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  10/18/05 - Flagstaff, AZ

We split Gallup early…around 9:30 and headed west towards ominous cloud cover. The desert takes on eerie hues in the charged pre-storm air. We crossed into Arizona and headed for the Petrified Forest and Holbrook. By the time we neared them the heavens opened up and let out a torrent that eclipsed any notion of outdoor sightseeing or playing.

We went through Holbrook, checked out the Wigwam Motels and dinosaur artifacts and continued on our way. Next stop was Joseph City, which Craig Bushman had touted us about: one of the first settlements in northern Arizona, once occupied by a group of people who had crossed the Grand Canyon with wagons, having dismantled them and blindfolded the animals and reconstructed the whole thing n the opposite rim before traveling another hundred or so miles in the punishing desert. (And I think I’m roughing it when I can’t get a decent wireless signal!?) The old house his grandfather built still stands in the nearly-deserted village.

Then to Winslow, yeah, that Winslow, standing on the corner is taken rather seriously, and when I introduced the band as the Beagles…they all either resented it or didn’t get it…yikes. We visited and ate at La Posada, an incredible hotel next to the train station, the only Harvey House still in operation. If you don’t know what that’s about, check out the Judy Garland movie…(Harvey Girls) and the waitresses still wear the same uniforms. The place is nothing short of spectacular, Pinto Pammy said it made her trip and frankly, considering her sensibilities it isn’t a surprise.

Saw the most incredible rainbow against a magenta desert hillside in Winona (I don’t think I’m upsetting anyone by saying that when Bobby Troup said don’t forget Winona in his seminal tune Route 66 he was seriously tongue in cheek). I don’t think the picture does it justice but nonetheless, check it out. The rain keeps a coming as we pack into the Weatherford Hotel, and the temps are dropping,. I’m betting on snow tonight but we’ll keep it warm in the Zane Grey Ballroom, swingin till the Cow Boppers get home. I’ll let you know how it turns out and maybe get a posting by one of the other cowhands. Until then, keep swingin…

The gig went well, but the altitude is taking its toll, so the hands aren’t up to any writing they left it to me. A bit of snow feel along with heavy rain, freshening the frigid mountain air. Hope it clears before morning, we got some tough going ahead, qdown to the low desert, then over the mountains, a curvy and treacherous road that send many a faint-hearted California-bound traveler back to the Midwest…stay tuned

A reminder, (OK, don’t make me beg here…pleeeze!): We’re out here doing this to support JazzMasters Workshop, a no charge music-mentoring programs for kids. Please consider a tax-deductible per-mile pledge, we’d appreciate it. You can do it right from this site! Thanks!