Something To Chew On

October 8-14, 2018

By Becca Bona


California Chronicles Part 1


I’m of the type that makes birthday resolutions instead of creating a list on New Years.


This past New Year, however, I got it in my head that I wanted to take an epic road trip to California for two reasons. One, I have never been west of Texas and two, I have never taken a ‘real’ road trip – one that lasts more than two days.


So, that’s how I found myself along a never-ending westward stretch of I-40 a few weeks ago. My boyfriend and I somehow had survived the inevitable game of Tetris required to pack a car for a long trip.


(We all know it’s true that when it comes to a couple, one of you is better at this particular elusive task, and in this instance, it wasn’t me.) And, when you consider that we had a 12-foot paddleboard, two bikes, our bags (equipped with necessities for 10 days of exploring), a tent, dry food, an ice chest and camera paraphernalia, well then. You know that we barely survived that pesky car-packing task.


Nevertheless, once the terrain started to change to something resembling a desert – an experience that for me was magical – I knew we weren’t in ArKansas Texas anymore.


And, as we finally stretched our legs and dusted off our bags, taking in the great surroundings of Roswell, New Mexico, I was beside myself with glee.


We unpacked fast and headed to the UFO Museum. For you newbs like me who likely have a fuzzy memory of some sort of government cover-up more than a half century ago complete with ‘sightings,’ ‘strange bodies,’ and more, well then.


That’s the museum we headed to, even though we only had an hour to explore there, thanks to our long drive. I did my darnedest to read each framed newspaper article regarding the incident which spans the late 40s, 50s, and beyond.


After our explorations we decided to hop on our bikes and sniff out some grub. This is the important thing to remember in this anecdote, as I am still relatively new to this whole biking thing.


Especially in traffic. Especially in a foreign town. And especially, in the dark.


Cue the weirdly, high-pitched yet iconic alien movie soundtrack.


After successfully noshing ourselves, the friendly waitress told us about a winery just up the road.


“You better hurry, though, they tend to close a little early.”


With this warning in mind, we got on our bikes and headed out, me following behind my boyfriend on the busier thoroughfare that we had hoped would quell during dinner.


Spoiler: it hadn’t.


As we got ready to make our last turn, I nearly quit breathing as I saw a huge, silver-saucer floating right above the buildings on the next block.


In an instant, my front wheel caught in a serious groove that I hadn’t seen on the ground – not unlike a trolley track. The result was that the front of my bike was abruptly stopped while the back wheel and myself, limbs flailing madly, plummeted to the concrete.


This event was enough to cause traffic to stop, and before I knew it my boyfriend was back at my side, examining my bleeding arms and banged up legs.


His first words were,  “At least you don’t have any road rash on your cheek or face.”


I didn’t smile.


Instead, I squinted at the UFO off in the distance that I now noticed wasn’t moving. After rubbing my eyes a little I saw that the saucer was, in fact, attached to a building supporting a sign that read: “Alien Zone.”


I can only say for certain that UFO sightings are nothing if not lively.


  • Becca Bona
    Becca Bona