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Entry date: 3-19-2022 - Camping Stories Getting Sidetracked - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

When we left off yesterday, we had just crossed the border and were getting our visas. While we were in line, we ran into Jessica and Brandi (I’m assuming it was with an I), who Michael was dating, and some of their friends. They were a welcome sight for many reasons, especially after the ordeal Michael and I had on the US side of the border.

Jessica and Brandi lived in Tucson and, if I remember correctly, Michael had met them earlier in the summer on a Rocky Point trip. We had gone down to Tucson in July, I think, or earlier in August for a night and had a blast. They were models and all their friends were models, and it was pretty much eye candy for us. What were two 17- and 18-year-old guys to do?

While that was not a camping trip, it needs to be mentioned in this story for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s hilarious as I look back on it. We decided to eat a bunch of mushrooms on the way down to Tucson so we could enjoy the scenery. How Michael drove in that condition, I’ll never know, but my hat is off to him. We got to Brandi’s house, and we were high as Georgia pines.

There had to be seven or eight of their friends there and they were all beautiful. I was at the point in my mushroom trip where it was very intense, so one of the young ladies took me into the kitchen where there was a huge bong on the table and proceeded to help me calm down a bit. It worked, but it also rendered me unable to speak coherently for a while. All I could was giggle, which might have been endearing to the ladies for a bit, but I knew I should probably snap the fuck out of it.

We decided to go to the pool, which killed my mohawk, but it did get me speaking again. I had not yet met Brandi or Jessica, so it was cool to get to know Michael’s new friends. I liked them both very much, especially Jessica. She was gorgeous, sure, but she was also just plain cool. She liked great music, could drink and hang no matter what was going on, and was just genuine. We were instant friends.

We decided to find something to do in Tucson. There was supposedly a party happening and the girls new of an empty pool that I wanted to skate, but we figured that could happen the next day. We drove around for awhile and just laughed and had a good time. When the evening ended, I went back to Brandi’s house and she and Michael went to bed. I was on the pull-out couch in the living room, flipping through the TV channels.

I found Night Flight on USA and they were just starting the punk doc, Another State of Mind, so I was in heaven. I couldn’t quite get to sleep yet, but I didn’t care. I had the doc to watch and was still taking the occasional puff from the bong. Then there was a knock on the door.

If you’ve taken mushrooms, you probably know the feeling of your trip coming rushing back even though you thought it was all over. This is how I felt when I heard the knock on the door. I freaked out a bit and decided to just ignore it. No one emerged from the bedroom to handle it, so I didn’t know what to do. Eventually I did go to the door and look through the peephole, but whoever was there had gone by then.

The next morning, Brandi told me that one of her friends had come over and to see me. I was bummed for about a second before she mentioned that this friend was a notoriously friendly gal and probably had about ten STDs. We ate breakfast, went and picked up Jessica, and went to this abandoned mansion and I skated the pool. The girls were so cool about that since I sucked, and they were friends with some of the best skaters in the world.

One of those skaters, Mark Rogowski, ended up murdering Jessica a few years later.

I won’t even use his stupid fucking nickname. I hate him. Jessica was a good friend. The kind you could go months without seeing and not miss a beat. It saddens me that she never got to have a life of her own, really. She was just a baby. I wish she was here so she could know my family and they could know her as she would have done amazing things with this life.

But there we were in the visa office at the border. Drinking Tequila out of the bottle and excited about my first trip to Rocky Point. We made plans to meet up at JJ’s after we all got settled in our camps and headed out into the dark, Mexican night.

About five miles or so out of Puerto Penasco, the truck died. It was pitch fucking black out and I was super nervous. I had never been this far (which was not very far at all) into Mexico and I had heard all the scary stories. Car trouble has always been something that made my anxiety peak, so this was bad. We were definitely going to die, I thought. Robbed, for sure, and probably left for dead.

Michael took it all in stride, though, and eventually a truck came up to ask what the problem was. It was a family from Phoenix, and they offered to tow us into where we were staying so we could get into town and then sort it out. One of the passengers in the truck ended up being a girl our age named Norah. She and Michael hit it off and that was the end of Michael and Brandi and the beginning of some crazy times in Michael’s life.

I was just happy to be in Rocky Point.

See you tomorrow.

I took this photo.

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