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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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cactus

Day 20 – Rt 66 trip

    HAPPY    BIRTHDAY    BOB

Where do you take the Jewish kid for breakfast on his birthday? A bagel  shop of course. We checked out of the Mirage and wanted to get off “The Las Vegas Strip” for breakfast so we wouldn’t have trouble parking the car we had to give a few fingers for to get back from valet. Not complaining, we knew that going in, but jeeesh, expensive, like downtown Boston. When I spotted Einstein’s Bagels I knew that was the place. Of course I’m the one that had lox and Bob had an egg sandwich. I think it was the best bagel I have ever had, mostly because it wasn’t hard to bite or chew. I liked the poster in the shop because it represents the many nationalities and different American ethnicities we have met along the road this month.

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On Rt. 15 South out of Vegas going to Barstow, CA, we saw another huge solar farm. The shiny part of the picture below that looks like a lake is really solar panels. This particular landscape is well suited for this because it isn’t good for anything else but some bugs and wildlife.  Yes, that is sand in the forefront of the picture as this is the Mojave Desert.

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I also found some cool cacti to photograph. You are probably wondering why so many pictures of the same landscape. Well, it’s because that is what we have seen for many days. And they call the mid-west, the fly-over states where there is nothing but fields.

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Below is also on Rt. 15. Changing elevation from 5000 feet above sea level to 2000 feet. That’s a big sand bowl in the distance (the grey sliver.) You can see the trucks climbing slowly toward us.

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Below; This looked like a big cat stretched out on someone’s lap. See the ears, back and curly tail. Who knows why that spot was sand and not rock, but it got my attention.

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The “rabbit” below was on our bed when we checked in to the hotel  in Barstow. We thought it a homey touch. There were also ear plugs by the clock-radio. Uh oh. We have heard one train, but we are used to them, so no big deal. I know these pictures aren’t very exciting, but that’s the kind of day it has been. We have done laundry and now are going out to have a nice meal for my honey’s birthday.

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So Google did us a favor, again. We asked what restaurants were near-by and picked the Idle Spurs for a nice dinner. The place is well known to the locals and travelers alike as it is just a few  minutes off Rt. 66. We had reservations but ate at the bar once we got to talking with Howard and his wife, and then Suzanne and her husband, Wayne. We realized when we got back to the room no one had made a comment about Bob’s mustache, very unusual. The parking lot had lots of cars when we pulled in and they were happy we gave up our table to eat at the bar. The welcoming card, and verse are below.

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The verse is especially true at this moment in our lives as the people we have met on this journey have  made it special for us. We will be talking about the individuals for a long time and realize we were probably just one of many in their lives.

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Rachel (below) made Bob’s night when she brought him a chocolate sundae with a candle in it for his birthday. And yes, Suzanne  insisted we sing. Rachel was an attentive server to us, and a good bartender as she listened to us talk but made sure her staff got the drinks they needed for their tables in quick order. She knew Suzanne well and we listened to their conversation as they listened to ours. We got good recommendations for restaurants for the next couple of days, and left the Idle Spurs knowing if we ever get to Barstow again, we have a friendly place to go. The decorations inside what used to be a house were from our era and fun to reminisce about. My prime rib and Bob’s London Broil were perfection.

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The birthday boy.

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Day 17 – Rt 66 trip

When you take a trip like we are, you learn as you go, especially about the questions you should have asked when making reservations. Night before last I mentioned I might not have internet when we got into Grand Canyon Park. Well, I didn’t know how accurate that statement would turn out to be. Bob had trouble getting emails on his phone, I didn’t. We could only connect one device in a room at a time, but then it didn’t work. I’m sure you’ve seen that thing on Facebook in the past few months; could you go without internet for a year? Well, maybe if I planned ahead, but if one is trying to blog daily and your husband is trying to be available to his boss when he’s on a month long vacation, the Grand Canyon is not the place to go. I finally posted yesterday’s blog about 7:30 pm, Arizona time. Vent over!

Packing the suitcase and getting in the car daily is starting to wear us out. It was nice to take the train yesterday and just sit. We slept late this morning deciding we didn’t need to pay for another tour. While still in the room I could see different birds in the woods behind our room. One was the size of a big sparrow, but was blue. I didn’t get a picture, but will look it up when we get home. There were also Ravens. A bit bigger than a crow with a hooked beak. They are professional beggars. Our bags were picked up from our room on the south rim and then delivered back to the Grand Canyon Hotel in Williams. That’s service.

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We wandered around the public areas of the South Rim today, visiting different buildings, sights, and seeing the canyon from different spots. There are shuttle buses that will take you from place to place, free of charge. A constant, other than people, were the squirrels. There are signs everywhere with warnings not to feed them. They are known to be the most dangerous animal in the park because of their aggressiveness and bites. They often carry rabies. We took a picture because they are so different from our grey squirrels in western New York state.

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I also took a picture of a cactus, maybe it’s a succulent, because that’s one plant I don’t have at home.

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Below is a noon-time picture that shows more of an expanse of the canyon.

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Below is a picture Bob took. The clouds are gone and you can see a thin line through the center of the photo. That is a hiking trail. We didn’t see any people on it. While writing post cards to the grandchildren this morning I realized I am a bit afraid of the viewing spots that have no protection from falling over the edge.

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A lot of our view today was near the Bright Angel Lodge where we had lunch, at 2 pm. We asked for a table at 1:30 and were told the wait would be about 20 minutes. That wait turned into a little over half and hour. The couple behind us, from Bozeman, Montana, were also hurrying to get on the same train back to Williams that we were so we invited them to join us at our table instead of waiting for one of their own. Richard and Shirley are still Harley riders, as we used to be, and I have a love affair with Montana, so there was plenty to talk about while we kept checking our watches.  Lunch at the Harvey House Cafe was good even if the service was a bit slow. They were busy.

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As soon as we finished lunch we headed for the train.  IMG_1461

Above: inside our bubble on the train. Christina was our hostess today and Clyde sang us some tunes. We saw antelope on the way back to Williams, and yes, I had another Nutty Almond to drink. Bob had another local beer. He is taking a picture of each one and will post a city by city, beer by beer collection once we get home. If you want me to share it, please leave a note in my comments box. Below is a picture of the bubble car from the outside. It is considered first class, so we had a “free” champagne toast today, to our military, the Grand Canyon, and the US with all its faults and strengths.

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Back at the hotel in Williams, we retrieved my pillow from the car, then sat a while in our room so I could finally post yesterdays events. Now I am writing in the lounge, where we had pizza and a night cap. The service wasn’t wonderful tonight, but the pizza was good and there is blues playing in the background. All good!

Since I didn’t take many pictures today I thought it would be a good time to share how I take my notes, they are from the 9th, then end up giving you all the details. I don’t expect you to be able to read my hen scratch, sometimes I have trouble deciphering it myself.

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When I post this we will be back up to date. Bob and I can have an early night, thankful for life, each other and the internet.

 

 

 

 

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