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Car Troubles...Shadows In The Canyon and Flagstaff Evening

Friday...the weekend is ahead...and today is my last day of this adventure out west of riding and singing on the Grand Canyon Railway.



Well...yesterday morning started as Wednesday morning did with my rental car refusing to start.  Sigh.  At the end of yesterday's train ride a new car was awaiting me as I stepped off the train.  Major hassle for sure...and from the telephone call converations I have a feeling it could take awhile to make sure this was handled correctly.  Long story.  But this morning...I'm up...and I have a vehicle that should run which is a good thing since I have to return it to Phoenix very early Saturday morning as I try to fly back home to Nashville.  It's always the last thing you want isn't it?  A car hassle when you're a long way from home.  My thanks to Nick who jump started me once, and to Mark (a local real estate guy here)  who did the same yesterday and then loaned me his jumper cables for the day.



Off to the train...day 4.  I went a tad early to A. park my car backwards giving me room to jump it just in case....B. To buy the obigatory souvenir.  I already hear my wife's eyes rolling into the back of her pretty head because I've added another ballcap to my collection.  Hey...she can buy shoes...I'll buy ballcaps.  You can see the chosen cap sitting across my Epiphone guitar here as I'm preparing to tune up and start rambing and singing and playing car to car on the trip to the rim of the canyon once again.




Four musicians on board yesterday so we did 5 shows apiece up and back on the trip.  I've learned a lot from these vets of the rails.  My number one lesson?  Bring a cheap guitar next time.  You bang them constantly as you try to go into and out of narrow doors and passageways on the way to the car you're supposed to be playing.  Now that I'm about done of course....I've got the hang of it.


I am experiencing what some of you have felt after you get off a cruise ship.  I can be standing or sitting in my hotel room and then feel like I'm moving.  Residuals of riding the rails a lot this week I'm guessing...and kinda weird to tell ya the truth.



Yesterday up and back I visited and sang for folks from all over the world again...and of course almost every state in the US.  Nice folks.  A couple of ladies from Peru wanted to adopt me.   I sang a redneck song and then try to explain what a "redneck" was which turned out to be very funny.  Ya shoulda been there.  And there were LOTS of folks on the train this time from England having the time of their lives too.  Just a fun ride on the rails with folks for sure.



We had a little rain we when arrived.  The rain just gives the canyon yet another look.  Beautiful.  I'll never get tired of peering over the rim at diffrerent locations. 


All it takes sometimes is a few clouds to sneak in over the colors of the canyon and you just go "wow" again.  Did ya see that?




And every time I gaze at it's magnificent splendor...I always notice something new.  What's that building down there?  Is that an arch?  You can walk through that opening? 








And then there's my college mascot working hard out here.  The mules.  Ready for a trip down to the bottom.  They go twice a week I'm told and they rotate them.  That's what they do with the musicians aboard the train too...rotate us.  So...the lesson for me is...I'm not really that much different than a jackass.  Life is funny that way sometimes.








Three hours...lunch and vistas at the canyon then it's back on the train singing as we return to the town of Williams on perfect time once again.  How do they do that?  They tell me this train does a HUGE business in the winter as it's turned into "The Polar Express" with Santa on board.  It fills up every year.  I can imagine how popular that is with the kids.



Off the train...get the new rental car and I make a bee line to Flagstaff which is about 30 years with constant road signs reminding me to look for elk crossing.  Yikes.  No elk...but one coyote rambled across the road in front of me as if he owned the asphalt.  I arrive at the Brightside Book Store in downtown Flag and watch my friend Roger Naylor give a talk about his new book "The Kolb Brothers" that I talked about in the blog yesterday.  Roger was simply brilliant.  I knew him when he was a great standup comedian-writer...and his comedic skills are still there as he talked about these two brothers who were the early explorer-photographers of the Canyon.  Daredevil brothers for sure.  I'm going to read the book from front to back on my return flight tomorrow.  Roger was kind enough to introduce me at the end of his talk...and I wound up talking to several folks who wanted to hear more about radio and my adventure on the train.  Nice folks. 






Roger spent some time autographing his book while I chat with folks and when he signs his last one...we head out into the night and lights of Flagstaff...two old pals looking for a watering hole.  And we found one nearby..."The Lumberyard" which was great.  Wings and craft beer were soon on the table and we caught up on each other's busy lives.  Rogers next book will be out in January or so and will be focused on the parks of Arizona...all of them with their own stories to tell...and Roger is the guy to tell it and make it entertaining for sure.





Hugs and goodbyes and I hit the road back to Williams to bunk down and end a terrific Thursday in Northern Arizona.


One last trip to the canyon then I have a 5 AM flight in Phoenix to catch which means I'll be driving at midnight keeping my eyes wide open with coffee in case Mr. and Mrs. Elk decide to make a run across my highway.  Fun to go...great to get back home to my girls...always.



Monday the blog returns to it's silly "normal". 


Have a great weekend!

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