The 2018 Road, Day 4: Not So Lonely Highway

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May 30, 2018, Salina, UT-

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She was not happy that I left, before she got out of school.  I sent a message that I would try to return, weather-permitting, during the winter holidays.   There are souls who I have known forever and souls with whom I have found a bond, almost instantaneously, in this lifetime.  B is of the latter category.

Some could say it is tricky, for a man in late middle age and a child, especially a girl, to be thus bonded.  There is no skeevy factor, no EEEEWW.  I am here strictly to foster a very keen mind, to stoke dreams that will someday raise at least one person’s section of the world to a whole new level.  My friend J.R. Cline knows of what I speak.

I made the drive east, along U.S. Highway 50, whose Nevada portion is billed as “The Loneliest Highway in America.  It was too soon after breakfast to stop at Susie’s, so I went past Fallon.  Lake Lahontan also seemed to be at or near the same level as last year, so no stop there, either.  In the usual spot at the base of the mountain leading up to Pony Canyon, and Austin, there was another stranded vehicle, as was the case last year.  This time, the couple were headed west and had already called a tow truck.  I continued on, and enjoyed a simple, but satisfying burger and cup of soup at Toiyabe Cafe.

Through the Toiyabe, past Eureka, through Ely, I went.  Silver State Restaurant, which I patronized two years ago, has gone belly-up.  That’s a big hole, on Ely’s west side.  I wasn’t ready for dinner, though, and I was planning on enjoying my salad greens, anyway.

After briefly checking out the nearby town of McGill, I headed south and east.  That brought me here, to the veteran-owned Ranch Motel.

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So, here will begin Day 5, and I will get at least as far as the Front Range, on the never-lonely I-70.

The 2018 Road, Days 2-3: Pre-conceived notions, Heart Pancakes and A Warrior Princess

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May 27-28, 2018, Carson City- I got into Carson City, and a long-time friend’s house, around 10:15, on Sunday night.  I’ve been here, each year since 2012, on either Memorial Day or Independence Day. The members of Family S have been like biological family to me, for far longer-since the early 1990’s.

So, a stop up here has been a precursor to my summer time excursions, whether I’m headed northwestward or am eastbound.  I’ve known some family members since they were tweens and now am honoured by the presence of Princess B.  She will remain off-screen here, per my own policy when it comes to children, but B. is a highly intelligent and imaginative young lady and nobody will lay a hand on her, by my lights- or those of her grandmother, let alone on her parents’ watch.

Monday was spent in study of a Baha’i text that deals with consultation.  This is a practice that is sorely needed, not just in this country, but across the globe.  How many times have I found friends, even from other parts of the world, not opening their minds and hearts to other points of view?    The text I studied yesterday reminds us that no one person has all the answers, nor does any one group.  We watched a PBS documentary on the many aspects of warfare, after the study session.  Failure to view people outside one’s group, community or nation as human, or worthy of respect, has been the single greatest underlying cause of warfare, throughout history.  This is true, regardless of the cause of record.

All day today, Tuesday, I have thought of the world being left to B and her contemporaries, and to my grandchildren, yet unconceived, unborn.  She, her grandmother and I enjoyed a lovely Chinese buffet, shopped for things we needed at Target and Best Buy and came back for a “group project”, involving a streaming device and antennas.  Then, we enjoyed pancakes, including  two heart-shaped gems.

Those of you who have followed me , for the past several years, know that I have regularly come across heart-shaped items, both in natural and urban settings.  Here is a view of one heart-shaped pancake, before it was claimed by its rightful owner, our indomitable warrior princess.

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This visit was way too short, we all agreed, before B left with her father.  Tomorrow, I may connect for a bit with another WP reader, not far from here, before heading across Nevada and Utah.  Hopefully, I will also connect with extended family in Colorado and friends along the eastward route.   The centerpiece of this trip, my youngest niece’s wedding, looms three short week from now.

The 2018 Road, Day 1: Prescott to Carson City

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May 27, 2018, Carson City-

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One of my consistent stops, on this particular drive, is to check on the condition of Lake Mead,  a major reservoir of the Colorado River system.

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As you can see, the lake’s level is rather low.  In a good year, the lake’s water level would be above the first shoreline ridge.  It’s been quite a while since the last good year.

I began my journey around 9:20 this morning, then drove to West Side Lilo’s, in Seligman, a town about 1  1/2 hours northwest of Prescott.  A Lilo’s breakfast is sufficient for the entire day, so I would need nothing but a bowl of salad, once I got to Carson City, 11 hours later.

I topped off with gas in Kingman, and after the brief welfare check of Lake Mead, zipped through Las Vegas, stopped at Amargosa Valley to pick up gifts at the Area 51 Alien Center, for a little girl up here, and stretched a bit.  The rest of the journey, through territory I have detailed in years passed, was very smooth, with little traffic.  Coffee at Beans & Brews, on the south edge of Tonopah, was my only reason to stop the rest of the way.  B & B is also a staple of my northwest-bound jaunts.

Four hours later, I found my way to this apartment that will be home for the next two days or so.  There are a growing number of places that afford me this kind of feeling, and to me, this is the true wealth, to have what feels like family, in each part of the country.

Ahead of me are a one-day intensive training session for a Baha’i course and quality time with the aforementioned child.

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch…

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May 26, 2018, Prescott-

There’s a whole lot to see and do here in Home Base.  Next weekend, for example, a fundraiser for a twelve-year-old boy who was struck by a car, whilst crossing the street to go to a library, will be held, June 3, 1-5 pm, at Prescott Valley’s Anytime Fitness, 6715 E. 2nd St., Suite A.

I want to give  a shout-out also, to the unique and fine places that make my life here so blessed:  Ms. Natural’s, 318 West Gurley Street, is Prescott’s newest organic restaurant, open every day except Wednesday. Claudia offers fine coffees, smoothies and both vegetarian and cold cut sandwiches.  Right down the street is Shannon’s Deli, with a “hot dogs” sign on the door.  Shannon’s has lots more than hot dogs- her soups and cheesecake are the signature fare.  Right across from the Courthouse are Frozen Frannie’s, with delectable frozen yogurt, ice cream and a variety of baked items, as well as coffees. Next door is Lone Spur, one of several local establishments offering hearty, spill-over-the-plate breakfasts.

Go down Cortez, and you’ll find Chi’s, with what I regard as the best Chinese food in town.  At Cortez and Willis is Raven Cafe, my favourite place to go for great music and more organic meals.  They have a wide selection of imbiber’s delights, as well. Catty-corner, across Cortez and Willis, is Peregrine Books, Prescott’s largest bookstore, and another venture by the family who own the Raven. Next door to Peregrine is Two Mamas, one of eight Mom and Pop pizzerias in town.  T.M. has several signature pizzas, my personal fave being the Pot Roast and Gorgonzola variety.

Now,go back up Cortez, cross the street, and you’ll find Dancing Skeleton, with its large selection of condiments and unique craft items.  Further up are Bill’s Pizza, a good thin-crust pizzeria, and the favourite of many locals; Mob Burger, with excellent burgers and welcoming to couples and groups, but not those dining alone; Lifeways, a spiritual-themed bookstore, with a small espresso counter in the back.

The Courthouse lawn is a key gathering spot, especially on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the summer, with live music and dancing.  Signs around the outside of the Courthouse detail weekend festivals, of which the largest summer event is Prescott’s Rodeo, one of the country’s oldest, held just before, and during. July 4.

On the west side of the Courthouse is Montezuma Street, also called Whiskey Row.  There are plenty of bars there, for those so inclined.  Hotel St. Michaels is one of two large Victorian hotels in town, and has a variety of shops on its ground floor, including a lovely bistro.  South of Whiskey Row, there are more bars and restaurants, including Far From Folsom, a Johnny Cash-themed establishment, with many of the same musicians appearing, as in the Raven.  Bill’s Grill, owned by the same family as Bill’s Pizza, is a popular place for a wide variety of comfort foods.

Going back to Goodwin Street, and heading west, one finds El Gato Azul, a tapas restaurant and also one of Prescott’s most popular gathering spots, of a weekday evening.  Park Avenue Deli, inside a liquor store, offers surprisingly good comfort cuisine, though here, too, groups are preferred over single customers.  Ditto for Rosa’s Pizzeria, an excellent place for Italian fare, and west of Ms. Natural’s, on Gurley.  Rosa’s is always packed with visitors, so call ahead for your table.

Heading out of town, eastward, check out Zeke’s Eatin’ Place, akin to Lone Spur, for belly-bustin’ breakfasts and lunches, in Frontier Village, on the Prescott- Yavapai Indian Nation.  Planet Fitness is also there, for an after-meal workout (monthly memberships, from $10.)  Picture Show Cinema, up the hill, would round out a Frontier Village excursion.

Finally, in Prescott Valley, north and east of Home Base, find Rafter Eleven, a wine and condiments shop, owned by one of the area’s oldest families.  It is at 2985 Centre Court, left on Glassford Hill Rd, then right on Centre Court.  Gabby’s Grill, a bit north of Rafter, is my favourite dining spot in downtown Prescott Valley.

That’s it, in a Brazil nut-shell.  Hope you can find your way here, some day or another.

Not Throwing In The Towel

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Towel-Dog-760x500May 25, 2018, Prescott-

An erstwhile friend has decreed today as Towel Day.  I will stay on the fringes of these festivities, as that’s how she and her significant other seem to want things.  Besides, my schedule, these next two days, is packed- as I will be, by Sunday morning.

School ended yesterday, and for me, it was as successful as 2015-16, and a far cry from last year.  I did not limp to the finish line this time.  The kids, and my co-workers, will reconvene in a week’s time, for Extended School Year.   I will sit that one out, having a major family event in mid-June. The wedding of my youngest niece will bring us all together, and will be one for the books.

As always, I have taken the steps to certify that both my car and I are ready for this year’s long road trip.  Vehicle has taken its lumps, but I have repaired most of what’s gone wrong and will tend to the cosmetics over the next day or so.  Ditto for yours truly, and while my cosmetics are showing their age, my health care providers aren’t putting me anywhere near the scrap heap.  I’m content with what I see in the mirror.

After two, and maybe three, important events here in town, today and tomorrow, I will head northwards, to Carson City, for an annual reconnect with one or more members of my extended spiritual family.  From there, the route looks like Utah, Colorado, Kansas, central Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ontario, Montreal, Plattsburgh, NY, Vermont,Massachusetts, Connecticut, West Point, eastern Pennsylvania (especially Philadelphia), Baltimore, Delmarva, Hampton Roads, across Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, southern Missouri, Oklahoma, Amarillo and Albuquerque’s Old Town, before getting back to Home Base-somewhere around July 4.

In spite of all this seems to entail, I have built in a goodly number of daily rest stops, visits with friends and family and good clean fun.  My main mode, rain or shine, will be camping along the way and relying more on picnicking, than the heavy restaurant visits of past adventures.  There will be a few of those last, though, when I can at least treat those who have been so caring to me, over so many years- and special places in my heart, like Artful Dodger, Cupcakes & Cravings, et al.  Porthole Pub, in Lynn, MA., is slated to close soon, making way for some sorely needed luxury condos. (Wonder how we’ve gotten along without them, all these years!)  I ought to prevail on a few family members to pay a last visit to Porthole.

Whether here or there, my Faith is essential to keeping me going, on a daily basis.  So, one of the events this evening is faith-based, several of the people with whom I will visit, in the coming weeks, are my fellows in faith and the Baha’i House of Worship, in Wilmette, IL falls into the middle of my outbound itinerary, as is only proper.

One way or another, I will maintain a daily presence here- letting all my peeps in on what’s going down, as in the past.  After all, there are plenty of coffee houses and such, along the way- and Good Sam Parks are reliable with WiFi, to boot. Instagram, a gift of the above-mentioned erstwhile correspondent, remains on my network.  One keeps the baby, while waving farewell to the bath water.

 

Light Time

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May 24, 2018, Prescott-

Corruption is a terrible thing,

alluring and insidious.

It breathes noxious fumes

into our psyches,

and holds them in place,

through a constant appeal

to our sense of “What If?”

The root of this allure

is disquiet,

the feeling that

just maybe,

THIS will be something better;

just maybe,

THIS will relieve insecurity,

once and for all.

The only thing,

however,

that will relieve

insecurity,

pain,

the ongoing lack,

is faith in action.

This is the message

of the life of

a divine Herald,

Siyyid Ali Muhammad,

known to posterity

as al-Bab (The Gate),

Whose Declaration of Mission

we Baha’is celebrate today,

on Its 164th Anniversary.

Like every Messenger/Prophet

before Him,

al-Bab lived His days

in service and in courage,

giving His earthly life,

for our sake,

killed by the agents

of corruption and ignorance,

some six years after

the Declaration we honour today.

 

Exeter Carr

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May 22, 2018, Prescott-

No, he is not a future character

on “The Black List”.

Exeter Carr was a character

in a dream I had,

thirty-five years ago.

He was caustic,

knowledgeable,

sometimes articulate,

sometimes ridiculously

profane,

but always on point.

He took me to task,

for things I overlooked.

He resembled a young

Denzel Washington,

before the world knew

Denzel existed.

Exeter has surfaced,

in real time.

Deja vu,

with some timely messages,

albeit going by

a different name.

Welcome home,

Exeter Carr.

As Stupid Does

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May 21, 2108, Prescott-

I woke this morning, to a message of excoriation, from someone who I deeply respect, but who can hardly be said to hold me in like regard.  It happens.

I’m no one’s slave, though I am gladly of service to many.  Don’t demand that I do your bidding or be at your beck and call.  I will serve a person’s needs because that’s what the Creator, through the Universe, has messaged me to do.

Slavery should never have happened, in the first place.  I hear, from minds more perceptive than mine, that extraterrestrials instituted the practice.  Whatever.  It should NEVER have been put into practice, period.

So now, as Dr. Joy DeGruy has so profoundly explained, in “Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome”, people of colour get to deal with the emotional and social sludge of slavery’s legacy.  People of pallour get to face up, and ‘fess up, to all that our forebears ignored and many of our contemporaries wish to sweep under the carpet or kick down the road.  Frantz Fanon and James Baldwin warned us of this, all those lovely years back, and who listened, exactly?

My angry correspondent dismissed me as just another stupid individual, not worth his time.  At least he has not banned me from reading his incisive work-so no loss on my part.  I will keep reading, and listening, and learning, because true stupidity comes from indulging in backlash, from putting up barriers, from being, “all in all……just another brick in the wall.” (Thanks, Roger Waters).

The Snapping Towel

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May 20, 2018, Prescott-

Here is a little story that is tied to Towel Week, an Instagram series by a friend who is also here.  I can’t write very freely on IG, which is more about photos with short captions.  So:

Five boys hung out, the last day of school, and decided to make PE class REALLY count.  They soaked a towel, and ran around behind the lockers.  When Coach Willis walked in, clipboard in hand, SNAP went the towel.  Ben, who was holding the towel, ended up eating it for breakfast.

7RBj

DISCLAIMER:  This writer and Word Press stand firmly against bullying, in all its forms. No person was actually hurt, in the making of this video.

Instagram Maze

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May 20, 2018, Prescott- 

In case anyone reads this, please give me a lesson on Instagram 101:  To wit- How can I access my phone keyboard, whilst on IG, so as to consistently write a text to go with the pictures that the site intermittently allows me to post?

Instagram is a cipher, with no clear means of explanation.