The Chris Gethard Show Cross Country Adventure: Earth Ships

This morning I climbed to the bottom of an immense canyon and hiked alongside the Rio Grande. Eventually, I came upon a hot spring, where I disrobed completely. Also sitting inside the hot spring was a man named Derek whom I had only met while inside the aforementioned hot spring. Derek told me that his life was completely solitary; that he dabbled in logging, but his main trade was packing elk. When I asked what that entailed, he explained that he didn’t kill the animals, but his job was to find their carcasses where other hunters had left them so he could skin and butcher them for transport. I nodded politely. Neither of us ever mentioned that my dick was visible.

This is the exact sort of thing I was hoping would happen when I planned this trip in the first place.

Taos, New Mexico is a strange and wonderful and in some ways magical place. Our friend Melanie Hamlett lives there, and as soon as our trip started, she began tweeting us that if we rolled through, she’d be happy to show us some strange stuff. I’m really glad we did.

Outside of meeting Derek the elk butcher, our trip to the hot spring also involved me seeing every one of my cast mates naked. Nothing will erase a recent awkward fight like baring your weiner. If there’s ever been a reset button on relationships, it’s probably “Hey, look at your weiner! Look at my weiner!” We all felt close after swimming around in the hot springs and jumping in the Rio Grande. We also felt cleaner, which helped our general mood.

Later in the day we saw a series of Earth Ships, which are homes hippies make in the New Mexico desert out of garbage, basically. I was dismayed to realize that these homes were significantly nicer, cooler, and cheaper than where I live in Woodside, Queens.

After that, we ate dinner at a restaurant called Crossroads, that’s located on the top of a 9,000 foot tall mountain. The cook came out and said hi to us, and I don’t want to make assumptions, but he was clearly high out of his gourd. I will say this – the food was as delicious as you’d expect food cooked by a high hippie on top of a 9,000 foot tall mountain to be. My compliments to the chef.

On our way down the mountain, we picked up a couple of hitchhikers. At first they were a little overwhelmed to hop on the RV to see eleven dirty weirdos and a rig of camera equipment pointed at them. It turns out they lived in a commune at the bottom of the mountain known as the Soca Pearl house. I was picking their brain about what life there was like, and offered to do our comedy show for them on the spot. They accepted. So we added an unexpected date to our tour and performed for five hippies in the living room of the tea house at the edge of their property. It started with five hippies. One actually walked out. I think we performed admirably though. Will’s stand up bit was kind of quiet, but it was being performed to four confused and probably slightly impaired people. Don went on a date with their dog in the backyard. It was a pretty good time.

Before we left, one of the home’s residents let us know that they didn’t actually sleep in the tea house where we performed. They slept in the backyards, inside yerts.

“What are yerts?” we asked.

“Yerts are Mongolian tents,” they replied.

“You should show us your yerts,” we said.

“Sure!” they answered, before taking us inside their yerts. Which were, as promised, big fucking Mongolian tents. The one we saw had a wood burning stove in the middle. The main benefit of living in a yert, we were informed, is that it “keeps the wind out.” Life seems simpler in Taos, New Mexico, and it makes me kind of jealous.

I should go to sleep now. It’s nine am New York time (the clock I’m still largely on), seven am Arizona time (the clock I’m trying to adapt to), and I’ve only slept two hours so far tonight. We just parked in a Wal Mart parking lot and I’m not sure if it’s open or not. I really have to take a shit, but everyone else is asleep and I’m scared to go over there by myself. Last night, the Wal Mart we stayed at was inexplicably surrounded by wheelchair bound homeless dudes. I know it’s not right to be scared by that, but when you’re on no sleep and you stumble upon a Wal Mart besieged by Vietnam vets, you can’t help but initially wonder if you’re in some sort of scary movie dreamland. Anyhoots, the point is I’m scared to take a shit in this Wal Mart.

I need sleep though. We’re on the final push of our trip. Our show in LA on Thursday is being broadcast live on the internet (at www.ucbcomedy.com) and I don’t want to be all cracked out and bonkers when we go for it.

Chris Gethard is a comedian from New York and the host of the Chris Gethard Show.

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