26.07.2010 - 26.07.2010 31 °C
As we had planned we dropped by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) this morning so I could get some form of ID and purchase a handgun. Why have I decided I want a handgun? For my safety in the mountains, because it is a quintessentially American activity and because I have absurdly attracted to the idea of having a firearm on my hip. The DMV is potentially the most dull place a human being can choose to spend their time. Imagine, I don't know, combining waiting in A & E with those last ten minutes of an exam where you've finished, checked your work, have nothing more to contribute, yet still can't leave - then you've got the DMV. We were there for about forty minutes an I was quite frank in rating my chances of getting any form of ID as being around 20%. Well I was right. We went up and asked after a while whether I was eligible. Yes I had the right visa. Yes I had the right form accompanying my visa. But, computer said no, I had the "wrong status". Darn, this wasn't good.
Nevertheless we pressed on. My friend phoned the gun shop and asked what the deal would be. He said that I wouldn't be eligible for a handgun, but I was quids in for a shotgun or a rifle. Interesting! We drove from the Glenwood Srpings DMV out of the Valley to the gun shop. It wasn't what I had expected. It resembled a small garage and inside was a hobbit looking man repairing a hunting bow. Oh goodness, did we have time to turn back. Nope. We were shown round and then the shop's owner got chatting about gun laws in the UK. "What will you all do when the Muslims invade? It's what kept them away in World War Two." I couldn't believe what I had heard. However, it was not the appropriate environment to make a comment. I found his ignorance of world history and perception of the world startling. On looking around it was clear I would not be able to afford a shotgun, rifle or handgun so all hopes were unfortunately dashed.
This afternoon we went up to the Maroon Bells, a recreational area adminstered by the US Forest Service (I get in for free with my pass) with the aim of hiking up to Crater Lake. I say 'aim' because as soon as we got out of my car it began to rain, the thunder started and the mosquitos arrived. An evac back to the Hyundai was necessary. If the weather's half good tomorrow, I'll be back.
Tonight I made dinner for my hosts as a thank you to them. They survived, so they have more than full stomachs to be thankful for.