Category: travel (page 1 of 2)

Vegas 2018

“How was Vegas?” I was asked upon my return to real life.


How to answer?

Do I talk about how long it’s been and how good it was to see the people who I have grown to love and cherish since meeting them online 13-ish years ago? About how damn easy it is to be around them, how I can be as close to my true self as I can be in public and get away with it?

Do I talk about the moments of delight: of finding the Art-O-Mats, old cigarette vending machines that have been repurposed to give you art for $5; of the sudden sight of a 2-story metal praying mantis that shoots fire out of its antennae in time to AC/DC; of being able to see the Kusama Infinity Room in a near-empty Bellagio Art Gallery; of old neon signs, horses in front of a biker bar, and cocktails in the speakeasy at the Mob Museum; of sitting in Elvis Presley’s booth, and seeing a chair that looked like the Bobs in Mirror Mask?

Or do I talk about the bad poker, the over-stimulation, the cocktails, the casinos, beer with friends, long conversations and loud laughter, people watching, missing absent friends, the triggered memories, the bad moods, the good moods, the food, the changes in the 7 years since I was last there, the glorious feeling of being with people who get me, warts and all?


“It was fun,” I reply.

So very tired…

A lot. The answer is, a lot.

Instructions for a perfect day

There’s a certain feeling that accompanies a planned Thanksgiving long weekend away to a Northern cottage when the weatherman says words like sunny, unseasonably warm, Indian summer. The dawning realization that you can take the motorcycle rather than the car brings with it an anticipation of joy that is exactly like what you felt the night before Christmas or your birthday.

I can ride up on Thursday, you think. And smile.

You grab the sidebags and start playing packing Tetris, trying to get as much in the two hard cases as possible, paring it down to that which is absolutely necessary. One sweatshirt, one long-sleeve shirt, one book, etc. You roll jeans and shirts around two growlers of beer and pull out the extra pair of shoes; beer is more important than shoes.

thanksgiving rideYou open up old maps of your Dad’s, folded and unfolded so many times that the folds are close to dissolving, leaving you with so many loose rectangular puzzle pieces. You compare the layout of the old highways to the new ones on Google Maps to see if there are any places where the old roads remain to be explored. You plan a route by finding the roads with the most curvy squiggly lines and connecting them, and so are able to make a trip that would take 4 hours by car on 4-lane highway turn into something that will be closer to 7 hours from door to door.

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the Trip

We booked the trip in April, exactly 3 weeks before I was let go from my teaching job. I can’t tell you how many time’s I’d thought we should cancel it as more and more resumes went out with less response. I did bring it up to Keith a few times, that we should maybe cancel it as there was no way I could pay for any of it, but he just smiled his Keith smile and said, that’s what nest eggs are for, isn’t it, and we found ourselves at Toronto Pearson International Airport on December 22, our 10th anniversary and also the day of one helluva ice storm.

I’m pretty sure you don’t care to hear about our flights that got cancelled (2), the lines we waited in (4), or the people we talked to (lots). We watched the departure board as flight after flight got cancelled and watched people being ushered through the doors that would lead them back through Canadian customs and then home again. I wish I’d taken a picture of the departure board – everything was cancelled except for our new flight to Cleveland. Which we got to just as the much-delayed flight to Vegas was boarding. Our luggage didn’t make the transfer in time, but we got to our room a the MGM Grand exactly when we thought we would.

All we had to do is swing by McCarran the next day to get our suitcase that had come in on the next flight, and the road trip started. So glad we had unlimited mileage on the rental car.

map

Our road trip: Vegas > Grand Canyon > Monument Valley > Zion National Park > San Luis Obispo > Half Moon Bay > Ridgecrest > Vegas

I’ve had people ask me when we got back, what was the best part of the vacation, and I try hard to answer it but it was all so great. Of course there were all kinds of standout moments, like drinking a nice stout while watching the sun set from our hotel room in Monument Valley, challenging my agoraphobia by standing 10′ away from the sans-guardrail edge of Horseshoe Bend, walking along Lone Rock Beach aka Lake Silencio from Doctor Who. There was the amazing Christmas dinner at Zion Mountain Ranch and the starlit walk back to our cabin, where we awoke to a view of grazing buffalo outside our window. The drive along Highway 1 from San Luis Obispo north along the coast was incredibly lovely, and was capped off in Half Moon Bay by the best sunset I have every seen and the best pizza I have ever eaten. The drive back to Las Vegas through Death Valley was surreal and stark, and we finished the trip with the after dark tour at the Neon Museum.

In the end, I’m glad we didn’t cancel it. We hadn’t gone anywhere together for a while, and we needed it.

Some of the trip photos; more can be found here

Some of the trip photos; more can be found here

Perfect day in pictures

Motorcycling along the Great Ocean Road between Warnambool and Anglesea. A perfect day in Australia with my beloved.

Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge

 

At the Loch Ard Gorge

At the Loch Ard Gorge

 

Seen on the road to Cape Otway. The beginning of the Guess What Koala Butt jokes.

Seen on the road to Cape Otway. The beginning of the Guess What Koala Butt jokes.

 

Didn't see one, so they must have been active elsewhere.

Didn’t see one, so they must have been active elsewhere.

 

Cape Otway

Cape Otway

 

The view from the top.

The view from the top.

 

Path away from the lighthouse/

Path away from the lighthouse

 

Good view with our picnic lunch.

Good view with our picnic lunch.

 

The couch.

The couch.

 

Wild parrots outside our hotel room door in Anglesea.

Wild parrots outside our hotel room door in Anglesea.

 

Ending the day with a beer while waiting for an amazing Italian meal.

Ending the day with a beer while waiting for an amazing Italian meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

week of April 21

Thinking about doing something every day is not the same thing as actually doing that something. So, today I blog.

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This collage of photos taken around the Grand Canyon on our honeymoon in December of 2003. I mention this because we finalized most of our plans for our tenth anniversary trip to the same area. Flights booked, car rental is booked, 5 of the 8 hotels are booked. We’ll be landing in Vegas on our anniversary, and traveling to the Grand Canyon South Rim, The View Hotel in Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, a stop at Lone Rock Beach near Page where they filmed the Lake Silencio scenes of Doctor Who, Zion Mountain Ranch, Zion National Park, Yosemite National park (or the parts we can get to in winter), San Jose, Big Sur and the California coast roads down to Santa Maria, over to Death Valley, back to Las Vegas then home.

If you live anywhere near these spots, expect a call closer to December to make arrangements to meet up for dinner!

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We are not that big on birthdays anymore, Keith and I, but we will use them as an excuse to go out to a good restaurant and spend a wad on a tasting menu.

This year, we picked Yours Truly from the Food edition of Toronto Life. We saw very quickly why it was their pick for top restaurant of 2012. We went on Monday when the vibe was pretty laid back (I hear it gets nutty on weekends), and had the Carte Blanche tasting menu, which runs 15-20 courses. I have no idea how many courses we had, but there was not a dud in the bunch. I even liked the oyster, and I don’t really like oysters very much. The East End cocktail was so delicious I had another, and it was a joy to watch a good bartender who knows what he’s doing. We decided somewhere between the garlic knots and the risotto that we would not wait until a special occasion to come back, and by the lemon curd with tobacco-infused cherry dessert, we wanted to come back next week.

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My brother told me about a month ago that the Stranglers were touring North America. Yes, I thought, let’s go!

Then I started waffling. They kind of dropped off my radar once Hugh Cornwell left the band in 1990, and while the old stuff is still in heavy rotation on my Nostalgia Rears It’s Ugly Head playlist, I haven’t listened to anything from them since then. And then I saw the concert poster. They seem so …old. And if they are that old, then that must mean that I am that old, and how can I maintain my youthful delusions if my youthful heros are so obviously no longer youthful?

Best to remember them as I remember them, I thought.

However, sometime around Tuesday this thought bubbled to the surface: if not now, then when? So I went and bought tickets. Now to find someone to go with me.

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The new seat is on the motorcycle, as are the heated handgrips. I’ve ridden to work three times this week, even yesterday when I knew it would be pissing rain for my ride home.

It brings me more joy than I can describe.

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It’s been 8 days since I had a molar extracted. Shouldn’t it stop aching sometime soon?

a year ago

I got this in the mail today:

It's a Blurb book I filled with pictures from Australia, and was absolutely free thanks to a coupon.

As I look through it, I realize that it was a year ago that Keith and I were there. Actually a year ago from today we were riding our rented motorcycle along the Great Ocean Road, seeing koalas and some amazing scenery.

It was a year ago, and the yearning to go back has not diminished one iota. I miss the ocean, I miss the outback, and I miss my friend.

best of 2012

Yes, I know we’re already almost a week into 2013 – it took me a few days to go through the few hundred photos I took last year and then another day or so to re-surface back into this year. 2012 was a very good year and holy FSM, I did a lot of stuff for am old broad. Here’s to more fun times to come!

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January:

Apres-holiday stress was dealt with by heading to our favourite get-away spot, Pine Vista Resort. Favourite moments: going for hikes then warming up in the outdoor hot tub or by the fire.

 

 

It’s no secret that I love Niagara Falls. I love it even more in the winter.

 

 

 

February:

The theme of February’s road trip was What do a summer beaches look like in winter?

Frickin’ cold is what they look like.

 

February was when I got my first pair of roller skates. Ten months later, and they’re still not really broken in.

 

 

 

March:

March was too awesome for words. We spent three weeks in Australia, seeing friends we don’t see nearly often enough and to experience a place unlike anything I imagined.

 

 

I could have spent another few days exploring Uluru and area…watching the colours change as the sun set was one of the best memories of the trip.

 

 

 

April:

Home and broke; luckily watching Spring happen is free.

 

 

 

April’s road trip took us to Niagara; we finished the day by hanging out around our friend Moose’s fire pit, drinking his beer.

 

 

 

May:

Finally, a road trip on the bike. Felt so good to be on it after missing so much of last summer thanks to the rehab on the knee.

 

 

First skating injury – was talking while I was putting on my gear and forgot to put on elbow pads. Of course, as soon as I realized I’d forgotten them, I fell on my right elbow. Sigh.

 

 

June:

I went on a writing retreat at a cottage on Lake Simcoe. It was grey and bleak, a perfect contract to the warmth and laughter inside.

 

 

Sometimes you’re just in the right place at the right time. We were riding through Coboconk and stopped to take in their summer festival which included a travelling reptile show. The woman who ran it was happy to let me hold this 2m long albino Burmse python. I really don’t understand why most people are afraid of snakes…but then I guess most people don’t understand being afraid of bridges.

July:

July saw many small trips rather than a big one since we were still light on cash after Australia. We headed to Manitoulin Island for some camping, then to my newphew’s cottage on Tyson Lake, where we had nothing more pressing to do than go swimming or kayaking then watch some spectacular sunsets at day’s end.

 

We also headed to a friend’s cottage for a few days. this was my favourite view.

 

 

 

August:

Headed to Oklahoma for Okie-Vegas and drank Keystone Light to stay hydrated (insert canoe joke here). It was so great hanging out and playing drunken silly poker. I was introduced to apple pie moonshine, which I liked a little too much.

 

I’ve been to Niagara Falls at least fifty times but have never done the touristy things. We went on the Maid of the Mist and Journey Behind the Falls, and I voluntarily went on the Sky Wheel. I almost chickened out, and the first orbit was a bit…tense, but I was able to smile and enjoy it by the third orbit. So glad I did the CBT!

 

September:

We made one final bike trip before school started, riding along Lakes Huron and Erie. Good way to end the summer.

 

 

School kept me busy, because of course I did no prep over the summer. I made it out one night to meet an old friend for dinner, little knowing when we booked it that it was Nuit Blanche. the odd art installations, like this programmed Space Invaders added a nice bit of surrealism to the night.

 

October:

It’s official!

 

 

 

The definite highlight of October was the weekend spent in Greenville, SC at Mastodon Weekend. Too many highlights to list, but being able to belatedly cross something off my summer list thanks to the efforts of the Fire God was one of the main ones.

 

 

November:

Made it back to Pine Vista Resort for a weekend. We explored waterfalls, climbed over rocks, fed apples to horses and found Buddha in the woods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

December:

This was the first year in 6 years that I could not go to the annual blogger bacchanalia in Vegas. I was in danger of becoming very depressed about having to be all adult when Heather decided to come visit Toronto for a weekend. We ate, we drank, we did touristy things including going up the CN Tower. It only took one martini to get me to stand on the glass floor. Now that’s progress!

While many people at school werre spending their winter holiday somewhere south, I went to Calgary. Where it was cold. And snowy. I hadn’t seen my brother & nieces in almost two years, and five days of hanging out with my family and seeing Joanada & Buddy Dank flew past too quickly.

Wanderlust

A brief conversation this afternoon with a co-worker wearing a Dawson City Music Festival sweatshirt has lead to me to click through all the photos from our trip along the Alaskan Highway in 2008 this evening.

I find myself wondering if Muncho Lake in BC is as still as it was that day when we stopped, the reflection of sky and mountain so mirror-like I was compelled to throw in a stone to make sure it rippled.

I looked at the photo of the Liard Hot Springs and remembered the herd of bison along the side of the road leading to it, how a few of the bigger males stopped grazing to watch us pass by and just how incredibly huge these beasts are when seen from ten feet away.

I thought about the dots on the map, dots that would be small towns on any other map but there on the Alaska Highway are only roadside way stations with gas and food and lodging. I found myself thinking about all the ones that had closed and the ones that looked like they were closing soon. I remembered the older couple who ran the one in Fireside BC, watching their dream slip away as the tourist money dried up, and hoped they were still there even though the For Sale notice on the website from 2010 makes me think that perhaps they’re not.

I want to ride the Haines Highway again, to experience it without the anxiety and fear that clawed at me that day. I want to find that spot, that one desolate place with only a thin ribbon of frost-heaved asphalt to say that man was ever there, where everything is immense and implacable, where I finally felt so small and tired and scared that there was nothing else to do but to push back against it, to say to the anxiety, enough.

I want to go back to Dawson City, and stay in a Gold Rush cabin again, to see the ship graveyard where beached century-old paddle wheelers slowly disintegrate.

And there are places that I didn’t see that I still feel I need to. Our motorcycles were not suitable for the Dempster Highway; we were not able to make it to the Arctic Circle even though we were less than 300 miles from it. I want to visit Keno City and Denali Park and see the Tombstone Mountains. I want to visit the Hammer Museum in Haines, not just ride past it.

Keith called it a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I need to convince him it wasn’t.

 

June 20

Day 20 – Fave photo I’ve ever taken

this is my all time favourite photograph. Everytime I look at it, I remember how tired and sweaty I felt, how hot I was. But most importantly, I remember the night we stayed at the Canyonlands Motel.

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Baby Boo and the Canyonlands Motel

You can always tell the people who have never really “ridden off into the sunset”. They’re the ones who still think it’s romantic.

The reality is anything but romantic. The sun is blazing into your eyes, and no matter how you squint, you can’t really see what’s up ahead. You can feel the mother of all headaches begin to take up residence between your temples. You’re hot. You’re tired, and tired of being on the road. You’re hoping that a decent motel will magiclly appear over the horizon, one with air conditioning and a mini bar. And you discover that hell is an empty, westward highway that never ends.

That is where I was late one August day. We’d been riding since the morning, through a desert heat that we were not used to. We were both dehydrated and tired. Monument Valley was visually dramatic in the late afternoon sunshine, but the view was not enough to stop me from wishing I’d forced a stop in Mexican Hat a half hour before. We hadn’t seen another vehicle on the road and I figured we were about halfway between Mexican Hat and Kayenta, quite literally in the middle of nowhere.

I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a view I had to photograph. Keith was ahead of me and I knew he wouldn’t be happy about a delay, but I pulled over anyway. I watched him ride off, taking the camera gear with him. While I waited for him to notice I wasn’t there anymore, I took the water bottle out of my pack and took a long swig of the tepid water that did nothing to wash away the bright metallic taste of the heat and the dust.

The look on Keith’s face as he pulled off his helmet matched the tone of his voice as he said, “What now?”. I gestured back the way that we had came, at what I had seen in the mirror.

“I need to take a photo.”

He looked the view, really looked at the vivid red desert bisected by new blacktop so straight that it seemed like it went through the distant red cliff rather than curve around it. He saw the same thing I did, and handed me the camera. He smiled and said, “Good eye. I’d have missed that one.”

He gave me some hints on composition, and we talked sporadically while I aimed the camera at the scenes around me.

“I’m about done”, he said as I sat in the middle of the road, focusing on the distant hills. I pressed the shutter button twice before I answered.

“Yeah, me too. Where do suppose we are?”

Keith helped me up and took the camera to take some shots of the dusty bikes in that golden sunshine.

“Middle. Of. Nowhere.”

“Literally. What do you figure, we’re about halfway to the next town?””

“The question now, ” he said as he put the camera away, “is do we go on? Or do we go back?”

I remembered the two-story hotel I had seen beside the river in Mexican Hat, the one with the all-important air-conditioning grills under each of the windows that overlooked the San Juan River. I mentioned it to Keith and added, “Plus, we’ll have the sun at our backs for the half hour, rather than it glaring in our eyes”.

“Sold. Let’s go.”The ride back seemed quicker, as it always does when you know that the end is in sight. We pulled into the hotel’s courtyard and smiled at each other in relief as we walked into the office. An older woman with long white hair, wearing a white tshirt over an ankle length red peasant skirt, smiled at us and gently explained that there was no vacancy, hadn’t we seen the sign?

I know I blinked in surprise. No vacancy? WTF does that mean? It took me a second to remember that it meant no room at the inn. In all of our travels over the previous years, we had never encountered No Vacancy in any of the budget or mom and pop motels wh had ever stopped in. There was always room and we had grown complacent.

The wind had been knocked out of my sails, but Keith still had the presence of mind to ask her if she could recommend another hotel in town, someplace clean and cheap.

“Go to the Canyonlands Motel. It’s up the hill on the left, beside the gas station. Don’t even bother with the other ones, they’re crap.”

Off we went, up the hill and turned left into an uneven gravel parking lot. The Canyonlands Motel looked pretty dismal, with cracked stucco around each door and a broken neon sign that now only said “Budget Rat s”.

“Well, this is special.” I muttered to Keith as we headed to the office after making sure that the NO part of NO VACANCY was unlit on both sides of the sign.

“At least it will be cheap,” he replied. He really is a most frugal man.

We opened the door, and I worked to keep my face blank. I’m sure it was a tidy place once, but now it had the look of a place that had slipped quietly by inches. It wasn’t dirty, just messy as hell. People had put stuff just anywhere rather than put it away. Folded linens were piled high on the end of the counter in a tower that had a decided lean to it. A large dented industrial vacuum squatted in the corner in front of red vinyl chairs that had been new a few decades before. One of the chairs had a dirty white plastic bucket on it, filled with cleaning supplies with a pair of used yellow rubber gloves tossed over them. A box of cheap garbage bags sat on the other chair. Magazines and rolls of hotel toilet paper and boxes of thin motel soap were set down anywhere with no attempt at organization.

A teenage girl sat at a computer on the other side of the counter, sitting back in an old office chair with her feet up on the counter. She slowly put her feet down when we asked her if they had any rooms available.

“Sure,” she said, giving us a wide smile through snaggle teeth. It was my turn to get the accommodations so I chatted with her as I filled out the card. She was friendly, if a bit odd. Her hair had been dyed black, but a while ago and her roots were coming in a mousy blond. Frankly, it looked like it had been cut by a lawn mower, choppy and spikey in the most peculiar way. She wore black eyeshadow which only served to highlight how small and porcine her eyes were in that round white face, and the scarlet lipstick had been applied outside the lip line giving her a clownish look. She stood up as I finished filling in the our information, and I saw that her glitter nailpolish had been picked off and chipped halfway down each bitten nail.

The crowning glory of her look had to be her tshirt. It had to be at least 2 sizes too small and covered her ample form like a sausage casing ready to split. A black and red banner design had been airbrushed on it and the words Baby Boo was written in a bilious purple script that warped and distorted as the tshirt stretched over her chest.

“If ya need anythin, just call. I’m ______ and I’ll be happy to help ya.”

We both forgot her name immediately. To us, she would always be just Baby Boo.

A green rental car pulled into the parking lot as we walked out of the office, disgorging two couples that spoke in German to each other. The men talked to each other in that way that said what a great adventure this is and sauntered to the office. The women stayed by the car with slightly shell-shocked expressions and looked silently at the motel buildings. One caught my eye and we exchanged a smile and a slight shrug, silently commiserating with each other that we had ended up here in this dismal spot.

Keith started to unpack his bike while I wrestled with an aged sliding glass door, trying to get into the room. Finally he had to come and help. So much gravel and dust had settled in the tracks that the whole exercise took far longer than it should have, and nothing we did could get them closed again. Frankly that was just as well; the room was stuffy and hot after being closed up all afternoon and the faint breeze was more important than security right then.

The room held no surprises. It was as dejected as the rest of the place. A brown and beige shag carpet filled the room and was matted with more gravel and dust from years of travellers coming in from the parking lot. Both double beds slumped noticeably in the middle and the cheap nylon comforters had pulls and snags distorting the shiny satin-like surface. Everything seemed clean though and the scent of bleach overlaid the smell of heat and dust. I won’t touch anything but the sheets, I thought. AndNO WAY am I walking on that floor in bare feet.

While Keith fiddled with the TV and looked for the air conditioning controls I checked out the bathroom. Clean but dingy pretty much sums it up. While the porcelain and tiles were clean, everything was just a little chipped and shabby. I wondered how I would ever get dry with towels as threadbare as the ones hanging on a pitted chrome rail.

“You’re not gonna believe this,” Keith called from the other room.

“Only one channel?”

“Worse. No air conditioning.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?!?”

“There’s this space up near the ceiling, but I don’t know if that’s it.”

I sighed. “Well, let’s go ask on our way to get some food.”

“You going to shower first?”

“No, let’s just go. I’ll just get all sweaty and dusty again. I’ll shower before bed.”

Baby Boo was still in the office, and looked genuinely puzzled when Keith explained that there was no air conditioner in the room.

“Oh there totally is. There’s one in every room. It’s just a little different that what most people are used to.”

That was our introduction to swamp coolers, also known as evaporative coolers. It is not, as Baby Boo claimed, an air conditioner. It is a fan that blows air over water, and cools by adding humidity into the room. She told Keith how to turn it on, and I waited by the road while he went back to the room to get it started.

“You’re not going to like it,” he said to me when he came back.

“Like what?”

We started walking down the road to find a restaurant.

“The room is getting damp, but not cool. I think separate beds tonight”

I sighed. I didn’t like it very much, but we’d learned that a night spent trying not to roll into the dip in the middle of an old bed didn’t make for a good night’s rest.

We passed another hotel as we walked, and we tried to peer into the dim lobby as we passed it.

“How bad does this place have to be, if it’s worse than the Canyonlands?” I asked Keith.

“Maybe the woman at the San Juan Inn gets a kick back.”

“Just how much of a kick back can one expect from a $60 a night room?” I wondered.

Mexican Hat is not a big place, one of those blink-and-you-miss-it towns, so we soon found a sign for the Swingin’ Steakhouse. The smell of barbeque was too good for us to look for another restaurant. We walked around a fence to find ourselves on a partially covered patio. There was a bar at one end, and about 10 old-style melamine tables with mismatched chrome chairs. The flag stones were uneven, and everything wobbled no matter how we shifted our chairs or propped up a table leg with a folded napkin. We turned our chairs so we could see the other end of the patio.

Here was a large firepit, maybe one meter by three meters with a grill hanging from chains suspended over the glowing charcoal fire. It was attended by a young man in a dark cowboy hat with black jeans and tshirt, who drank from a steady supply of long-neck Budweiser bottles as he tended to the orders on the grill and kept it swinging steadily over the flame

“You want chicken or beef,” asked the heavily tanned blond who could have been 30, could have been 50. “There’s nothin’ else.”

We both settled on the beef, and I added a Bud to my order. Keith wondered idly what vegetarians would order.

“There’s salad and beans and bread that comes with,” said our waitress helpfully.

“Guess this isn’t the place to be a vegetarian,” Keith remarked after she left.

“Umm…no,” I said, laughing as I looked at the big slabs of steak on the grill

We sat on the patio and watched the stars come out in a perfectly clear sky as we enjoyed what is possibly the best steak dinner we have ever had. I splurged and followed it up with a piece of home made apple crumble a la mode (“that means it comes with ice cream, ya know”), that was so good it made me sleepy with contentment.

We walked back to the motel hand-in-hand, pleased with the dinner at the Swingin’ Steak. and the night in general. While I waited for the eight daddy-long-leg spiders that had been lingering in the tub to wash down the drain before I stepped in for my shower, I thought about what had been a good day’s ride followed by a good dinner with good company. And as Keith later remarked, even though it wasn’t the best of accommodations, Baby Boo and the Canyonlands Motel made for a good story.

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The next morning, we rode along the same route. It turned out that where we stopped so I could take the photo had actually been much closer to Kayenta than Mexican Hat. If we had carried on another 15 minutes, we would have been in the kind of town you find where two highways intersect, with chain hotels, Denny’s and MacDonalds. Air conditioning a-plenty, but no good stories.

 

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