As many of you know, I’ve been to La Posada, in Winslow, Arizona before. In fact, I came here on my spring motorcycle trip to Meteor Crater, this past March. Really, I just stumbled into it. I was riding east on I-40, heading toward the Terrified (Petrified) Forest, and got off at the Winslow exit, just to relieve road-boredom. Admittedly, when I saw the sign that read, “The Corner, in Winslow, Arizona,” I was immediately taken in, and I stopped to get a pic. Well, little did I know that a fabulous, old ‘railroad-hotel’ was in the same town; so I checked it out, and checked in.
I liked it so much, that my wife and I came back here for our 9th wedding anniversary. Mind you, we live in Las Vegas… we have some fine hostelry there; yet, we went 400 miles out of way (800, if you consider the return trip,) to stay here. It’s an over-used word, but it really IS a fabulous place. Not in the ‘Las Vegas’ sense at all; they describe it as “a living museum,” and that’s an apt description. Here’s the link, if you’re interested: (http://www.laposada.org/ ).
So, my wife, Cecelia, and I settled in to the hotel in the early afternoon on Wednesday, and took our doggies, Dillon and Dash, around the grounds to ‘check out’ the hotel. As described in a previous post, the place really is ‘splendiferous’ / ‘grand’ (in the old sense of the word), / and ‘beckoning.’ The reason I say ‘beckoning’ is because there are so many small, semi-private areas around the hotel that are conducive to seating, talking, snoozing, ‘fooling-around’, and just ‘gaping’.
Trains go by often, because Winslow really is a working railroad yard, and some of America’s best, go rumbling through the train yard, with incredible graffiti on the side of the lonely train cars.
Not many of you know that I’m a significant “tagger” in Las Vegas. My assigned area is the overpass on I-15 near the Tropicana exit. If you’ve ridden under that overpass in the wee hours of the morning and have noticed an older guy dangling up there… that’s ME, making some finer adjustments to some tagging, I wanted to do. Wave or honk your car horn, the next time you see me. To be honest, I never thought I’d grow up to be a tagger, it just came to me. I picked up some paint one day, and the next thing I knew, I was painting small, expressive ‘landscapes’ on my local YMCA, out here in ‘Vegas.
The more I “expressed”, the better I felt… THEN… people came along and added to it. You’d be surprised by how many people have an unstated opinion about the YMCA, especially the management, thereof… — I was “born”, and from that moment forward, I was liberated and set forth as an “expressionist”, (sometimes for hire.) Do you remember the old black and white television series, “Have Gun, Will Travel”? – That’s me, only it’s now with a plethora of paint cans and broad-tipped magic markers. I call it, “Have Cans, Will State My Case.” I’ve been approached for a TV series, kinda like “Pawn Stars”, or “Duck Dynasty.” They want to call it, “Old Man with Attitude”. – *I* want to call it “Literary Genius with Vision”, (so I tagged their production-van.)
Back to the tagging (graffiti) on some of those train cars, well… they’re just ‘works-of-art’, what can I say, no WONDER the train company doesn’t try to remove them, they SHOULD be in an art gallery somewhere, and in a way, I guess they are.
Just so you know, “tagging” has come a long way. My wife and I were having dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, and ‘wander-of-wanders’, a longish passenger train pulled up outside in the train yard. You’re not going to believe this, because we had a hard time taking it in. Rock ‘n Roll legend, Jackson Brown, has his own T-R-A-I-N!!, and he rolled up in Winslow… WITH electronic ‘by-god’ graffiti on the side, I sh*t you not!
Turns out he was going to do a rock ‘n roll show in Winslow on Saturday night; “The mind boggles.” The reason I say it that way is because Winslow is like a conjoined twin of Graysville, Alabama and Missouri Valley, Iowa. My wife and I were riding down the street commenting on whether we would actually LIVE in Winslow. I told her that I would be drinking ‘early’ if I lived in Winslow, probably around 7:00 in the morning. I even asked a local resident where the nearest hardware store was… where I could buy some aerosol paint. He said, “We ain’t got no hardware store, Dude.” (Have I ever told you how much I hate being called ‘Dude’?) – Man, if you’re town is too poor to even have art supplies; you need to think over living there. On top of that, there are THREE liquor stores. (I guess I’m not the only guy who needs alcohol guidance early in the morning, huh…)
We went dirt-biking yesterday. You would think you could do ‘dirt-biking’ two inches outside the city limits of Winslow, and not be able to tell the difference. They say “opposites attract” in marriage, and I guess that’s the way it is in our marriage. My wife is a RULE-FOLLOWER, and I’m a visionary tagger. So, rather than go across the ray-road tracks to ride our bikes, we went 987 miles to a “designated-area” to ride our bikes. I mean TO ME… ALL of Arizona is a designated area. When we started getting ready to go riding, I picked up a few of my old cans of paint and started putting them into the back of my truck. My wife started taking them out, telling me I wouldn’t need them. (and I thought *I* was the one who was a visionary.)
When we got down to the “D-A” (designated area), it was so designated that the local vegetation was growing back over the road. There were several places I wanted to stop, but wifey-poo wanted to stop in an actual parking area. I said, “How can you tell?” – She said, “Oh, we’ll know, don’t worry.” (I started looking for a liquor store. – “JK” – ‘just kidding.)
Anyway, when we unloaded our bikes, her bike had a permanent flat tire that couldn’t be fixed without a new inner-tube; so she couldn’t ride. I took that as a ‘sign’, and rode off into the ‘barrens’ of Arizona. After I rode for a while, I began to understand why they built the town of Winslow where they did… After escaping from prison, I’m sure they figured they had gone far enough; and they started building abandoned store fronts to make the town look ‘right’. – I mean this ‘D-A’ was in the BOONIES!… Aliens could land out there and no one would know. In fact, now that I think about it, I saw some goofy looking guys gathering firewood for re-sale down there. I’ll bet you anything they were aliens, gathering samples of “pods” they have left behind. You don’t think I’m stumbled into the TRUTH here, do ya?
So, with that excursion over, we drove the 90 or so miles back to town. We parked the truck and trailer, and decided to take a walk “downtown” to see what was ‘happening’; maybe catch Jax Brown at a local eatery and share some organics with him. Nope, not gonna happen. After taking obligatory pictures at the statue commemorating a song (are you taking the full impact of this in?)… the town fathers of Winslow built a statue commemorating a song: “I was standing on the corner of Winslow, Arizona…” I mean it’s a S-O-N-G, fer crissakes… The number one attraction in Winslow is a too-rubbed, bronze statue where people walk up with glazed eyes and try to remember the group that sang that song. I told several people it was Led Zepplin; everyone said, “Yeah, that’s it; I remember now.” – I TOLD you there were ‘pods’ in Winslow.
We even went into one particular eatery, and everyone in there was sitting around with open menus in front of them. The older waitress scrambled by and said, (seriously), “I’m moving as fast as I can.” Mind you, we had JUST sat down, hadn’t even said anything to anyone. I turned to my wife and mouthed quietly, “I’ll bet you the service here is s-l-o-w,” and we got up and left. When we got outside, the cook was outside taking a smoke-break. We just looked at each other. She had that look of her face that said, “Thank god you’re leaving, and NO, we don’t have any fresher tomatoes.”
We went back to the hotel, and stared at each other, waiting for our dinner-reservation time to inch forward. We actually leaped for the door when it was time to go. The dinner itself, was remarkable. My wife had a ‘vegetable-medley” that would have made the Jolly Green Giant proud. I had blackened cod, on a bed of black-eyed peas. It made my eyes mist a bit. Reminded me of a typical concoction my southern mother would have come up with. On the plus side, the ice cream dessert, was ‘to die’ for. Made me wish Jackson Brown’s dope brigade was around.
Check out these pics… — The Terrified Forest…
The Painted Desert (and NO, I did ZERO tagging out there — but, I wanted to)