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A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Jeff and I will do anything for a friend in need.  I’d give the shirt off my back and walk around in my bra if a friend needed my shirt.  Recently Jeff and I helped a friend who is going to be moving to Texas but couldn’t afford the high cost of a moving van, plus gas, food and lodging.  So when we heard of our friend’s plight we said, “Hey! We’ve got a 33’ toy hauler just sitting around.  Why don’t we load her goods into the trailer and take a road trip to Texas! We’ll make a little vacation out of it!” So that’s what we did.  Little did we know, this would be an adventure on so many different levels!

It started with prepping the truck and trailer.  We haven’t used our toy hauler since we sold all the motorcycles and ATVs.  We used it once to take the Jeep out to Joshua Tree, but other than that, it’s been sitting in storage for four years.  To prepare, the truck gets a tune up, oil change and finally the seal of approval.  The trailer gets a cleanup, tires inspected, water tank filled, battery charged, poopy chemicals applied to the blank tank and it’s also ready to go.

Adventure #1:
The first day of our vacation is actually Memorial Day and we head down to our friend’s house in San Diego to load up.  She lives in a small house so we weren’t too concerned about running out of storage room in the trailer.  Heck if we fit the jeep in the trailer we can fit her small supply of household items!  So after all her boxes, night stands, dressers, boxes of clothes, kitchen stuff and various odds and ends are loaded we finish the load with the mattress and box spring.  The tailgate of the trailer is raised the inside boxes are secured and we’re just about ready.  We’re about to leave and I’m worried about the trailer backend hitting the house as we turn to leave.  So I get out and spot for the house.  We never even considered looking up!  It’s just been so long since we’ve used the trailer… So Jeff starts pulling away and he clears the house but little did I know that the trailer’s ladder hooked a cable line from the power pole above and it rips the ladder off the trailer.  Oooops.   The powerlines, telephone and cable lines are swinging wildly.  So Jeff gets out, throws the broken ladder into the trailer muttering profanities and away we go.  My bad!

Adventure #2:
We start heading out on the 8 east.  We’re laughing and having a grand ol time just shooting the shit as we drive.  The plan is to continue driving until we get to Tucson.  Well we’re just outside of Yuma Arizona when we hear an explosion.  Jeff quickly checks the dash of the truck, everything is A-OK. I look in the mirror and our trailer tire has literally exploded and is sending trailer fender and tire shrapnel all over the freeway.  So we pull over on a flat spot and begin the process of installing the spare tire.  We had these tires balanced and inspected by Discount Tire!  F%#K! Now we have an exploded tire, a broken fender and two bent supporting trailer frame brackets!  After the new tire is installed we have to make a committee decision.  Do we continue on to Tucson or drive back to Yuma? Technically we have one more spare tire as the truck uses the same bolt pattern as the trailer; so IF we continue and get another flat we’d still be good.  The other option is to head back to Yuma and get a new spare.  The consensus is to continue on to Tucson.

Adventure #3:
No sooner as we all pile back in the truck and begin our journey to Tucson, we hear a “Bing Bing Bing” and the Truck’s check engine light comes on.   MOTHER F%#KER! We have no idea what’s going on with the engine, all we envision is being stranded in the middle of the Arizona desert in 104 degree heat.  We make the decision to head back to Yuma and get new tires and have the truck checked out.  Unfortunately it is Memorial Day and 6:00pm at night so neither Chevy nor Discount Tire is open.  I found an RV park nearby and we stay the night.  Discount Tire opens the following morning at 8:00am and Chevy opens at 7:00am so we drop the trailer off at Discount and take the truck over to Chevy.  Two hours and $600 later the trailer has four new tires and the truck has a $125 inspection report that reads bad O2 sensor.  The technician clears the fault and tries to get the truck to duplicate the error and nothing happens.  We get the thumbs up from Chevy that the O2 fault must have been an old code and we finally head east.

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Adventure #4:
The road through Arizona’s desert is beautiful.  We make it without any troubles into New Mexico where we come across a train wreck.  There are two injured people in the derailment. I have never seen a train derailment in person and there are rail cars everywhere.  It’s truly a sight to see. I’m just glad that nobody was killed.

Adventure #5:
Just before Las Cruces New Mexico, we stop at the rest stop and I cook a spaghetti dinner.  We are all sitting out on the park benches of the rest stop enjoying dinner.  We see off in the distance a huge volume of black storm clouds accompanied by flashes of lightening.  We turn and in the opposite direction is another bank of storm clouds.  We pull up the MyRadar app and all we see are these two storms in red converging on one another.  The sheer scale of red “severe” weather is alarming.  So we finish dinner and begin to head out just as drops of rain are starting to fall.  HOLY MOTHER OF GOD; THE WIND!! THE RAIN!! THE LIGHTNING!! THE HAIL!!!  I have NEVER in all my life actually seen a storm of this magnitude.  Cars are driving at a crawl or either pulled over to the side of the road with their hazard lights flashing.  Our truck’s windshield wipers cannot keep up with the deluge!  The hail hitting the windshield and the hood is so loud we have to shout to each other to hear.  I would have taken a video of the storm but my hand was “white knuckled” on the Oh Shit bar of the truck.  As the hail continues to pour down, Jeff shouts “I hope our bathroom skylight isn’t broken!” I’m thinking, I hope we don’t die! Thankfully we emerge from the worst part of the storm after 20 minutes of pure hell.  Now we’re just getting a steady rain with the occasional flash of lightning.  To say we were all “Scurd” is an understatement.  There was definite pucker factor going on big time!

Adventure #6:
As we leave the outskirts of Las Cruces, I lean over to look at the gas gauge; to me it’s reading pretty low.

I ask Jeff, “You want to stop for gas? Do we have enough?”
Jeff replies “Oh we’ve got plenty.”
Skeptically I say, “Really? You Sure?”
Jeff scowls “We Have Plenty”

Little do we know that the road to Dallas Texas is NOT flat.  We’re approaching uphill after uphill and I’m seeing that gas gauge inch closer and closer to E.  Finally it’s pretty clear that we are not going to make it to Van Horn Texas.  Unfortunately there are no diesel gas stations around that could fit our 33’ trailer and 20’ truck, so reluctantly Jeff pulls off the freeway and into an abandoned gas station.  Luckily we are carrying seven spare gallons of diesel. While Jeff is filling the tank I get out of the truck and stretch.  I look up at the trailer and see that the aluminum siding skin has peeled off the trailer at the front and runs about 6 feet back.  It looks like the peel of a banana except so much worse. I say to Jeff while pointing up, “That’s not good!”  Jeff looks over and his jaw just drops.  He states, “That isn’t good.”  So since our trailer ladder got ripped off in San Diego, we have no way to easily fix the trailer skin.  Jeff improvises the use of six used tires, stacks them up and uses them as a wobbly platform.  I’m trying to steady the tires as Jeff clambers up and attempts to fix the skin. And people wonder why women live longer.  So with seven gallons in the tank and the skin of the trailer tucked back in the seal, we make our way to Van Horn Texas.

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Adventure #7:
We find a really nice RV park and spend the night without any drama. Back on the road we go.  I use the app Trucker Path to find a diesel truck stop.  I step out of the truck and let Bogie take a pee.  While Jeff is fueling up I look at the trailer.  Once again we have banana peeling trailer skin in the same location.  Jeff’s temporary fix was indeed temporary.  So I walk over to Jeff and tell him the siding has come loose again.  While telling him this I see another part of the trailer skin that has separated.  I say to Jeff while pointing, “That’s not good.”  Jeff just says “SHIT!”  So we finish fueling and thankfully there are no wobbly tires around for Jeff to almost kill himself on, but there are these nice cement streetlight platforms that are not only high enough for Jeff to each the trailer top but are also steady!  So with power drill in hand and a couple of screws, Jeff once again clambers up and fixes the trailer.  Then with the remaining screws fixes the trailer on the other side.  Once repaired, back on the road we go!

Adventure #8:
Finally we make it to Grapevine Texas five minutes before the storage yard was about to close.  We unload our friend’s goods into her storage garage and away we go.  The plan is to stay the night in the driveway at our friends’ boyfriend’s house in Flower Mound. We pull into the driveway and set the trailer up for a much needed rest after a long day of driving.  The next day Jeff detached the truck from the trailer and we head to Home Depot to get supplies to make some serious trailer repairs.  Sealant – check, longer screws – Check! Back to the trailer!  So with a borrowed ladder the permanent repairs are made much more easily. That evening we make plans to visit with our friends in Fort Worth.  Along the way, Jeff spots one of the places he’s been dying to go for over three years!  It’s a truck stop called Buc-ees.  Buc-ees is HUGE!  There are 36 gas pumps!  There are even shopping carts for the store portion.  But this ain’t no normal convenience store!  HOLY HELL this is the mecha of all convenience stores.  Jeff’s face is showing a blend of pure joy on the verge of orgasmic to absolute amazement.  We’re walking around the store and Jeff finds a true gem.   It’s a t-shirt that reads “Got Beaver Nuggets?” On the back it reads “Be a lot cooler if you did”.  Jeff is in heaven.  So we get some snacks and a couple of shirts and away we go to meet our friends.  I must admit I really wish we had Buc-ees in San Diego, they really are amazing places.  From country nik nak decoration stuff to clothing to fudge and hot food, Buc-ees has it all.

Adventure #9:
Friday morning we are scheduled to head back west to San Diego.  As we’re leaving Flower Mound I’m checking the Doppler radar and all I see is a HUGE patch of red and yellow Doppler warnings all throughout Texas and New Mexico – This should be interesting.  While it did rain hard almost all the way to New Mexico it wasn’t nearly as bad as the first storm we had been through.  However it was strong enough to damage the trailer AGAIN!  This time the fiberglass siding under the 5th wheel hitch has come loose.  We pull into a Loves truck stop and Jeff climbs into the back of the truck with power drill and screws in hand and screws the fiberglass back into place.
I comment to Jeff, “I think this is a sign to retire the trailer”
Jeff says reluctantly, “I think you might be right”

 

Adventure #10:
We have driven through New Mexico and are in the high desert of Arizona approaching the mountains.  We took the scenic route and it truly is beautiful! The landscape goes from high desert scrub to majestic pines in just a matter of miles.  As we head through the mountains we get a text message from one of our San Diego friends: “Hey we are at the San Diego airport heading to Scottsdale!” We text back “Meet for lunch in Scottsdale?”  So a couple of hours later, the timing is just right and we meet our friends for a quick sandwich lunch.  What a small world!

Adventure #11:
As we leave Phoenix and are crossing the desert plains we hear that familiar, Bing Bing Bing, and again the check engine light comes on.  Jeff rolls his eyes and I heave a deep sigh. “PISS ANT MOTHER F$#KER!” This time we agree, we’re throwing caution to the wind and continuing through the desert ignoring what could be impending doom.  Thankfully that doom is a mere inconvenience in gas mileage.  We were getting around 14 MPG before the check engine light.  After the light it dropped to around 8 MPG.  Probably the O2 sensor again.  Our plan is to make it our river place in Yuma and have an actual bed to sleep on.  Surprisingly that plan comes flawlessly into place and we arrive at Hidden Shores without any further engine problems. So the next morning we leave Yuma and head back to Alpine where we store the trailer.  Thankfully the truck didn’t give us any further problems and thankfully the trailer didn’t decide to shed anymore skin along the way.

Even though our trip was funded by the National Lampoon Vacation fund, I can look back on it now and just shake my head in amazement of all we experienced.  Through all the adventures; the ladder, the tire, the engine, the trailer continually wanting to get naked, it still was a fun trip that I’d do all over again if a friend needed us to.  I think next time however, I might bump up my life insurance before I do…

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We’ve all heard about those vile vintage recipes that were all the rage in the 40’s and 50’s.  Most involve lots of gelatin and tub upon tub of mayonnaise.  I’ve decided to collect a variety of these vintage recipes and cook them up for a taste sensation like I’ve never experienced before.

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Round 1:  Jellied Tomato Refresher

To me, this recipe doesn’t look so bad.  I’m a big fan of anything with tomatoes so this vintage recipe sounds like it might actually reference its name sake; refreshingly tasty.

Oh how wrong I was.

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After adding all the ingredients and bringing to a boil, I poured it into a bowl and left it to set in the refrigerator for several hours.  As I see this slowly firm up in the fridge, I am fully ready to take a big spoonful of this refresher.  I must say it looks pretty darn good.   Finally the jelly is set and a big spoon is dipped in tomato jelly.  I place a full spoon in mouth expecting to taste pure joy.

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Image stolen from the internet. 🙂

GAWD!!!

It basically tastes like jellied ketchup and not in a good way.  I was expecting something more along the lines of a jellied refreshing bloody mary.  Oh Hell No!  The texture is totally GROSS! How can something with tomatoes be this heinous?!

Want to experience it yourself?  You could follow the recipe like I did, but if you want the simplified version then basically take some ketchup, put it in a sauce pan with some gelatin.  Boil it, then let it firm up in the fridge.  Enjoy your Heinz Jello.

Jellied Tomato Refresher:
Notes: Perfect when you have houseguests that you secretly loathe.
Recommend Trying?  Only if you want to punish your taste buds
Rating: What were our grandparents even thinking about when they created this??  -2 out of 10.

What’s next?  Hollandaise Bananas with Ham…

If you’re someone who is afflicted with migraines such as myself, I can sympathize with your plight.  I can’t count how many times I’ve had to readjust my migraine medicine because it either doesn’t work, doesn’t work good enough or my body slowly acclimates to it and the medicine becomes less and less effective.  From Maxmalt to Sumotriptan to Rizatriptan.  I’m lucky if I can reduce the pain that makes me want to jump out in front of a bus.  And I’m not talking pain for a couple of hours, I’m talking pain that last for two to three days.  I get the typical aura which I call TV static.  This is the warning that a migraine is starting and I need to get the meds on board and find myself a cold, dark, silent room and a comfy couch or bed because pain like the flames of a million hells will be starting in about 30 minutes.

So after a particularly bad migraine that took me down for three days and left vision disturbance for weeks afterwards, I was desperate to try anything that’s rumored to work.  I continually scout the migraine clinical trials to see if there is anything in my area and unfortunately everything is usually up in Los Angeles.  So when a coworker said that I might try a piercing I was skeptical but also intrigued.  So I got to work researching.  The piercing is called a Daith Piercing.  You’d think it would be pronounced just the way it reads (Day-th) nope.  It’s actually pronounced (Doth).  Basically you get your inner ear cartilage pierced with either a barbell or a ring.  The theory is that there is an acupressure point in this location that is purported to help with migraine pain.  It’s reported that this piercing location should either reduce frequency, severity or eliminate migraines all together.

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Willing to try anything I started watching YouTube videos on people getting their daith pierced.  I saw people who got pierced like it was nothing and I saw people who were screaming in pain during the procedure.  I wasn’t sure how I would react to the piercing, all I knew is that I needed to find the absolute BEST person possible for the job.  So after an extensive search of piercing shops in my area I chose 101 Piercing in Encinitas.  Their reviews were five stars and everyone raved about them.  So no appointment necessary – I committed to getting the piercing on Friday March 10th.

101 Piercing is incredibly clean and their selection of jewelry is amazing! So I selected a titanium ring and a blue sapphire gem.  I’m told what to expect in terms of pain, aftercare and warnings. I sign the waiver and off to the piercing room I go.  The piercer asks if I get dizzy or faint easily and I reply yes I have a thing about needles.  “Okkie dokkie we’ll just have you relax in the chair afterwards for a while just in case.” He tells me to take slow deep breaths in through my nose and out from my mouth.  He makes a little purple mark where the needle will be lined up and tells me to take one more deep breath.  In goes the needle and I barely felt a thing.  I felt pressure, but that’s about it. No screaming, no crying no peeing or pooping!  SCORE! I have heard that the worst was yet to come when they insert the jewelry.  But again, as he’s sliding in the ring I’m not feeling anything that I would consider painful at all.  So my experience of getting a daith piercing has been virtually painless.

Video of the Piercing

So Now the Results So Far:

They say that when you get your daith pierced for Migraines you need to get the piercing on the side that you primarily feel the pain.  Unfortunately for me, my pain is central.  I don’t have a particular side that hurts worse than the other.  This meant that I might possibly need to have both ears pierced to fully help with my migraines. I chose to get my left ear done first as I primarily sleep on my right side.  I also wanted to experience the healing process before I got the other ear done.  Be advised that healing time for a daith piercing can be up to six months!  Once you get the piercing the site will ache for a couple of hours afterwards.  The ache is by no means painful, it’s just a minor dull ache.  But in my experience any ache stopped about an hour after the piercing.  Cleaning it for the first two days was pretty sore.  It did hurt to move the ring with a Q-Tip to clean the area.  However, I’m on day four as I’m writing this and cleaning has become easier and easier and less sore every day.  I still can’t sleep on my left side yet, but I think give it another week and I’ll be able to.

So has it changed anything?  In a nutshell YES.

Unfortunately I got a migraine on Saturday, one day after the piercing and felt so dejected, sad and mad at the same time.  My immediate thought was that the piercing didn’t work.  The migraine started with the typical aura and I took my meds as I usually do BUT instead of being knocked down for hours or days, surprisingly the pain was totally reduced.  I only had the migraine headache for about two hours!  And when I say pain I’ll compare it to pain that I experienced before and after the piercing on a 1 to 10.  BEFORE the piercing the pain was off the scale at an 11.  I wanted to kill myself.  It felt like my head was going to collapse within itself; and that said pain would last for hours on end if not days.  AFTER the piercing, the pain was a 2 and lasted only about two hours!  I was totally functional even with a migraine.  Normally I’d be camped out on the couch in my darkened living room with a cold washcloth over my eyes praying for the sweet kiss of death.  But not this time.  This time I gave Ol’ Death the one-two and went along with my day.  Will all my future migraines be this easy/gentle?  Who knows, but I will say it’s the first migraine that I have ever had in my life where it didn’t feel like an elephant with spiked heels was standing on my head and that my skull was about to implode from the pressure.  I am only four days into my piercing, so I am still learning what the full results of the procedure will be.  But I’ll keep posting on the results as time goes by.

Was the piercing worth it?  HELL YES!

Will I be getting the other ear pierced? HELL YES!  I’m going to wait until my left ear is healed, then I’ll go back to 101 Piercing and get the other side done.

Do I recommend the piercing?  Why not?  It’s just a piercing and in the end it looks totally cute!

Ahhh pets… For those of us who don’t have kids, our pets are our children.  Bogie my dog, is highly intelligent yet slightly neurotic.  We’ve trained him to ring a doorbell when he wants to go outside.  Unfortunately, sometimes his neurotic side kicks in and he rings the doorbell just because.  Sometimes he rings the doorbell because we wants to race across the lawn and bark at any birds that are trespassing and roosting on the fence.  Or maybe he’ll ring it to check that the lizard isn’t invading in the corner.

Well it has been raining pretty frequently here in California and my backyards’ drainage system just hasn’t been keeping up with the rain and as a result I basically have a small pond in my lawn.  So last night when Bogie rang the doorbell, I hesitated thinking that he’d just run through the pond and track in a bunch of mud on his way in or check the corner for his nemesis the lizard.  I ignored Bogie’s doorbell the first time and asked him “Do you really need to go out?” and continued to clean the kitchen.  Bogie rings the doorbell again and turns and looks at me.  As he’s looking at me, and as I’m headed toward the door, Bogie uncontrollably releases diarrhea on the carpet!

Apparently, yes he really did need to go out!

My automatic reaction is to shout NOOOOOOOOOOO, even as the evil continues to cascade from Bogie’s bowels.  Bogie is now scared of his loving mom shouting NOOOOOO and running towards him and the door.  He takes a step back, paw landing right into his fresh steamy pile.  Just as I’m about to reach him he takes off around the living room, leaving fresh poop marks with every step he takes.  OMG BOGIE!!! STOPPEN!  (German for stop or freeze)

Bogie timidly stops and his little doberman ears go into “Yoda” mode which means he knows he’s done something bad (even if it was an accident).  Poop is everywhere!  There’s a trail of it in various circles all over the living room.  FOREVER UNCLEAN!!

I walk Bogie out into the garage, fill my garden bucket with water, put on some super heavy duty kitchen gloves and start washing his paws.  As I walked back into the house and stand at the kitchen surveying the damage, the smell Lord the smell!

Resolve Carpet Cleaner? Check!
Gloves? Check!
Scrubby Brush? Check!
Despair and anger with a dash of humiliation? Double Check…

An hour later with a blister on my thumb from scrubbing, the carpet has no more poop marks.  Instead now it has these bright clean spots sporadically spaced around the living room.  I can just see my welcome greeting to any future guests, “Welcome to my home, pay no attention to the shit stains…”

So this morning after a really good night sleep, I open the door to my room and I’m greeted by the familiar stench of dog poop.  Yeah, today I’ll be calling a carpet cleaner to come and thoroughly clean the evil that inherently still resides in the carpet.

Poor Bogie and his loose bowels.  I guess this will teach me to get the doorbell on Bogie’s first ring…

The Taboo Exotic Eats

There are many things in life that most people have a severe adverse reaction to.  These may include such things as cockroaches, boogers, feces, etc.  This month I can cross feces off that list cause that’s exactly what the December 2016 Exotic Eats Challenge included!

Feces – noun, (used with a plural verb) waste matter discharged from the intestines through the anus; excrement.

This particular feces was in a form called Bugapoop Tea.  That’s right – Bug Poop Tea. The product description reads: Aged Moth Larvae Droppings in Tea Bags.  Bugapoop Tea is a special tea made from the feces of the grain moth larvae.  These larvae are fed on nothing else but special tea leaves that have been naturally fermented.  As the leaves pass through the larvae’s body they continue fermentation.  Their droppings are handpicked and collected.  Droppings are then dried and then further aged.  100% Grain Moth Larvae Droppings.
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MMMMMMMM doesn’t that just make you want to smack your lips and shout “Pour me some of that delicious Bugapoop Tea!”

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So there FoFo and I are sitting at Island’s Restaurant steeping our Bugapoop tea.  The bag says that the longer you steep the tea the more mellow, sweeter and less pungent the flavor will be.  PUNGENT…  Pungent is kinda like the word “Moist”.  It just conjures up some vivid, not so pleasant images when I say the word.  So I’ve steeped my tea to be “less pungent” from a see-through slight brown color to a solid coffee black color.

The smell of the tea reminds me of wet dirt and surprisingly the taste is similar to bark/dirt.  Definitely not as horrible or “pungent” as I had thought.  In fact as we sat there eating our lunch we both occasionally instead of sipping our sodas, sipped the Bugapoop tea instead.

 

 

So… would I drink this tea again?  Ehhhh maybe.  I wouldn’t go out rushing to buy some more that’s for sure!  But overall if you’re into exotic teas, give it a try!

What day is it???  It’s Exotic Eats Challenge Day!   What delicious treat are we experiencing today?

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ZEBRA TARANTULA!

 

This is a cooked and dehydrated Zebra tarantula with a light dusting of BBQ seasoning.  MMMMMMM!

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“Harry” the Zebra Tarantula came packaged in a can and then sealed in a little bag with a moisture bead sack.  Unfortunately his butt broke off in transport but you can clearly see Harry was indeed a real live tarantula at one time.  Harry lives up to his name and he’s covered in tiny little tarantula hairs.  He’s a bit larger than I expected; but I’m not one to back down from an exotic eats challenge.  Let’s get this spider meal started.

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So my companion and I place Harry on a plate and arrange him for a more appealing plate setting.  Sorry I’m missing the garnish.  Since I’ve never eaten spider before I thought I’d start with something a little less intimidating than the larger, fleshy body – I’ll start with the legs.  I break off a leg and pop it into my mouth.  It’s very dry but at the same time very chewy.  If you want to know what it tastes like, go outside to your nearest tree, pick off a piece of bark and just start chewing it.  Some might call it earthy?  The aftertaste of the leg however is very similar to non-seasoned beef jerky.  OK so spider leg is not so bad.

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This time I pick off the fangs from his head and take a bite of his body.  Harry is tough!  Remember when I said the legs aren’t so bad?  Well the body is gross.  All those spider innards are NOT tasty.  Think bark/dirt/beef all combined into one taste.  It isn’t pleasant at all.  I tried to take a bite of the abdomen but I literally couldn’t break it with my teeth it’s that hard.  I certainly don’t want to take a trip to the dentist because I chipped a molar on a dried tarantula butt.

 

Doctor: Tell me again how you broke your tooth?
Me: Eating a Tarantula.
Doctor: A tarantula? As in Spider?
Me: Yup.  That sucker was fighting for his life!

 

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The legs really weren’t so bad.  So I dressed up a piece of my salad with a tarantula leg.  Mmmmm Spider goodness.  Opinion – overall, I don’t need to eat tarantula again, but I do highly recommend eating tarantula if you’re into trying something truly unique.  Go ahead!  Break down that arachnophobia barrier and start munching down on one of those harry eight legged fanged demons!

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There’s nothing that chaps my hide more than visiting off-road areas which you would expect to be pristine, be instead literally covered in piss jugs, litter, tires, trash, etc.  Unfortunately a small minority of off-road idiots do everything wrong from not keeping to actual designated trails and destroying habitats to leaving their trash where they camped.  It’s really disgusting that these kinds of people are even associated with the average off-roader or off-roading group.  I simply do not understand why they don’t  TREAD LIGHTLY or PACK IT IN/PACK IT OUT!!! Their actions affect ALL off-roaders and give us all a bad reputation.  Unfortunately years ago due to inconsiderate and destructive off-roaders, several off-road trails on an Indian Reservation here in San Diego were closed.  Well the Toyota Land Cruiser Association San Diego Chapter called Beach N Toys is trying to change the bad reputation of off-roaders from years past.

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Beach N Toys has been actively trying to repair the damage done by these unruly rogue off-roaders.  This past Sunday the Reservation granted our club rare access to previously closed trails to clean up trash and do some much needed trail maintenance.  The Reservation was greatly appreciative that a group of responsible off-roads was willing to do the dirty work created by others who have a careless attitude towards the environment and the sovereignty of the Indian Nation to which the land belongs.

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Sunday morning the club met at a cafe near Lake Henshaw then headed towards the Reservation to meet with the tribe’s sheriff.  After obtaining keys to various locked gates throughout the trails we headed to the first camping area.  Thankfully the first campsite is clean and there’s virtually zero trash that needs to be picked up.  After regrouping, we headed out on the off-road trails to the backside campsite and unfortunately came across a brand new gate with a lock that wasn’t included in our set of gate keys.  Unfortunately the keys to this gate were on a different set which were not included in the keys we were given.  So we all turned around and headed to a trail called Rough Road which goes to an old fire observation tower.  Once we got to the tower we could see the signs of litter.  Most of the litter however is broken pieces of wood from the deteriorating fire tower.  But there are shards of broken beer bottles and Plexiglas everywhere!  So, out comes the beach N toys trash bags and we all start gathering as much of the broken glass and rubbish as we can.

We started headed back down Rough Road but diverted at the Y to a road that connects further down on Rough Road.  We can tell it hasn’t been travelled in a while as the shrubs are crowding the trail and brushing up against the trucks.  More than once we came across trees that had fallen on the trail.  One tree was large enough that we needed to winch it off the trail then chainsaw it into pieces.

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Overall it was a great day.
Great that our group cares enough to help repair the damage done by others.
Great that we’re rebuilding a relationship with the tribe and attempting to prove that there are responsible off-road still out in the world.
And great that everyone completed the trip without any problems or breakdowns.

Granted we have a long way to go, but our club is one of the few groups who are actively trying to help and that makes me very proud to be an off-roader.

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