by Chief Wampum Big Nose
Reprinted from V4N2, October 1990
Steve Worm was about to head back to Austin for the fall semester at The University of Texas. By chance, Michael Bryan and Laura Ceska happened to be visiting Los Alamos. John Johnson and Allen Williams were feeling restless. It was the end of the summer, the stars were out, the moon was dark, and the night looked to be a bit cool but the intrepid travelers decided that there were bars yet unexplored and thus begins another sally forth in search of adventure.
The first stop would be the famous Los Ojos Bar in the Jemez Mountains, some 40 miles West of Los Alamos. I think that Allen had been there before (what bar within 5 states hasn't he been to?) and he decided to guide the merry band on the winding path through the mountains. Two vehicles were taken, the Beretta (of course, a quick escape might be necessary!) and Michael's truck (in case there was booty or women to bring back). Actually, Laura was planning on coming back with Allen early so he would make his shift at the lab, but even the best laid plans don't always work out.
The road was an adventure in itself, with hairpin turns exceeding 180 degrees, large elk threatening to leap into the path of unsuspecting drivers, and steep upward grades. Despite their best efforts, they arrived at the bar around 9:00. The bar was fairly active. People milled about drinking, kind of what you'd expect for a bar, the walls were lined with antique guns, and locals engaged in what seemed like friendly games of pool. Everyone ordered a beer (except John who'd brought a bottle of rum) and then the fun began.
First off, Steve and Allen decided to play a game of pool. They found what seemed to be an empty table (only a couple of balls left) and started to rack up. This is when a local Indian came up and informed them that they had just messed up a $50 game between himself and his burly Mexican friend. Just when a fight and lots of broken bones seemed inevitable Steve poured on the charm and they decided to play him a game (he did inform them that he had no money). Meanwhile, Allen joined his friends at a booth and began to make friends with some of the Indians from the local pueblo. Someone asked him who owned the Beretta and he told them that he was a big newspaper man and that we were all there to review the bar for The PPSA Newsletter. The conversation continued and a woman at the next table asked to talk to John. He decided to be friendly and pulled up a chair next to her, only then beginning to realize that she was highly intoxicated. As John was alternately chastized and sat on, Allen went off to "press the flesh" as Lou Grant and Mike and Laura exchanged stories with a local Indian artist, Spotted Elk.
Allen did not make it to his shift on time, although he seemed to have a very good time. The five adventurers closed down the bar. Steve played well and wasn't killed. And John left without having to exchange saliva with anyone. In the process of leaving, crowds of locals gathered around our heroes admiring the Beretta and asking them to come back again. John surveyed his automobile, and upon finding no scratches the group headed back East.
The next stop was the Jemez Hot Springs. Laura and Allen continued to Los Alamos (Allen was still planning on working that night, despite the fact that he had imbibed quite respectably), while Steve, John and Michael searched out more adventure. Armed with a towel, a small flashlight and a bottle of rum (about 2 inches) and a water bottle of whiskey and Kool-Aid the headed up the mountain. Of course they quickly became lost. After a while they caught up with a group of high school students and were led to the lower springs. Michael had to continue to the upper springs, however, he didn't want to stay and help the young high school girls overcome their fear of skinnydipping. So onward and upward the three trudged.
They were lost again. This time there was no one to follow. The only person that they saw above the lower springs was a man with an attack wolf who had bee aroused from his sleep under a rock by the three. They appeased him by giving him a light and a nip of whiskey. A few dozen scratches and gouges later they had followed a stream to the upper springs. The springs seemed to have an ambient temperature of about 150 degrees, but John assured them that it was just about as warm as his typical shower. Once John had climbed naked into the water he changed his story. The three flackid men from points East sat in the hot water and relaxed. It was then that Michael and John realized that Steve was much more relaxed than they were... on the trip up the mountain he had finished almost all of the rum.
After about an hour they decided to dress and head down to the lower springs. Steve would have none of this, he was feeling quite ill by this point. John perfunctorily jumped out of the water and dressed. Steve climbed onto a ledge and lay down, Michael then got out and sat on a rock ,admiring Steve. Steve then spoke. "Just another half an hour." This line was repeated several more times. About two hours later Steve purged his system and eventually dressed (with a little help). Steve, now known as "Drunkman", was righted and, after a bit of scouting by Michael, they headed back down the hill.
The first thing that Drunkman did was take a nine foot dive into the woods. He was saved from grave injury by miraculously twisting his body in midair so that he would break his fall with his head. The rock that he grabbed with his temple wasn't so lucky, it broke. His glasses were found, the rock was buried, and they rolled on down the hill... no path in sight. Meanwhile, the light was getting dimmer. After a little poison oak, 20 or 30 more bouts with rocks and/or trees, they made it back to the Beretta. John quickly grabbed a rug out of his trunk for Steve to sit on, lest his blood poisoned system decide to hack up chunks of spleen on his upholstery.
After a quick trip back without incident (no elk, no lateral g's and no spleen) the three returned to the PPSA headquarters on 48th Street in Los Alamos. Steve and Michael crashed for the night. John, meanwhile did laundry and went into work to log his experiment's gasses. It was on his return home from the lab that he realized that he had forgotten to try one of the famous hamburgers at the bar. "I guess we'll just have to go back again some other night," he thought.
Last Updated 04/14/95.© 1996 PPSA