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Day 4 riding the rails straight ahead.

 

YESTERDAY

Up early again here in Williams, Arizona to catch the Grand Canyon Railway once more.   It started at the little Wild West Cafe right outside my door that has an autographed picture of the "Sons Of The Pioneers" on the wall.  The owner of the place knows those guys...pretty cool.

 

 

 

 

Eggs and sausage mixed with copious amounts of black coffee and I'm ready to go.  I sling my guitar over my back with a bag of CDs and clothes to change into to hike and walk at the canyon when we get there.  I get into my rental jeep...and it won't start!  Good grief.  Panic.  And I have to get to the train.  So...guitar and bag in hand I walk to the train (which is maybe half mile away) and make it in plenty of time.  (The car?). One of the other musicians hit it with jumper cables when we got back and it cranked.  Hoping it's going to crank this morning too. 

 

Yesterday there were to be 4 musicians on board the train.  But one got stuck in traffic and didn't make it in time so that meant the the three of us had more shows to do.  I did 6 shows to the canyon....and 7 shows coming back to Williams.  I'm amazed I have a voice left.  Wow.

 

Once again folks were so nice...met folks again from everywhere.  You name it...they were represented on the Grand Canyon Railway for sure. And on the trip up we saw a HUGE elk racing alongside the tracks trying to keep up before he disappeared into the pine trees clinging to the red rocks of northern Arizona.

 

 

ARRIVAL

Right on time we hit the Canyon and the train turns itself around on the tracks for the return home later while passengers disembark to see one of the 7 Wonders Of The World.  Me too.  I change into some walking shorts and sunglasses and I'm out of the train and soon looking over the rim like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

One beautiful view after another after another as you walk along the rim.  The sound you mostly hear is "ooh and aahh" mixed with the clicking of hundreds of cameras.  Try as hard you can...and you'll still never be able to catch on film what it feels like or looks like really.  That's just impossible.  The colors constantly change with shadow and light.

 

 

 

 

MULE

I did see my college mascots.  Big mules.  A mule train getting ready to head down the Bright Angel Trail that goes all the way to the bottom of the canyon.  There's cabins down there...you can stay overnight if you set it up.  It's a tough walk back up.  I did half of it once...don't think there's any way I could hike all the way out from the bottom.  Wonder if one can call Uber down there to take em' back up?

 

 

 

 

BRIGHT ANGEL

That's the big trail everyone wants to hit.  It's located where the Tovar Lodge is...a big stopping place.  I did hike half of it once with my friend out her Roger Naylor (who I will see give a talk about his new book the "Kolb Brothers" later this evening in Flagstaff).  Even half way down the canyon you get a completely different perspective of the Canyon as you sit on the rocks and have lunch, drink water, hang your hiking legs over the rim and just soak up the beauty.

 

 

 

 

BACK ON THE TRAIN

The train leaves at 3:30 every day to go back to Williams.  Clouds gathered so I boarded early as rain swept in.  Sure enough...we got a pretty good soakin' before departure and while we were riding the rails back.  The tourists can not re-board til 3 pm so I think some may have gotten a tad wet yesterday...but no complaints from any of them.  Once again..with rain...it just gives on a different view of this magnificent place.

 

 

 

SINGING ON THE TRAIN

So I had a couple of memorable moments for sure on the ride home yesterday.  The musician who worked the cars I'm working going back on the trip to the canyon told those folks I would be their entertainer in the afternoon.  Nick also told a couple of the cars that I had a song a Grammy winning album.  (Thanks Nick). And a couple of customers requested that I sing the song "Safe Haven" that is indeed on the Grammy winning album "Love Remains" by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family.  For the most part I've been singing funny songs...3 songs per car.  So I told them this was serious...and told them the back story of how this wonderful project was dedicated to the memory of their grandfather-father-father in law. 

 

On both cars when I sang this song...there were a lot of moist eyes.  One lady proclaimed to me that "Safe Haven" was her favorite song!  And there was another moment.  As I played the last chord... a woman in this domed train car...with tears in her eyes pointed out to the horizon.  There was a double rainbow wrapped around us as we moved down the rail.  God like if you will and it didnt' escape anyones attention.  One for my memory banks forever.

 

WILLIAMS

Right on time...we're back again at Williams the Gateway to the Canyon.  Nick grabs me, jumper cables and I have a happy ending of day 3 as rain starts to pour down again.

 

I unwind last night at the little wild west bar where a cat has the run of the place.  Everyone knows the cat seemingly.  And the bartender gives a tourist seated next to me some little milk containers to pour out on the bar while the cat is perched alongside the two of us.  The cat knows it's not allowed to put a paw on the bar...so it sits in the chair obediently and licks up the milk for our amusement and fill his belly.  I posted a video of our little furball on my Facebook page if you'd like to watch yourself.   Perfect way to end day 3.

 

TODAY

In a couple of hours I'll be rolling down the tracks again...and when I get back this evening I will make my way to Flagstaff which is about 30 miles away to find the book store where my longtime friend and author Roger Naylor is going to talk about his latest book.  It will be fun to see him in his element out here as he's turned into one of Arizona's most sought after writers.  So...here we go.  Fire up the Choo Choo.

 

Have a great Thursday

 


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