Sign, sign, everywhere a sign!

Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
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Trip End May 16, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Signs"
 
(As recorded by Five Man Electrical Band)
LES EMERSON
 
And the sign said "long haired freaky people, needn't ought apply"
So I tucked my hair up under my hat, and I went in to ask him why
He said "you look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do"
So I took off my hat, I said "imagine that, huh, me working for you!", woah
 
Sign, sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this don't do that can't you read the sign?
 
And the sign said "anybody caught trespassing would be shot on sight"
So I jumped on the fence and yelled at the house, "hey what gives you the right?"
To put up a fence to keep me out, or to keep mother nature in
If God was here he'd tell you to your face: "man you're some kind of sinner!"
 
Sign, sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this don't do that can't you read the sign?
 
Now hey mister can't you read
You got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat
You can't even watch, no you can't eat, you ain't supposed to be here
 
Sign said you gotta have a membership card to get inside, ooh
 
And the sign said "everybody welcome, come in, kneel down and pray"
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn't have a penny to pay
So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
I said "thank you Lord for thinking of me, I'm alive and doing fine!", woah
 
Sign, sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this don't do that can't you read the sign?
 
Sign, sign everywhere a sign
 
Sign, sign
 
Decision time. Today I had to decide if I'm continuing on my Journey as I had planned it or head home for whatever length of time is required before I continue.
 
Last Monday I wrote in my blog that a confirmation that this isn't all a hallucination would be nice.
 
My plans for today were to drive to Grand Canyon West and see the Hulapai Glass Skywalk. Another one of these places that just happened to  be part of my awareness and be close by to where I decided to stop. See the website www.destinationgrandcanyon.com
 
It's about 80 miles from where I am to Grand Canyon West by taking Highway 93 north towards Las Vegas. There is about 14 miles of gravel road towards the end. I plan to leave by 9. I take my shower then I feel extremely weak. My legs are shaky, my stomach is queasy, my throat is dry. I decide to lay down for a while. As I'm resting I think of the movie Coyote Ugly. I've had numerous "coincidences" with this. The writer, Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote "Eat, Pray, Love", a book I mentioned in my blog has written a story about her time working in a New York bar that was used in making the Disney movie Coyote Ugly. Coincidently, during my travels I passed by the Coyote Ugly chain of bars in Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, San Antonio, and somewhere in Florida.  
 
The reason I thought of the movie as I was resting is that the main character, Violet, meets a guy and ends up at his place. She's an aspiring songwriter but can't get anything published unless she performs her songs live. He's set up a keyboard in his room  so that she can perform her songs in front of him. She's petrified of singing on stage and says she can't even sing in front of him. The guy asks her what it feels like. She mentions the shaky legs, queasy stomach, dry mouth. Same sensations I'm experiencing this morning. The same sensations you feel when you are really in love, or so I've heard. Maybe I'm feeling real love.
 
Shortly after 10 I leave. I plan on being there by noon. The highway drive is fine. Then I turn off and the car in front of me is quite annoying. They keep on hitting their brakes for no apparent reason. After a long time of this I pass them. Then we hit the gravel part. After a while I catch up to two tour buses. I'm eating dust. A sign along the road says that there's a $20 fee for parking. I thought parking in Calgary was expensive. There's nothing around here for 50 miles. They have more vacant land then they know what to do with. Why the exorbitant fee?
 
I arrive at the Information center to buy my ticket. They want $30. That's a little steep, but OK. But no, that's just an access fee to allow you access to the Hulapai lands. It's another $30 to actually walk on the bridge. By this time I am about to title my blog, Getting Royally Screwed by the (Native) Americans! Because you are on sovereign native land they also charge a 6% tax. Two hours of driving and $85 later I'm on a bus to the bridge. They also forbid you from taking your camera on the bridge in case you drop it into the canyon. That makes sense...not! You have to pay another $1 to store your camera and other "loose" items in a locker. But they are offering to take your picture on the bridge for you for a minimum of $50 for the proofs. Talk about giant RIP-OFF!
 
They have an "authentic" Historical Indian Village set up. What? No extra charge for that? I take a few pictures and then walk over to the outside of the glass bridge. It's doesn't look as impressive as all the drawings and advertising pictures. False Advertising. I want my money back. I'm here, might as well go walk on this thing.
 
After passing through security, a ticket taker, another security guard and a booty provider, yes, you have to wear little booties over your shoes so that you don't scratch the glass, I get to the walkway. It extends about 50 feet past the side of the canyon. The bridge is about 6 feet wide. The glass is about 3 feet wide. The rest is 2 very large and deep support beams. They block out most of your view down. There's a 4 foot high glass railing. A couple are in front of me and the lady is freaking out. She's afraid of stepping out onto the glass. A Native host, dressed in traditional garb is telling her to jump as high as she can on the piece of glass that's still over the ground to prove that it's safe. She jumps about 6 inches. They slowly inch onto the walkway. The Native host is trying to convince her to have faith and face her fear of the unknown.
 
I pass them and stare down into the canyon. It doesn't look like you are 4000 feet up. I look over the edge and into the canyon and back through the glass floor. I'm disappointed. They make this out to be so much more then I felt it was. Of all the tourist attractions I've seen during my Journey I felt that this was the worse. The reason I felt this way is that I expected more from the Native People. They are constantly "selling" their traditions. I expect to be taken for a ride at Disney, and other "touristy" places. I was mostly upset because I felt these Native people were being hypocritical. An average return on your investment would be fair. Trying to recoup your costs within a year or two is not good business.
 
I'm still feeling like I was earlier this morning, tired. I try and clear these negative thoughts from my head. Then I think maybe I misread the signs. I wasn't suppose to come here. That's why I'm so tired. It should be a day of rest. I get on the bus to go back to where my truck is parked. The bus is packed and so the seat next to me gets filled by this young guy who's wearing a jacket with a Top Gun patch. I bought Nick a Top Gun t-shirt last summer. I ask him if he's a pilot. He says no, Swiss Army. The bus turns the wrong way. It's heading to Guano Point, a rest area where you can get a good view of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. I decide to stay on the bus as it will now go back to the visitor center. I'm sitting in one of the last rows. There are a couple of people left when it feels like I'm getting kicked off the bus. Someone has other plans for me.
 
So fine. I'll walk to the lookout, take a few pictures, then head back. Once I'm at the end of the path I sit down on the rocks and try and clear my head of these negative thoughts. The Swiss Army Guy has sat down not too far from me. It is quite peaceful here. I say a prayer, meditate, whatever you want to call it. As I'm sitting I notice this pretty young woman who is pregnant. She doesn't look much older than twenty. Then I remember that the woman on the bridge who was afraid was also pregnant. Then I notice who this young woman is with. Could be middle-aged, definitely balding, and seems to be acting a little odd, even crazy. Then I start noticing the other people who are walking around. The languages are from around the world. The women from England, the Russian women, the couple who looked Jewish, then there was Swiss Army Guy, some "black" women who might be from Africa, then there were the Asians. I also heard various other languages I couldn't decipher. The Americans are a given. Who am I missing, Oh right, the Australians. Nope didn't hear anyone speak with an Australian accent
 
Then I notice the pretty young pregnant woman again. She's dark skinned, has long hair, petite, reminds me of what Hannah looks like. At least from what I remember and what I can tell from her Facebook profile picture. The guy she was with is nothing like me. He was a caricature of what I wrote a couple of days ago as a crazy, balding, middle-aged guy. I have a full head of hair compared to this guy and by being skinnier then this guy I probably look younger, though I am probably older. I am not crazy and do not act that way either. Some of you might be disagreeing at this point.
 
Signs, signs, everywhere a sign!
 
Back on the bus and more Europeans and Asians. I figure I should go to the restroom before my long drive back, then decide to grab a snack and something to drink. There's a gentleman in front of me paying for his 2 drinks. He leaves and forgets to grab his Pepsi. I mention this to him and he says something with an Australian accent.
 
Back on the road and I decide to take an alternate route. Grand Canyon West is north east of where I am camped. I headed north and then east to get there. The map I had showed a road that headed south towards Peach Springs on Route 66. It was gravel, but I figured I have some time to kill. I take the turnoff and a sign says 50 miles to Peach Springs. On my left I pass about a dozen guys on motorcycles stopped on the side of the road. I'm distracted and must have missed a sign that says road work ahead. I turn around a corner and I almost run into a grader trying to fix the ruts on the gravel road. This road is quite narrow. But on my right is a turnoff that allows me to go around the grader without slowing down. Perfect timing. Oh right. Before taking the turnoff I had opened my drink and spilt some. So I had stopped to wipe it down. Without that stop I would have met the grader further up the road and I would have had to back up.
 
I'm doing the Baja 500 again. This road has more zigzags, hills, loops, hairpin curves, bumpier, is narrower, and cliffs everywhere then when I did the Baja 500 in Big Bend. I am convinced now that I am not hallucinating or imagining any of what I am writing. I know for sure that my life is in the hands of What? Is!. I believe in O-Hi-O completely and that all that I do from now on is for What? Is! I know that if I misread a sign, then I will get another one to make sure I am on the right path. I know for sure that I must marry Hannah and we will have a baby daughter who is the daughter of What? Is!
 
The 50 miles of gravel road I drove on today was a reminder of what lays ahead. The road will be bumpy, there will be curves and hills where I won't be able to see ahead and will need to have faith that something bad won't happen where I can't see something, there will be cliffs that I can fall down. I drove the road today much faster than I should have. I could have easily driven off the side of the road down some cliff by taking a turn too fast and having the washboard road push me off the edge. I wasn't worried that that would happen. I now have complete faith in What? Is! My life is in his hands. I am not afraid of dying because I know I have completely surrendered myself to O-Hi-O and my purpose in life will be accomplished according to his will. I Love What? Is! completely and totally. My love for anyone else will never match my love for O-Hi-O.
 
Another of my guiding angels thoughout my Journey has been my friend Andrea. She sends me emails and is always sending me gifts on Facebook. Whenever I felt lonely or thought that no one cared or was thinking of me she seemed to know that I needed cheering up. Coincidently her and her husband John had a baby boy on December 25, Christ's Birth Date. Well, at least the day we celebrate it. Another sign in my books.
 
Today it seems that every song that I hear has a message just for me. My iPod has been playing a lot of Christmas songs today. Something it hasn't done lately. I hear a lot of love songs. The songs I heard as I was driving reinforce what I am feeling.
 
I chatted with Nick earlier. He has a hard time understanding what I am writing because he has a hard time making   sense of it. None of it makes sense, logically or in the world as we currently know it. I am sure that that is the feeling the majority of you have. I write very few of the "coincidences" that I know have happened. I don't expect most of you to understand. I won't expect many of you to support me. I expect a lot of you to start ignoring me and considering me as a wacko. One day I will be vindicated.
 
To understand, you must have faith. Start paying attention to what's happening in your life. Start seeing what seems like coincidences.
 
All the people I heard speak today are from the different continents I mentioned in yesterday's blog entry, but no penguin. The people I met were from every race I mentioned, black, white, red and yellow. No little green men. I don't need any more signs. I believe. I have faith.
 
I am heading home tomorrow with a pit stop in Las Vegas. I need to replenish my funds. If I don't tomorrow I won't stop having faith, it'll just mean the time isn't right.

I didn't think of actually taking pictures of signs until after I left Orlando. Those before that mean anything are completely random. I stumbled across some photographer's website where he had done that. So I started paying more attention to signs and taking their pictures. I had no idea they would have some kind of significance later on. I was only planning on posting some of them as a final, summary, post.
 
I have a feeling Hannah has been crying herself to sleep the past few days or week. She's confused. This doesn't make sense. She has faith in all the signs that God gives her. She started asking questions about God when she was two, and knew she was a Christian when she was four. At 13 she knew she had to learn to love God with all her heart before she could date. At 18, God filled her heart and is the only love that she requires. She will do whatever God asks her to do. Her whole life has been the path to prepare her for what lies ahead. Her post Valentine's Day blog entry and the email she sent me confirms that.
 
I couldn't remember what she looked like from our 10 minute conversation in New Orleans. Yesterday, something told me to do a name search on Facebook to see if she had a profile there. Her name and profile picture came up first. I needed to be reminded of what she looked like before today when I say the young pregnant woman.
 
Hannah, Will you marry me? God will give you the answer.
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