical tape or something so that it looked like an intentional part of the sign. Lack of sleep, hangover, the can of sugar and caffeine laden “adrenaline drink” I’d just drank and my immature sense of humor all conspired to kill me at that moment. It’s a good thing Tyler was driving. As soon as my mind registered “Deer Cock!” my breath left me and I got all choked up. Tears of joy came to my eyes. I was laughing so hard I was crying, and you know if this has ever happened to you that it is really, really good. Orgasmic, even.

Tyler tried to ask me what was going on, but all I could do was shake my head. I tried to speak when I caught my breath for the first time, but all I could manage was a high-pitched, “It was…It was…I cn’t….I ca-a-a-nnn’t!” before the feeling swept over me again. It was like the time I tried to relate a Saturday Night Live fake commercial making fun of Aerosmith in which all of their songs had names like “Crazy Cryin’ Amazacrazy,” and “Crazin,’” and couldn’t because I started laughing all over again. I couldn’t open my eyes. I couldn’t see even when they were open. The CD player dimmed out and I couldn’t hear it or anything else. I was alone in a yellow and black world of hilarity.

I recovered some five to ten minutes later, and, sadly, Tyler had not seen the sign. Although, that was probably a good thing, because we probably would have driven if not directly into the sign, then into the side of the mountain, as Tyler tends to drive at things he looks at. We stopped at the rest stop just above Danskin Station, where we all tried to photograph a dead hummingbird to no avail, as it was so small that it just showed as a close range blur. Noel had not seen the sign either. I happily thought back on the funniest item I’ve ever seen as I waited for Noel and Tyler to pee in the creepy outhouse.

Thursday, May 26

Salmon Trip, Day 3: The Wedding

(This is a travelog of my adventures at Kelly and Caleb's wedding.
Link to Salmon Trip, Day 1; Salmon Trip, Day 2; and Salmon Trip, Day 4.).

Much of Saturday passed by in a drunken blur. The actual ceremony was held in Salmon's cute little Episcopal Church, which I was excited to see the inside of. Unfortunately, the whole thing overwhelmed me at first and I lost it and started crying as soon as I signed the guest book. Noel thought I was sweet, but couldn't help asking if I was going to cry for the whole 30 minutes leading up to the actual ceremony. Of course I couldn't do that, since I didn't have any tissues and crying makes me get all snotty. And blotchy. Anyway, the ceremony had a lot of stuff about God and a confusing analogy about matter and intention. I don't know if I just took stupid pills that morning or what, but as she was saying it, it was like she was speaking another language. Each individual word seemed to make sense on its own, but more than one of them just melded together into a conglomeration of "what? what?!" Oh, well. After that, we all went to the Syringa Lodge and did our best to put a dent in the 2 kegs, 3 cases of wine, and tons of yummy food supplied for the reception.

I took a lot of pictures and didn't dance much because I have a hard time dancing to non hip-hop. Also, as Caleb's grandma Marge pointed out, the floor felt like it was going to cave in. That reminds me, I also spent lots of time telling Caleb's various family members that I loved them. They are all super nice. Caleb's aunt Christy told me she thougt it was really cool that he'd found a woman who liked the fact that he lives in a cabin with no electricity. And I was like, no, it's cool that Kelly found a man who likes living in a cabin with no electricity, because that's just the kind of man she's into. Boy was I drunk. Sadly, there was nobody to make out with. I took a video of Kelly and Caleb leaving the Lodge and all the bridesmaids mooning them, which nobody will ever see because you can hear drunk Jenny going on and on about how awesome it all is. We got a ride with Glen and I went to Kelly's house and played with Hank and Gus and demanded to see Pudgie Wudgie, the world's cutest cat.

Later we went to the Salmon River Inn, where Sadie tried to teach me to dance "like you're kicking the shit off." It's really hard to do! I guess Kelly M. got up on the stage and sang with the band, because I have dark, blurry pictures of it, (I'm against using the flash because it's totally obnoxious). Later, we all went to Whiskey Willie's, or as I've heard it called, The Sweaty Butt club. Tyler and Noel left, but Kelly M. and I stayed and were quite popular with the 50-year-old men in the club. Afterwards we wandered home and Tyler and Noel and I enjoyed the second frozen pizza of the night. We tried for a repeat of the powwow, but Tyler and I were too tired and went to bed. Noel stayed and a deer came out and frolicked around the campsite until it noticed her.

Wednesday, May 25

Salmon Trip, Day 2: Missoula, MT

(This is a travelog of my adventures at Kelly and Caleb's wedding.
Link to Salmon Trip, Day 1; Salmon Trip, Day 3; and Salmon Trip, Day 4).

The next day, Tyler, Noel, and I went to Missoula because Tyler and I had never set foot in Montana. Dirty minded people that we are, one of the first things we noticed about Montana besides the high number of casinos and personalized license plates was the number of things with suggestive names. There’s the Kum and Go convenience store and the Town Pump convenience store, which has signs warning that you’ll lose your license if you’re caught in a “pump and run,” (gas ‘n go to us Idahoans), and several others, including a daycare called Wiggles and Giggles. The trend of naming daycares with yucky-sounding names is nothing novel, though, as there is currently an ad for a daycare called “Tugs-n-Hugs” in the breakroom at my job.

Also, there’s a town and a mountain range called Lolo, which sounds disgusting to me for several reasons which I’ll not enumerate here. One good thing, I guess, is that the casinos advertise themselves as “Montana’s most liberal casino” rather than saying they have the “loosest slots” like the ones in Reno. We wandered around a bit in downtown Missoula, and went to Butterfly Herbs despite Noel’s protests that the name is stupid. After that we went to across the street to a store specializing in old and rare books where there lives the sweetest old doggie ever and we all petted her. I was surprised to find a collection that I swear was stolen directly from my preteen self. They had Sweet Valley Twins, The Babysitters Club, The Fabulous Five, and The Sleepover Friends collections, all in the original editions with the same artwork as when I read them in fifth and sixth grade before discovering Stephen King and Dean Koontz. After passing the annoyingly named Junga Juice, (which will later be opening a store in Bodo), we stopped in a secondhand store called the Loose Moose. Noel and I went to rescue her car from potential parking tickets while Tyler flirted with the cute shop boy. Later, we went to a place called the Raven CafĂ©, which serves up something called The Raven Burger (not made of raven meat, they promise), and listened to the jukebox whilst drinking beer and watching a near hurricane outside.

We met Noel’s brother for dinner at the OPP, or Old Post Pub, where I had a really good portabella mushroom, roasted red pepper, and gouda sandwich and my new favorite food, beer cheese soup. After that we left Missoula and headed back to Salmon to have a powwow at Tee-Pee Island.

However, just before we headed out the door with our booze, Noel discovered the A&E Biography of Johnny Depp, which we stayed and watched. We spent the remainder of the evening hanging out in the tipi, and retired at 3:30 am.

Salmon Trip, Day 1: Road Trippin'

(This is a travelog of my adventures at Kelly and Caleb's wedding.
Link to Salmon Trip, Day 2; Salmon Trip, Day 3; and Salmon Trip, Day 4).

We started out Thursday morning by having breakfast at Goldy's, where there works a very hot South American waiter (happily married, of course). After breakfast and some farting about in town, Tyler and I were off, hoping that the beautiful weather would hold for the rest of our drive to Salmon. It became apparent, however, about 12 minutes outside of Boise that we were driving into a big system of rain clouds. We stopped at the Wal-Mart in Mountain Home to get some batteries and film for our cameras. Walmart is home to some hilarious displays, such as a stack of toy horses that looks like a great big toy horse orgy. Ther was also a wall of Darth Vader noise makers, and we had fun making as many of them breathe loudly at the same time as possible. I purchased a toy red and white Minicooper for $1.97, only to find that the manufacturer attached a platform to the bottom of it so I couldn't roll it around. I didn't have a screwdriver, so the platform stayed on it the whole trip, much to my annoyance.

After Wal-Mart, we hit the road to Hailey and Ketchum and, ultimately, Stanley. Have you ever noticed how many wierd little cafes there are along the rural highways of Idaho? And how many of them look like they've been closed since the '80's? When were these places ever open? Did they get much business when they were? What inspired people to build them in the first place? Who ever thinks, "Wow, a run-down cafe in the middle of nowhere! I bet the food's outta sight!" These were the questions Tyler and I tossed around on the way towards the Hailey-Ketchum metro area.

The airport in Hailey is bigger than I could have imagined, and there was a humongous private jet parked there. I couldn't help speculating on whose it was. Arnold Schwarzenegger? Teresa Heinz Kerry? Bruce Willis? Anyway, I really wanted to eat in Hailey or Ketchum because there were tons of yummy looking restaurants serving Thai and Vietnamese food, but Tyler wasn't hungry and said they were probably overpriced anyway. We waved at the restaurants and said goodbye to exotic food for the weekend.

There are a lot of buildings crammed into a small space in Ketchum, especially, and the whole area looks like Aspen, Colorado--except the ski lifts and vacation homes and condos and yoga studios and spas and golf courses and art museums and overpriced bars, restaurants, and stores don't feel so much like they are right on top of you in Aspen. This is what I'm used to and expect when I go to the mountains. Touristy and wealthy. It doesn't bother me; I love ski towns.

After wondering whether we could see any Janet Jarvis neighborhoods from the highway, we stopped at the SNRA headquarters to use the bathroom. I wish I'd taken a picture, because they were the creepiest bathrooms I've ever seen. There were like 5 tiny goldenrod-colored stalls crammed into a dark, low-ceilinged space the size of my closet, and I was compelled to push open the door of each, lest a zombie be lurking in one of them,(there wasn't). The phone outside had a sign on it saying, “You are calling from NRA Headquarters,” which Tyler and I thought was pretty funny. When we finally figured out how the hell to get out of the confusing parking lot, we were back on Highway 95 heading towards Stanley. We passed much fresh snow on Galena Summit and thanked our lucky stars that no deer jumped in front of our car.

We cursed the Bridge Street Grill in Stanley for being closed at 3:30 on a Thursday afternoon, (awesome burgers, y’all), and had an unremarkable lunch at the Stanley Lodge instead. It snowed briefly and lightly while we were inside. After that we drove into some serious rain, and Tyler drove faster an more maniacally every time I cringed--and I cringe a lot since I get really nervous when I’m not at the wheel. We came to Challis, aka the asshole of Idaho. We didn’t even see a rainbow, which happens a lot in Challis.

We got a good laugh at the expense of the Sidlo family, who has adopted a section of Highway Litter Control near Challis, (“That sign just said this area was sponsored by the Sildo family! Could you imagine if your last name was Sildo? It rhymes with dildo!” “You’re a dildo! And anyway, it said Sidlo, not Sildo,”). We finally got to Salmon, where we had a happy reunion with Noellie at our sweet wood-paneled motel, the Wagons West.

After Kelly’s wedding shower, Noel, Tyler and I headed to the Owl Club for some good old drinking fun.

I was glad to see they had installed a curtain in the ladies room, because the way it used to be you risked being seen on the pot whenever someone opened the door. There's a machine in the bathroom that dispenses Freedom Ticklers, and Kelly M. thought this was so funny she had to have one. Caleb's friend hauled a guitar into the bar and a singalong broke out. I learned a new song over the weekend. I'd never heard "West Virginia" by John Denver before, but after about 300 repetitions, I'll not soon forget it.

There were some seriously drunk people in the Owl Club, including one guy who knocked his barstool over on me and later tried unintelligibly to talk to me when I went to order a drink. There was also a woman who was falling out of her clothes and taking some liberties with her barstool. She told me about how she'd stopped traffic on the highway between Idaho Falls and Salmon earlier that day to rescue a calf that was wondering around in the road. I thought that was pretty cool. Some old white-haired guys stumbled in a little later and couldn't communicate with the bartender to order more drinks, so plastered were they.

The Owl Club, Salmon's Fun Spot Posted by Hello

Rainbow over Challis Posted by Hello