Monday, March 27, 2017

Sacajawea, My Sweet Ride

Sacajawea was a Native American woman who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition from the northern plains over the Rocky Mountains, to the Pacific Ocean, and back.  On the side of my Uhaul was her picture.  Love at first ride.

After a few nights in Phoenix, the first stop was Flagstaff.  I’ve never been there.  Not been to much outside of Phoenix.  When weather is extreme…Minnesota is sitting naked on a giant bag of ice.  Phoenix is being scalded with hot coffee.  Winter in Arizona is summer in Minnesota.  I'll let that soak in.

Ten minutes into my drive I find out that Sacajawea’s breaks are solid.  An accident happened a few cars in front of me and everyone/everything survived.  Biggest concern was the snacks my sister-in-law packed for the journey.  Cheese & Sour Cream Ruffles intact!

I didn’t have a set arrival time for Flagstaff.  I’ll get to Flag.  Yeah, college town.  If there was nothing for me to see on the way, then I get there before sundown (we measure things by sunup and sundown on the road).  Flagstaff seemed to have some ok restaurants, a few Uber close to my hotel.

However, Mike and his lovely Indian maiden had a date with history in Prescott, Arizona.  No Sedona stop.  Whether it be -a Vortex or static electricity from a meditation rug, none of that held a candle to Prescott.  It especially didn’t hold an ice cream cone to it.

Some won’t even recognize this history.  That’s what the internet is for.  Marino’s Mob Burger and Ice Cream.  Forever it holds a place in Mike’s folklore.  For in the 1960's, the movie Billy Jack was filmed in the surrounding area.  Quite sure some don’t remember this movie, but might remember a few scenes.  Mike remembers, and after all, it’s my folklore.  So I went off the normal path for about 30 minutes into Prescott.  I found appropriate parking for my sweet Indian legend and was on my way.

I found a seat right where I wanted.  The counter.  The kind where one gets a root beer float, a double cone, or a scoop of flour poured over their face.  Yes, for I was sitting at the place where the young Indian students were refused service, and the bad guy proceeded to “make them white” by pouring flour on their faces.  At this point in the film, the hero, Billy Jack arrives in his classic, straight-brimmed cowboy hat and tells our bad guy that this kind of treatment makes him go berserk. He uses his supreme martial arts skills to ruin some people.

A nice bucket list item for me and you probably understand why driving solo is often for the best.  It was an excellent get.  I wouldn’t go hours out of my way for it, but 30 minutes was a no-brainer.

The place had changed.  We’re talking 50 years ago.  Few customers even know about the movie, aside from the poster on the wall.  I knew it.  I sat in the same freaking spot where Billy Jack kicked ass!  One tin solider rides away...  Youtube links at bottom of story.

The young man at the counter knew the story and told me some history of the place.  That’s what you get for two scoops of Gelato.  I told him more about the movie and what happened in the restaurant.  Also introduced him to TCB, showed him a video, and explained that history.  He loved it.

Interesting thing about the Prescott Town Square, there were at least three ice cream places on the square.  I actually had to compare Google Street View to the film.

It was a fun visit.  No great, life-changing experience, not on my end, but perhaps on the counter guy.  He got to meet The Cranky Bunny.

Billy Jack goes berserk.  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Road Trip 2017 - Pretrip Preface

I like road trips.  I like solo road trips.  Not because I want to be alone.  Sometimes I do.  It’s easier to do what I want, be on my own schedule, etc.  However, the biggest thing it does is make me mingle.  I like mingling.  There are few strangers on my road trips.  You can create memories traveling with someone, but you will create them when traveling alone.

Is it lonely?  A few years ago I traveled by myself for 45 days.  That got lonely towards the end.  After a week?  No way.  It’s just nice to experience things on your own accord.  Be your own boss.  I’m to blame for stopping at the Navajo Jewelry stand, or regret not stopping.

Also, no one else snores.  Once I close my hotel room door, the clothes are gone!  More on that later, because I know you want to know more my hotel naked.

So this road trip.  Sis-in-law mentioned moving her mom from Phoenix to Iowa City.  I volunteered to help months ago, especially with my long distance driving skills.  A few months later, she asked and I said I’d be interested if the timing worked out.  I was asked again as plans were firming up.  I was given the chance to bow out, no questions asked.  Honestly, my initial reaction was “no, I better not do it.”  What if something comes up?  Like with a lot of people, for me it can be easier to just say no.  “No” keeps me safe because it eliminates “what if”.  I hate “what if”.

So for that exact reason I committed on the spot, period.  I’ll do this road trip.  Period.  My only caveat, I could dilly-dally.

The art of the dilly-dally.  I could have made this Phoenix to Iowa City trip in three days.  Interstate all the way.  I would have if it were required, but it wasn’t.  So, I didn’t.  The destination just ends the journey.  Wow...

“The destination just ends the journey”-Mike Brennan.  

There are interesting places along the way and some cool people, too.  Granted, what I considering interesting, you might not, but still.  Explore.  Dilly-dally

“A life without dilly-dallying isn‘t living.”- Mike Brennan

Next - Off like a truck full of herds of turtles driven by a guy who isn’t used to trucks full of anything.