colorful bug-splatters decorated our windshield as we drove out of a
Route 66 sunset partially obscured by a rainstorm – that also
blotted out one sun dog – as we arrived in Flagstaff. We had
planned this getaway some time ago, by coincidence we got out of
Phoenix as the political conventions were ending, and the fallout was
settling in. Just in the nick of time . . .
parking lot of the Mountain View – that actually had a view of a
mountain – triggered déjà vu. Then Ganesha seals in the office
proved it. We had stayed there before.
Zipburgers at Miz Zips, a little further along the Route. The other
customers were Latino/Indianish guys in baseball caps, and French
tourists. We hear a lot of French in Flagstaff.
morning we had breakfast at the Galaxy Diner. Flapjacks! Fabulous
edible saucers. We didn't give them the opportunity to fly away.
ending up back at the Galaxy. Maybe it really is a galactic hot spot,
with travelers from all over the Milky Way chowing down on authentic
American food among the Hollywood and Rock 'n' Roll memorabilia. The
hot rods and motorcycles are really timespace vehicles.
headed north up Highway 89A.
stopped a the Cameron Trading Post, where I overheard Nordic tourists
trying on Stetsons: “Sömething sömething sömething BUFFALO
BILL . . . sömething
sömething sömething PEW!
nearby Little Colorado River Bridge was nicely decorated, suggesting
a futuristic native society.
the Navajo Bridge, sacred datura was in bloom.
Jacob Lake Inn, very white people served tasty sandwiches while the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir was piped over the sound system.
we reached the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. A little boy said, “I
can't wait to go back to flat, safe Texas.” The Canyon was more
than the human brain can take in, as it should be.
on 89A, it was quite relaxing. “The Big Empty," Em called it. No
sign of political turmoil, so far . . . A dead porcupine bristled on
the median. Then a live deer scurried across the burned-out,
growing-back forest. In the distance, rain came down in misty, gray
shafts. We almost ran over a chipmunk. Finally, we hit the rain, and
a sign warned us of bison.
the way back, I took pictures of the rural murals on the shacks on
the Navajo reservation until the light went bad.
had dinner at the Galaxy Diner, with live country music from
yodeling, fiddle-playing cowboys.
the next morning we had breakfast at the Galaxy. Nick Drake's “Black
Eyed Dog” played as we came in. We got the same table – three
times in a row! Could it be some kind of mystic mumbo jumbo?
we visited the ruins at the Wupatki National Monument where signs
warned: The removal or
disturbance of any natural feature is prohibited.
also a preColumbian ball court. Research for that gonzo fantasy
novel. All roads lead to unfinished projects – or new ones.
the Citadel, colorful collared lizards hung out. The mating season
must have still been going on.
Sedona we grabbed mochas to go at the Java Love Cafe, which is
hippy-dippy and across the street from the Coffee Pot.
tried to have lunch at the skeleton-festooned Haunted Hamburger in
Jerome, but there wasn't any parking on the twisty, mountain streets,
and it was packed. “Funny thing about paradise,” said Em, “it's
we had burgers at Bill's Grill in Prescott, on Montezuma Street, that
is also Whisky Row and Highway 89. I got an idea for a Trump
cartoon. Could a combination skull & crossbones/mushroom cloud
work? Is it too subtle for propaganda? The problem is Trump is
already such a cartoon, you can't really lampoon him.
was thinking about that as we drove through Prescott, and Em noticed
how white it all was. Another town where all the favorite corporate
franchises have been installed so retirees from the American
heartland can move in and feel right at home. Someday there will be
such places on Mars if we don't watch out.