My Breaking Bad Moment in Albuquerque

If you’ve never seen the show Breaking Bad – you should. The story begins with a high school chemistry teacher in Albuquerque who finds out he has terminal cancer. Unable to pay his medical bills and too stubborn to accept help, he puts his skills to good use cooking up the best blue meth in the Southwest. He goes from small time meth cooker trying to support his family to the infamous drug lord Heisenberg who lies, ruthlessly kills rivals, makes LOTS of money and loses the very family he swore to protect. Be warned though, it contains gratuitous violence, excessive use of language and all kinds of moral lessons about what not to do in life.

In the show, both the main character (Walter White) and his business partner (Jesse Pinkman) get into insane situations cooking meth in the desert. I had a situation that felt a little bit like that and wanted to share.

Last weekend I traveled to Albuquerque for my pickleball job. I had organized for my dad and I to play at a couple different locations in town and to meet a guy who wanted to start selling paddles for us (ironically we call them dealers). It was a great weekend and we came back to Colorado really tired from playing in the sun and driving so much.

On the way home, I had to pee. Since we had stopped a couple of hours before for gas, I didn’t want to take another break and told my dad to just pull over on the side of the freeway. I went, it was glorious and I jumped back into the car. Unbeknownst to me, when I jumped out I had accidentally knocked my phone out of the car. An hour and a half later when we returned home, I realized that my phone was nowhere to be found – probably on the side of the road where I decided to use the bathroom.

So what did I do? I went back to look for it! Luckily, I remembered that we had stopped immediately after an exit. I didn’t know which exit or even which side of Walsenburg it was on, but I vaguely remembered what it looked like – at least I had a clue.

So I drove two hours back to Trinidad (which I knew was too far), turned around and stopped at every place that even remotely resembled what I remembered of the stop. I pulled over onto the shoulder of at least 3 or 4 exits, probably looking like a lunatic stooped over on the side of the road looking for something in the grass. Finally, after the Rugby Road Exit I found a place that looked familiar. I got out and found my phone…. just feet away from cars speeding by on the freeway. Thankfully it hadn’t rained and I got my phone back still with 20% battery. So what did I do then? Well, I had to pee again so I figured that it was as good of a place as any…


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