So. I woke up on Day 6 feeling a little weird from the night before. But I also felt better. I don’t know what “closure” there was, but it was there and I slept well. Got up and walked the campus in the daylight. Went into the bookstores to see if there was any UofA schwag I needed to buy. Went into the art store and drooled over art supplies even though I didn’t need them, then went back to the hotel, got packed-ish and headed out to lunch at Trident Grill, a military bar.
After lunch I went back to the hotel and finished loading the bike up and headed out of town. I stopped by the north Tucson Harley dealer to pick up a poker chip. I have to figure out what my “rules” for those are. Do I have to go to the dealership on a motorcycle to get a chip and display it? Or if I’m in the area on business travel and stop in does it count? I’m pretty sure if someone gets one for me I won’t ever display it unless I was with them. That was fun. The front counter girl was really cute and waved to me across the parking lot when I pulled up, then came part way out to meet me when I stopped to take a picture of a VIP parking spot they had reserved for Purple Heart recipients.
After I left, I headed back up to Phoenix going the back way. Back through Florence to Coolidge to Chandler. I wasn’t in such a rush this time, so I stopped along the way, taking photos of the Pinal Pioneer Parkway sign, at the Tom Mix memorial and of random things on the way. At one point I passed a 6 foot long rattler sunning himself in the other lane. At Florence I stopped for gas and chatted with another dude on a Harley who was kind of goofy. He was wearing camo pants that weren’t US military issue, was open carrying a pistol and claimed to be a vet from 11th group. I’m going to call BS on that one.
I made it home and it was kind of shocking to see Dad. He was in a lot more discomfort from the operation that we really thought he’d be. Some of the past ones had gone so well that he’d kind of gotten cocky and was fairly nonchalant going into it. But as soon as I got home, I headed back out the door to get his prescriptions filled and to get some other supplies. For the first time in years he was having me fill the prescription for painkillers, “just in case”.
It was pretty uneventful after that. Just hung out in case the family needed anything. Did a little more research on the return trip and coming up with some contingency plans. Originally, when I was leaving Tucson, I thought “Oh, well the doctor said that Dad can’t drive, but nothing says he can’t ride. Maybe we’ll still roadtrip.” But as soon as I got home and saw how much discomfort he was in, that went out the window. Then I started thinking that maybe I could still see my Army buddy in Las Vegas, but instead of going home through the snow after that, I’d head out to LA, see an Army buddy there, then come back to Phoenix, check in with the folks and spend the night and then head home.