Misinformed X-Files Tourism in the Southwest

from email dated march 7th 2012
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so i stayed in tucson on monday and started driving towards roswell cause I thought it’d be kitschy and i’d meet some awesome people. it wasn’t what i thought it’d be. it’s just a town.

the UFO crash happened some 75 miles away from town. i didn’t know that till i checked into the hotel and wiki’d the city and incident. i probably should have wiki’d roswell before I drove there but I flipped a coin to decide if i should go and that’s chance for ya

the drive through white sands missile range made it all worth while. white sands is where the trinity test occurred. the history of the world changed forever in this desert and there are so many ruins of little structures and towers popping up out of the ground. thousands of them. i wondered if they had names that are still in use and if they are still in use.  the basin is huge and it’s all for testing. google maps doesn’t list anything in the gray area it’s zoned in, but there’s a lot there. i wiki’d it at the hotel that night: now the military shares it with NASA. it was like stepping back in time to the cold war…

i had to exit the highway and go through military check point. the mp who spoke asked if i was an american citizen. they other mp didn’t say anything. i asked mp1 if he wanted to see my id, he said no. he asked where i was going and i said roswell and both mps laughed. that was it. they let me through. going through military checkpoints near nuclear weapons is lots easier than flying.

white sands had some tests happening but i didn’t stick around cause i hate modern explosion stuff (they look way better in black and white) and i was really excited about getting to Roswell which you know, sucks. why’d i trust x-files and conspiracy documentaries on tv over a pre-wikipedia?

until miami,

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little structure on a hilltop; little structures this one's [probably] an observatory; little structures on a hilltop, do they still have names?

the way to Vegas

i’m driving to meet my brother and sister-in-law in vegas.

meteor crater-50,000 years ago a fifty-meter meteorite slammed into arizona with a ten-megaton explosion making way for the barringer family to charge me and all the other suckers of the road the cost of a shrimp cocktail to see their privately-owned first-proven, best-preserved meteorite crater on earth. it was cool. my ticket’s good for 2 weeks and if i buy a subway sandwich from the gift shop i get a free cookie.

meteor crater has an am radio station. i thought it might be info about the crater like facts and stuff but no. it’s a loop about the gift shop and other places to spend money and at the end of the loop this really big radio voice with a bunch of effects yells, “Experience The Impacttttttt”. meteor crater closes at 5. it’s 4:50. i tried to record the radio but i had too much going on so it didn’t really turn out. during the apollo missions nasa brought he astronauts here to train for the moon surface

fffffff meteor. crater. so important. that’s on this planet, guys! this is not my photo tho it could be but i don’t have a chopper  yet here is a family experiencing the impact from lower vantage point here i am experiencing the impact from highest vantage point with subway coupon for cookie w/ purchase

huge power plant-this is the one from sonic 2, level 3. i told security my industrial band needed a cover photo for our debut album “no more safewords” and their power plant was it. there was no one there to take me inside and security was under strict orders to deny any requests of photography. they were very interested in the band tho. – did you know you its impossible to voice memo phone calls with an iphone? apparently it’s illegal. my industrial band’s working on a new concept ep titled “voice memos of the oppressed”

the sky-

hoover dam-
i didn’t actually go to hoover dam; i went to the bridge that i took this picture from. sometimes im really good at experience. im saving going to hoover dam and the grand canyon for another time. maybe it will be when im old or im in las vegas and im up like $500 and there’s nothing at barneys or the caesars palace forum shops i want to buy cause that’s not enough money for what i want but i want to spend it bad and im like lets take a chopper to the grand canyon…now!  experience.

Gallup, NM

i arrived in gallop around 7pm and started driving up and down the route 66 motels looking for the right spot. it’s dark. in the peripherals i could see giant rocks shooting out of the ground but not clearly cause it’s dark. i hadn’t eaten. the hanger’s taking over | fuck this car | fuck that truck | how’s the la quinta inn gonna charge 9 shrimp cocktails for a night at their nursing homtel | fuck la quinta | I’m sick of all the music | why isn’t there some kind of new music I’m not sick of | I’ve heard all these notes before. why isn’t there some new note I’m not sick of | fuck notes | I’m hangry, that’s a buffet

the now-hiring sign and empty parking lot didn’t detour me from the buffet. i was sat at a dirty table. all the troughs were empty except one with some shitty chicken. i ate a couple bites of shitty chicken then left without saying anything or paying – i paid for it in the parking lot on my shoes. why do i do this to myself? i told god i’d stop eating at buffets if he’d save the shoes. i promise god i’ll stop doing shit all the time. they were good shoes. fuck that buffet.

el rancho-d.w. griffith’s brother, r.e. griffith, was a silent film actor who opened a chain of theaters in texas and a hotel in the desert. as the western genre was rising in popularity r.e. built a quality hotel in gallup, new mexico and lobbied to everyone he knew in hollywood that gallup was the place to shoot their western and el rancho hotel was the place for them to stay.john ford stayed there while directing the grapes of wrath, as did ronald reagan, spencer tracy, john wayne, jane fonda, joan crawford, mae west, lucille ball, rita hayworth, humphrey bogart,  katharine hepburn. it was in natural born killers when nearby route 491 was named route 666 (it was changed in 2003 due to christian protest and the native americans believing the road cursed- it’s where jim morrison saw the dead indian).

armand ortega-armand ortega grew up down the street from the hotel. his first job was pumping gas around the corner. on paydays he’d take his friends for burgers at el racho’s restaurant: they were fifteen cents a piece. later he began opening trading posts along the southwest highways and during the 70’s and 80’s when indian was chiq he and his team of salesmen were the goto guys for supplying department stores around the world with native american jewelry.

by the mid-70’s el rancho was in sad shape and up for auction. armand showed up won the auction and closed it for a couple months while he brought it back to the place he took his friends for burgers. while checking in he poked his head out of the office and walked over to say hello. i was so excited to talk to him; he thought i was funny.

UFOs over Albuquerque, NM

i stopped in albuquerque to visit a record shop. everyone there was happy to drop albuquerque knowledge on me since i knew nothing of the city. did you know the rogue mountains that spoon the city had indians hiding in them to rob travelers until seventy years ago? or that everyone at the record store’s seen ufos and it’s no big deal.

Amarillo, TX

i got into amarillo late monday night. i checked into the big texan steakhouse ranch and read the city’s wikipedia page. did you know amarillo was the helium capital of the world? or that america’s only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility, the pantex plant, which “maintains the safety and reliability of the nations nuclear weapons stockpile” is the major employer of amarillo?? or that the amarillo livestock auction holds a free-to-the-public cattle auction on tuesdays? – i got into amarillo late monday night.

there was a gift shop and i got a leather-scented candle for about the cost of a shrimp cocktail. mmmm leather candle: i thought it was really cool and different but it’s not as unusual a scent as i thought. it might remind you of ex-lover or that time i got the leather-scented candle at the cattle auction

the big texan steak ranch is a big cinder block tourist stop for bus tours of australians and Americans (capital A). it was on the food show man vs food because they have a 72ounce steak and if you can eat it all it’s free. my room cost about four shrimp cocktails. i watched the man vs food episode which was filmed there. if you’ve never scene the show, this portly jewish fellow, adam richman, goes places and fails eating challenges. it’s like watching dancer in the dark if bjork was laurie metcalf

this post is now about Stanley Marsh 3-
stanley marsh 3’s daddy, stanley marsh, was an oilman. SM3 owns a lot of things in amarillo, texas.  he rebuilt ozymandias. he put hundreds of fake traffic signs up around amarillo and named it “the dynamite museum“. and cadillac ranch? that’s him too

most of the amarillians, (amarillionians?) rolled their eyes when i asked them about him or his projects. stupid small ponders. stanley marsh 3 is the biggest fish of their whole life and they’re none the wiser

next stop: tucumcari