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Showing posts from June, 2016

Two Days in Sedona

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Even though I was staying in Flagstaff, I commuted to Sedona for two days of Nia there.  It's a lovely scenic commute and only about 45 minutes.

On Wednesday, I was there in the morning to teach my Amazing routine. Sedona was one of the contributing cities to the routine, and the two teachers that helped me create the titular song of the routine were both present for the class. I have loved the experience of teaching the songs to their creators, and this was no exception for Alba and Wendy. I don't remember how much I've changed what we came up when we first put it together last year, but I suspect it has morphed a bit. Judging by how enthusiastically the class responded to the song, and how well they knew the movements, I'm thinking it didn't change that much from what the local teachers were teaching.

Sedona is a breathtaking town. I've been back several times and each time I'm re-impressed. I forget, I guess, how amazing it is. And I didn't take many …

Grand Canyon, Wupatki and Sunset Crater Volcano

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Today was an incredibly scenic day.  It started out with a trip to Sedona, but I'm going to skip that for now and include it in my full Sedona post tomorrow.

So I'll start from after I returned to Flagstaff and showered.

I decided to take an afternoon trip to see the Grand Canyon.

On my way up, I stopped to get lunch at a burger place that caught my eye. It was on Route 66 and I come to find out was the place where Jackson Browne was inspired to write the line about the girl driving a flatbed truck in his song, "Take it Easy". At that time it was a Der Wienerschnitzel, but now it's called the Dog Haus.



I got a bacon cheeseburger and took it to a picnic table in the Coconino Forest to enjoy.

As I was finishing up, the sky clouded up and I heard thunder. Just as I was driving away from the picnic spot it started to rain.

The rain continued off and on for the whole 75 minute drive.

When I got to the Grand Canyon entrance, it was really coming down hard.

I drove to t…

Geronimo, Winona, Walnut Canyon and Orchestra in Flagstaff

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It was hot and sunny when I woke up in Holbrook. Just taking River out for his morning walk left me sweating and him panting.

I loaded up the car and took off for Flagstaff, my next stop, only 90 miles away.  Since I had so much time to go such a short distance, I took as much of Route 66 as I could today.

Which wasn't much. Most of the time it was concurrent with I-40. Whenever I got the signal, I took off and rode through town on the "Highway That's the Best."

The first place I stopped was at a ... I'm not sure if it's a town or an Indian reservation, but a place called Geronimo that claimed to have the world's largest petrified tree. Since I was jonesing for a petrified tree after my Painted Desert experience at the Petrified Forest, I had to stop and check it out.


I got back on the highway until I came to Winslow, AZ. I would swear that in some versions of the Route 66 song, they replace Flagstaff with Winslow in the lyrics, so I wanted to check it ou…

Gallup, Laguna and Petrified Forest

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I asked the desk clerk as I was checking out to point me in the direction of Central Ave, which I remembered from yesterday, was the road I came into town on, following Route 66.
Central Ave took me through a cool, quirky part of Albuquerque called Nob Hill. It was more upscale than the things I was used to seeing on Route 66.
One of the first things I saw was this bus stop shelter in the shape of a flaming 66. I tried to get a good picture, but alas, driving comes first. I didn't bother to stop.


I also shot random pictures of Route 66 signs that showed up on my trip out of Albuquerque.


It's impossible to capture with a camera the feeling of what it's like to drive on these roads. Especially for someone not photographically inclined and using an iPhone while driving. But it's a very cool pastiche feeling. I love the abandoned motel that is preserved in its decrepitness and sports a sign touting how many thousands of people over the years had enjoyed respite there in i…

Extended Amazing in Albuquerque

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I pretty much made another beeline today.  My motivation had more grounding in reality today compared to yesterday's gut feeling. Today I knew exactly why I wanted not to dilly-dally. I had an afternoon class to teach in the next state, four to five hours drive away.
I didn't know if I'd hit traffic, road construction, detours, accidents, breakdowns, bad directions, etc. so I always like to give myself lots and lots of extra time when I have a long commute to a class. This meant not stopping much to do Route 66 things.
I got on I-40 and drove west.

I did pull off at one point when I saw a marker on the highway telling me to get off here to follow the route, just as I needed to fill up with gas. So I followed the "Mother Road" through a town the name of which I remember from California. To wit, Santa Rosa. And it was in this town that I learned the nickname for Route 66 that I just used.
I got back on the Interstate and drove through a whole bunch of desert and no…

A Beeline to Amarillo

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I didn't feel like messing with Route 66 today for whatever reason. I didn't fight my impulse to get on I-40 and head straight for Amarillo.
Early on in the trip, I saw a sign pointing me to take Route 66, but I didn't want to. I just wanted to drive fast and straight for a while. And there was another sign just outside of Oklahoma City that indicated the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum. And I passed on that. If it were Missouri, I might be more inclined, but based on how scant the markers are in Oklahoma, I'll pass.
I was going along until somewhere around Elk City, OK when I saw a sign pointing toward the National Route 66 Museum. So again, I have no explanation for my actions, but I pulled off the speeding Interstate there and got on a town road doing 35 MPH between stop lights.
At least, Elk City does Route 66 up right. They had banners (plural) on every block and at least as many highway signs in Elk City leading up to the National Museum as I'd seen in the rest of t…

Route 66: Day 4 - The Big Blunder

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When I checked into the motel in Springfield last night they told me that check out was at noon. It's usually at eleven, so the extra hour stuck out and it was at that moment that I decided to sleep in late this morning.
I ended up getting up at about 9:15, but taking my time with my fixes of coffee and social media. I also paid my bills online and mapped out a plan of attack for the day.
The storm could not have come at a more opportune time. It was storming from the time I shut the door with my dinner last night. Still plenty wet with dark grey skies and about 71 degrees. The rain wasn't hard anymore, but it was still raining big drops in Springfield.
As it happens, I had just run out of coffee and had been long out of canned and/or dried meats and was nearly out of coconut oil, so I was hoping for a chance to go to a store. In this lovely weather, I could easily leave River in the car for twenty minutes while I shopped at a natural food grocer I found online.  Mama Jean'…