Deer: The Reckless Road Trip Story Part 2

8 Jan

With us carrying the van instead of the van carting us around, we arrived to Denver with nothing but smiles on our faces.  We had made it safely and some of us even acquired new nicknames out of the experience.

98 miles away from the McDonald’s that we so graciously called “home” for a couple of hours, we found ourselves at a Denver auto repair shop where we could finally have the damage assessed.  On closer inspection in the daylight, we came to the conclusion that we love-tapped the deer right on the behind.  The Goliath-sized deer took a seat right on the radiator and just for a little extra joke, left us little chocolate treats all over the grill.  Or we just scared the shit right out of him.  Unfortunately for us, this wasn’t the most interesting thing that Nathan, the guy looking at our car, had seen before.  He went on to tell this great story of how he found half of a deer jaw sticking out of car one time.

It didn’t take Nathan too long to tell us that we were S.O.L. The radiator had been pushed back into the engine and the repair would be thousands of dollars. “Um, I could give you $100 for parts”, Nathan generously offered Dennis.  Awesome. That could cover the gas that we just put in the tank.

Although this story has been one of ridiculous turn of events, it has also been one of kindness and compassion.  Seeing our situation, Nathan quickly got on the phone with a friend who was able to offer us and amazing deal on a rental car. And alongside us at the auto repair shop was the Nixon family, who welcomed us just as my family would have done to me at home.  So we loaded up all of our gear and said our goodbyes to the good memories with the beautiful, white Astro van.  RIP <3.

“We have one vehicle left for a group your size”, we were informed. $80 per day, no mileage fees…. “We’ll take it.” For a group of six, shady looking guys, the 15-person, white Ford E350 rapist van worked perfectly to lug all of our equipment while picking up snow bunnies simultaneously.  Before zipping out in our new ride, the Enterprise clerk threw in one last pitch.  “For $20 extra per day, you can have full coverage on the van. You could even hit another deer and it wouldn’t cost you a dime.” Needless to say, we were fully covered.

Without sleep, we made it to the Nixon household who graciously opened their doors to us stranded, famished guys.  Between the generous portions of a home cooked meal, retelling the story multiple times, and a few beers, we were all ready for bed by the time the clock struck 9.  Seriously, we were all so tired that none of us could remember to complete the important task of buying plane tickets home.

Minus a couple minor and major wipe outs, the next few days went flawlessly on the mountains. Not only did we enjoy the sun and snow with one another, but we also had the opportunity to meet up with other good company.  The only negative point of shredding all day was the inability recover from the events of the days past.  We were slap happy and even let Gabe go out in public like this –>.  Dan managed to run over a parking barrier, we learned that Ross only orders meals on what will give him “the best value”, and I loose my mind apparently while trying to drive through the mountains at night.  Although, for all of us, about 2 beers goes a long way while on the slopes.

Our time in the snowy oasis of Colorado came and went as fast as the events prior and it was time to venture through the desert to Sin City.  With Dennis behind the wheel, we drove like a bat outta hell through beautiful red rock formations and arrived to Vegas in the late afternoon, just in time to start gambling.

After meeting up with our friend Colton, we found ourselves at the blackjack tables of Treasure Island, where exorbitant amounts of money began being exchanged (or at least it seemed like it to me).  Losing all the money that I was willing to gamble in the matter of minutes, the drinking commenced. And continued.

Cutting our losses early, Dan and I ventured to Walgreen’s and picked up something that we agreed would be a more efficient use of our money. Anddddd the rest of the night goes like this:

– We walked back to the Venetian to meet up with our friends who were winning money.  The drinks continued to flow as T-Bone screamed out random things at the blackjack table like “WHITE RUSSIAN” and “BUCKETS”.  Dennis literally could not lose and Ross looked extremely similar to Bradley Cooper in the hangover, if I remember correctly.

-Dan and I placed 20 on black. and lost 20 on black.

– On the way to the next Casino, the group had to climb some exterior wall. I was incapable of doing it, so Gabe had to help.

– Gabe and Dennis were running the Craps table at Harrah’s and someone turned to me and said “Boy, you are drunk.”  Embarrassed, I took off.

– Before meeting back up with everyone at 2 AM, I managed to walk over 4 miles, attempted to get my nose pierced, went shopping, checked out 6 different casinos, tried to get on a roller coaster, bought a pretzel (tweeted that it was the best pretzel that I had eaten in 31 years), and jogged down the strip to find my friends.

– From Harrah’s, we went to the Wynn…. and lost. I leave it at that for Dennis’ sake.

– We all attempted to do handstands

–  The group, minus Taylor, was back on the strip.  Until Dennis sprinted across the 6 lane divided highway to get back to Treasure Island.

– We pestered the people trying to get us to come to the strip clubs. “HEY! You guys like boobs?” “Nope, not at all”

– To maybe find Dennis later, the 4 of us decided that we should go to Denny’s to eat.  By far, the best decision we had made all night.

– After breakfast, we found Dennis back in the hotel and decided that since the little guy was alright, it was safe to hit the sheets.

Once again, that is only my recollection of the night.  The next day seemed to go by quite slow for some reason, I can’t imagine why.  We walked around like zombies looking for places to lose our money.  We toured the city and ate like kings before going out for round 2.

But the trip was not over with the sunrise in Vegas: we still needed to drive 11 hours back to Denver to catch a flight back home.  To turn the rape van in after our time in Vegas would cost an extra $1,000.  Dumb, right?  So, to save ourselves a couple hundred dollars, we decided to take the burden of driving. Lucky for us, there were no deer on the road for this leg of the trip.

Waking up early on December 23rd, I realized what an awesome experience we had all shared.  Together, we had traveled across the country and lived our lives as young people should: spontaneous and care-free.  Although many people look at the financial stipulations that are carried with a trip like this, they tend to forget that memories last much longer than the money that you may save by passing up such things.  By putting yourself out there and extending your comfort zone, you will be amazed with the things you will see and the great friends that you will make.


One Response to “Deer: The Reckless Road Trip Story Part 2”


  1. Reckless Roadtrip | danjeong - January 23, 2012

    […] Part 2  […]

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