Don’t redneck mean a sunburn?
It is 38 feet long and weighs 12 tons fully loaded. It has enough refrigeration capacity to freeze all of Alberto Vilar’s tangible assets (those apparently used for bail) and more capacity for handling fuel than certain LTE writers have for handling criticism. Total square footage, after executing certain hydraulic systems, is larger than most one-bedroom efficiencies sold in Vail for the mid-six-figures, certainly bigger than most homes in lower, lower Cordillera and, for those with a memory of local puns, one-half the size of Lindholm’s flag.And it is our home away from home for the next few weeks.Yep, the Colorado Carnes have taken themselves a thoroughly American, partly Texan, redneck vacation in an RV (that’s recreational ve-hical for the truly ignorant), and the stereotypical Wild, Wild West will never be the same.Bring out the Old-M in cans, extremely cheap cigars wrapped by illegal immigrant children and hot dogs with more MSG than Eagle County commissioners have TLC, and you have an idea of our exhilarating lifestyle at the moment.Yee-haw, it just don’t get no better than this. Us mountain hicks do indeed know how to live, as our virtual Motel 6 on wheels is enough to make Tom Bodett himself blush with precocious pride.What makes it all the more delicious is the fact that my wife is adopted. I suppose I’d better explain that.To make a long story short, she was adopted at birth, and not allowed to know the identity of her birth mother until Michigan adoption laws were updated in 1996, at which point she was provided the woman’s name and phone number, only to discover she had passed away one month earlier.The true definition of an emotional roller coaster.But what fits, at least for this episode, is she discovered her birth name would have been – are you ready, this is really good – her actual, honest-to-whatever name would have been (drum roll, please): Griswold.Yep, just like Chevy Chase and the rest of the “Vacation” gang, my wonderful wife is a true-born, red-blooded, American of hangover-prone heritage and bound-for-welfare bloodlines.However, as luck would have it (not fate of course, as there is no actual thing unless you somehow believe some omnipotent supernatural force purposely created both the Hitler’s and the Hilton’s, in which case you deserve to suffer whatever self-inflicted delusions control your life anyway), she was chosen pre-birth to live a wonderful life with wonderful Danish parents who loved and cherished her more than most of us could ever wish for in a wonderful home.So the Carnes-Griswolds have invaded the bodacious canyons of the West. From the arches of Moab, to the spires of Bryce, the grandeur of the canyon called Grand, the glitz and silicon of Vegas all the way to the hot sand and even more expensive silicon of Malibu, we’re doing it all without a single hotel room and never having to unpack a single time (unless you count ice in the extra cooler).This is living, folks.Over 2 million bugs with wings (and a few who stretched their necks too high for a looksy) have been cleared from the highways of the Southwest, thanks to our massive windshield and its ability to slaughter thousands each hour. We begin each morning singing Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” and end each day with Eddie Rabbitt’s “Pour Me Another Tequila.”However, like all those promising offers to “pay for services” from Ginn and Lindholm, there ain’t no actual free lunches. In fact, “lunch” each day is served at something akin to Bachelor Gulch Ritz prices.For example: this 90 gallon diesel tank costs over $250 to fill and so far is averaging less than 7 miles for each friggin’ gallon. It would cost me five bucks to drive from Edwards to Vail. It’s so hot everywhere that I need to put on sunscreen just to stand there and hold the pump handle. I’m too short to wipe all the bugs off the windshield. I have to manually plug in hoses to empty my gray water (gross) and my black water (really, really gross), and the toilet is the same size as that in a 747, but not nearly as extravagant. To top it off, everywhere we go apparently has only two seasons – hot and hotter.We took our Danish friends (who have their own RV, only it is more of a socialist and thus fitting version with fewer features and therefore less overall enjoyment, but they don’t get the analogy) to visit an “authentic” Navajo village, and they came away with a bear hat made in Taiwan, a knife made in Pakistan, and a shot glass made in Mexico. I tried to explain about us Americans welcoming the huddled masses and such.They still didn’t get it.Anyway, I was amazed at the number of rock shops in Utah selling … well, they were selling rocks. I looked around, and then looked around some more, and concluded that this would be like Vail Resorts selling snowballs in March. The thing is, as we all know, somebody would probably be pulling out their wallet to buy a few thousand.Call me selfish, but the fictional Griswolds never had it so good, and I wouldn’t trade any of it for all the open space in Eagle County. Until next week …Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at email@example.comVail, Colorado