Watch out there's a couple of Bikers about!

Trip Start May 30, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Monday, July 21, 2008

Time may fade but the burning light shall shine brightly for a long time to come.  Laying in my bed in my traditional Navajo dwelling I reflect life and what it has brought me.  I marvel at this intuitive insight, because for me I have lived a few adventures, true not as many as I would have liked or as many as Jack London but nonetheless adventures that will stay with me eternally.  And this current adventure at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary is no exception, although the rain is something that I could easily forget.  You travel 10,000 miles in summer just to get pissed on.  Priceless! 

During any period of time at the sanctuary you experience the highs and lows and when I wrote the above paragraph the rain had shaped my views on life here.  I was also being influenced by the Jack London novel 'The Sea wolf' and this inspired me in that vain.  I was trying to capture something and what came out was a kind of melancholic but not morose angle that shaped that moment in time.  I was starting to see that the real adventure was going to be after I left the sanctuary and headed across country and onto Argentina.  Oh how wrong I was!  But for the moment step back in time with me as I lead you into an adventure at Fantasy Island (It has been said I've been there all my life - I don't agree.).  I love spending time with the wolves but am aware that I am just a prostitute to these or any of the animals we have here.  Cats live in our kitchen and converse with us only because we provide them with food, likewise with the majority of the wolves it's the food that keeps the bond going.  Dogs give unconditional love but as for other species we give them what they need and they give us entertainment in return.  Wolves were not built for humans to keep as pets and so it's not a surprise that they sometimes don't appear for their adoring public.  Pretty damning stuff I think.  Anyway, let's move away from those enlightening but equally valid thoughts to life these past 10 days.

Evenings can get a little bit boring here as we don't have much to do, apart from drink the occasional glass of beer (when we have it), watch DVD's and chat, however last Friday we (Adam, me, Matt, Taylor and Big Josh) decided once again to head to Grants for beer and women (in that order).  Small expectations are always wise when living in New Mexico and so I was not really surprised when we arrived at a bar called Seal Fish, which  should have been renamed Blabber Whales due to the 300lbs specimens that surfaced here under the guise of women.  The barmaid was sexy but even she freaked me out when she said that I could only carry two bottles of beer at a time due to some local law.  I fear they must have a big alcohol problem. We did venture to another bar called 'Outlaws', which just about sums it all up.  Still, the beer was nice if not the attractions and I am starting to believe that New Mexico maybe doesn't have great totty.  Gallup is up next for us but knowing my luck they will be full of horses!

I seriously didn't really expect to meet a girl during this part or any of my trip if the truth be known, but it would be nice to see a regular array of beauties just to keep me amused if nothing else.  The sexiest woman on the sanctuary is a 25 year old called Mary, however Mary has one fatal flaw - she doesn't believe in shaving her legs.  I had heard that her hero is Grizzly Adams and if it isn't then it should be because this bint has so much hair it's scary.  In fact as from this day forth her name will be Scary Mary.  I am so looking forward to seeing other states aside from New Mexico, although nothing will be surprise me.

Whilst it would be true that during my seven weeks in America I haven't really seen the country I have seen something more frightening and that is a culture that is so dependent on Sodium in their food.  I don't know to what extent we rely on the stuff in the UK but here it is everywhere from Listerine to Pasta and beyond.  Matt told me that it is a big reason for heart attacks and my research told me that you should only have a teaspoon of the stuff a day.  No wonder there are so many porkers about.  Food is cheap here as well, so really there is no excuse why these fat bastards have to exist.  We are separated so much more than a similar language we share.  An example of the great divide occurred the other week when Matt asked for noodles to be included on the shopping list, unfortunately what arrived was a product that said noodles but was in fact Pasta Twists.  Us Brits did try to explain what noodles were but to them we are the ones that were being strange.  America as always knows best and it is the rest of the world that has it wrong. 

As for work at the sanctuary  I have been having a ball, mainly because I have been splitting up my day by giving tours.  Now, I know in a previous installment I mentioned how it was too much like work and that was what I was escaping from, well the last three tours I have conducted have been not only good on my part they have been good for my bank balance as I have got 40 bucks in tips.  What has also been good for me personally is I feel that I now do know my stuff and am not a phony in giving some random bullshit to the paying public.  I not only like giving the tours I like wolves, so put the two together and you have success.  In truth it's not about the money, obviously that helps but it is a feeling of using my accent, charm and knowledge to good use that pleases me.  Aside from the one tour a day I give and caring for the wolves I am continuing to work on the fox enclosure, which should be finished by the time I leave here.  Like a lot of projects here we start them but don't always complete them - but this will be different.

Over the last couple of weeks two wolves have passed away.  Waya, was a timed old lady who was off the tour path and had been ill for a while and she left us after surviving for 17 years, which for a wolf in captivity is excellent.  In the wild, wolves can expect to live between 6-9, whereas in captivity a good innings is considered anywhere between 9-16.  When a wolf dies here it is carted away on a trolley and then put in a black bag and left in the freezer.  It is funny when each morning you collect the chicken to feed the wolves and wolf dogs and see a black sack with two dead animals in.  Remember to think of them the next time you open your freezer and pull out a Cornetto or whatever else that lurks in your freezer.  Maybe I should take one home and market it in some place like Grimsby.  I'm sure after a fish supper a frozen wolf Lolly would go down a treat.

Waya's partner was a Mid-Content Wolf Dog, Lakota (a popular name for a wolf) who had also been ill.  However, in trying to get him to the vet we had to capture him.  This was a job for all the volunteers and Leyton of course.  Leyton had asked us to meet at 7.30am at the Wolf Kitchen and in military style we armed ourselves with nets and other tools.  Now as soon as one of the wolves had seen the net in Leyton's hands a chorus of howls went up, so amongst the wolf kingdom they knew what was going down.  Upon duly arriving at his enclosure, I went in first to get rid of an object that could hinder our progress.  Having only 12 minutes to complete the task it was vital that we created a line that never wavered.  This way he wouldn't be able to run around his enclosure with us daft bastards chasing him.  Although Josh got a bit keen, we shrugged off his overzealous behaviour and circled Lakota and as we got closer and closer with our shovels and hoes, the net was put over him and he conceded defeat and walked in to the box and was whisked away to the vet.  So far I have explained one death and one capture, well Princesses death was not as expected, although in saying that she was 15 and someone had decided that her number was up.  Now I can't confirm the time of her death but I think it took place during my tour.  I had mentioned to my tour party that Princess doesn't normally venture to the front and a movement of her head showed that she was breathing.  As a result of this I didn't think anything of it but an hour later Adam had the misfortune to tell his tour party that she had died.  I refute all those suggestions that you're thinking of that I bored her to death, it's just not true.   

As with humans, wolves behaviour can leave you flabbergasted.  I have watched the ferocious Black-Phase Timber Wolf Nikki being barked at through the fence by a low-content wolf dog.  Nikki had bitten Leyton on the leg last year so is not a wolf to mess around with.  And just for kicks whilst this was going on Coco was burying his chicken with his nose!  He had his priorities right.  But topping that off was Leyton arguing with Raven as Cheyenne stole his radio.  It was classic stuff watching as this 47 year old man was wagging his finger at Raven in a manner that was plain to see in any language.  As a result of neglect on Leyton's part, Raven was allowed to wander on his own around the volunteer kitchen.  He is friendly beyond recognition and it's not hard to see why he was a former ambassador.

But the funniest moment of the week was being asked on Friday night if I wanted to go on the outreach project the next day at Grants.  Here I was one day away from having two days off and then out of the blue I was asked if I wanted to go and do some outreach work at the Fire and Ice event that was being held.  Fire and Ice is a biker rally that attracts around 10,000 visitors a day for the three day event.  What else could I say but yes.  It was something different, different being the operative word as this London dude with a love for all things Mod was being asked to hang out with fucking greasy rocker types with Harley's for company.  And so on Saturday morning wearing some Modish clothes I headed out with Angel and the wolf Forest and hit the town Grants.  I figured they wouldn't know what hit them.  On the way there Angel told me that I was selected because Leyton had overhead one of my tours and thought I had a charismatic approach and would be a good addition to the outreach team.  Hey, I'll take that.  The event itself was alright even if it did have greasy rockers with long hair proclaiming the territory was there's.  I reprised my role as a market trader and sold a lot of goods courtesy of my accent as well as my charm.  Still the event was more noticeable for the amount of fatties and weird couples that walked around hand in hand then anything else.  Throughout the day I kept chuckling to myself that I was at one of these events and that I'll feathered and tarred the next time I'm in London town.  My saving grace was hearing a voice saying 'watch out there's a couple of bikers about, followed by The Dexy's Midnight Runners song 'Please Tell When The Lights Are Green.'  The day was also notable for spending time with Angel who is the number two here.  Angel is someone who avoids the volunteer kitchen so the time spent in her company is minimal, however the van rides with her were fun and we chatted easily and fluently.  It may not happen again during the last five weeks but it was nice all the same.

So another episode of my blog comes to an end, which is nice for me because this has taken me a while to write this and lunch time awaits this hungry writer.  So until next time stay cool won't you. 
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