Friday, September 28, 2007

Remembering My 22nd

My Golden Birthday, as far as adult birthdays are concerned, was a good memory.

My friend Eric and I went on leave together. We took 25 days of leave each. I was stationed at Cherry Point, North Carolina and he was stationed at New River, North Carolina at the time. We had a late start because I could not go until my rifle was cleaned and it was filthy. Some elbow grease, some smooth talking and a promise of beer later and we were on the the road.

We took my truck, 96 Ford Ranger (not an extended cab), because his 88 Ford Bronco got crappy gas mileage and sometimes stalled while travelling fast for no apparent reason. So we threw our stuff under my tonneau covered bed and kept a body pillow in front so one could sleep while the other drove. The first stop was to be Lead-Deadwood, South Dakota his home.

Our first stop was in Ohio, Jackson County. I can't remember the sheriff's name but he looked familiar. That was the first speeding ticket. Eric was doing about 85 in 55. Not a good ticket. you might say muy mal. So since we slowed down a bit we stopped at a Perkins, this is important later in the story. Our second to last stop, was somewhere between Rapid City and Sturgis. I seem to not be able to remember the state patrolman's name either. I was going about 107 in a 75, which in turn got written as a warning. Don't ask, I don't know how either.

We finally made it to Lead about 36 hours later from Havelock, North Carolina. Which you have to say that is impressive, granted later in life I see my error in my ways and feel fortunate.

Three days later was my birthday, we had a good lunch with his folks and then started going to the casinos in Deadwood. I had forty bucks starting out. I played blackjack at each casino and saved (one) one dollar coin from each. Since, it being my golden birthday and all I was given a "special" beer or drink at each one. Some had micro brews and that was the drink some had a special drink, needless to say, when I finished at BB Cody's I don't remember leaving. Some how I still managed to leave with twenty bucks and a souvenir from each casino, something I will keep for life.

Epliogue to this was we went to Wisconsin shortly there after with a snowstorm on our heels. Had some fun in the snow for about a week. We then went back to North Carolina and stopped in Ohio at Perkins. Somewhere along the way "we" had lost my extra key. I gave him a key so that we could lock the truck during periods of rest and not need the other present. When we arrived to eat, there was this lost and found sign and happedned to ask about my keys on the AC/DC key chain. Low and behold, my keys were there! We also took about a day and a half to reach Cherry Point from Wisconsin. Lesson learned, with fun.