Saturday, June 05, 2010

Beatlick TR: On the way to the Grand Canyon

Date: May 21, 2010 9:17 PM

Well we sped out of Organ, NM, with the most power I guess I have ever had in this engine. I blew a valve, whatever that means, right in Michael’s driveway. Convenient. So he broke down the whole engine and things are up and running again.

We made a stop in San Rafael to visit Andrew again. He is an old friend from my days in Alaska. Old friends are such luxuries. He took one look at my hair and put me in his chair and gave me a much needed haircut. We wined and dined each other and laughed unceasingly for two days. Then it was time to head out to the Grand Canyon.

We retraced I40 and saw big changes as soon as we crossed the state line to Arizona. Back in 2003 we came this way and visited a new state park for the Homolovi Ruins. Now it is already closed down. Plus all the rest areas on the interstate are closed and barricaded. What a mess.

We drove straight to Flagstaff and pulled off some awesome “urban camping.” It was a Sunday afternoon and we wound up parking high on the hill downtown by the courthouse. We ignored the 2-hour parking signs because it was Sunday and left the van parked right there on the corner all day.

Later that night we backed up a few spaces to get out of the glare of the street lamps so we would blend in a little better in the shadows. Then we pulled all the curtains and settled in for the night. Joe’s clairvoyance woke him up about 2:30 am. He punched me and said, “Look.”

Through the curtains we could red lights flashing outside. I got up to step outside and volunteer to move along, but Joe said, “Wait, maybe it’s not us they are looking at.” So still as little church mice we waited and sure enough the cops passed us on by. So we went back to sleep but I was wide awake at 6 am so went on and found another spot for a few hours more.

Flagstaff is a great little town reminding me of those other picturesque small Arizona mining towns like Jerome, Globe and Bisbee, which harken back to another era. It was especially fun to see an AmTrac train station too, see all the passengers disembarking, scurrying off to the loud clanging of the signals.

We went to the old Monte Vista Hotel for internet access and again somebody asked Joe if he was Willy Nelson. I guess it’s that headband he’s been wearing. This guy was really drunk and soon after the bartender rescinded his drinking privileges.

On Monday we headed to Williams to stock up for the Canyon. Lord knows I still have plenty of beans from that 20 pound bag I bought back in Fort Stockton. We drove to the town of Tusayan where the Grand Canyon bus stops are located and found an awesome place to park in the forest nearby. We can walk to the bus stop and into town.

Happy Trails

Beatlick Pamela

[Note: The Beatlicks are Pamela Hirst & Joe Speers.]

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