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Tag: flagstaff

Standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona

We started off on Carefree Highway,  got some kicks on Route 66, spent some time standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, and ended up at  a Motel 6 in Albuquerque.

That last one isn’t a song, though the price of a room was — only $29.99.

Day one of the trip back home — which will be slightly more rushed than our earlier travels — saw us cover 450 miles, even with repeated pee and sniff stops, as recommended by the animal communicator Ace recently spoke with.

We took time, too, to exit Interstate 40 and roll through Winslow on Route  66, stopping on a street corner of our own choosing to relive a line from the classic Eagles song, “Take it Easy.”

When no “girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford” came by, we moved on to Winslow’s officially designated place to stand on the corner, where a mural of a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, is provided.

“Standin’ on the Corner Park, opened in 1999, and it also features a statue that some people think is Jackson Browne, but it’s not. Glenn Frey is credited with co-writing the song, which was released by the Eagles in 1972.

The town makes much of its mention in the second verse of “Take It Easy” — then again you grab at what fame you can when you’ve been bypassed by the Interstate.

Until the 1960’s, Winslow was the largest town in northern Arizona. But, like Tucumcari, New Mexico, and other towns, the prominence they  enjoyed by virtue of their location on Route 66 faded when Interstate 40 bypassed the community in the late 1970’s. Tourism suffered and some downtown business closed their doors. “For the next twenty years, downtown Winslow was frozen in time,” the park website says.

The park was part of a downtown restoration effort that included the reopening of the historic La Posado Hotel. That effort required some re-restoration after a fire damaged the corner. Statue and mural are back in place now.

The statue, despite what some on the Internet claim, is not that of Jackson Browne. According to the official website of Standin’ on the Corner Park, it’s a generic “1970’s man,” wearing jeans, with a guitar resting on the toe of his boot.

While the song brought Brown, the Eagles and Winslow some much-wanted notoriety, the corner referred to in the song was actually in Flagstaff. But Winslow sounded better. (That leads me to question whether seven women were actually on Browne’s mind, or if maybe it was just three, and seven sounded better.)

Browne was still working on the song when Frey, his friend and neighbor, heard it. Browne had written the opening part of the second verse, then ran into writer’s block.

Here’s how Frey explained the collaboration in the liner notes to the 2003 album, The Very Best of the Eagles:

“I told him that I really liked it. ‘What was that, man? What a cool tune that is.’ He started playing it for me and said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t know — I’m stuck.’ So he played the second unfinished verse and I said, ‘It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.’ That was my contribution to ‘Take It Easy,’ really, just finishing the second verse. Jackson was so thrilled. He said, ‘Okay! We cowrote this.’ But it’s certainly more of him.”

The real corner that the song was about was next to the “Dog Haus,” a hot dog drive-thru on Route 66 and Switzer Canyon in Flagstaff.

Ace probably would have preferred that corner, given it has food, but he settled for two stops in Winslow before we pressed on and stopped for the night in Albuquerque. On Wednesday we pushed on to Oklahoma City, hoping to stay ahead of a winter storm that, along with some appointments we have back east, is preventing us from fully taking it easy.

But we promise this much: We won’t let the sound of our own wheels drive us crazy.

Roadside Encounters: Jeff and Haley

Name: Jeff Clark and his dog, Haley

Age: Jeff appeared to be around 40, Haley’s but a pup

Breed: Jeff’s a white guy; Haley’s a collie mix

Encountered: At a Chevron station in Flagstaff, Arizona

Headed from: Their home in Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Headed to: Carlsbad, California — a ride of more than 900 miles

Miles to go: About 600

Mode of transportation: A bicycle built for two, on which Clark installed a shopping cart over the back seat. Haley rides, leashed, in the cart, her favorite toy, a blue stuffed cat, dangling from its side. At night, they sleep in RV parks, or alongside the road.

Reason for trip: Partly for the adventure of it, partly because Jeff has some temporary work in Carlsbad.

Quote: “Everybody says I’m crazy, and I’m going to prove them right.”

(Roadside Encounters is a regular feature of “Dog’s Country,” the continuing tale of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing America (but with sense enough to do it in a car).

(“Dog’s Country” can be found exclusively on ohmidog! To read all of “Dog’s Country,” from the beginning, click here.)

Trying to score some grass in Flagstaff

Ace, while enjoying the wide-open West, seems less than pleased with one of its characteristics. He — and I could be wrongly reading his mind now — is tired of the blistering hot pavement and the pebbles, large and small, that most folks around here opt for when landscaping.

He was longing last night — again I’m mind reading — for a soft green carpet to do his business, which is what led me to approach my Motel 6 neighbors two doors down after seeing they had a dog. They appeared to have been there for a while, based on the clutter in their room, so I figured they knew the ropes.

Ace and I were headed out for a walk, when I spotted them. Not wanting to alarm them or trigger a bad reaction in their dog, I shouted my question from a distance.

“Do you know where I could find some grass around here?”

“What?” the neighbor responded, not able to hear me over the traffic. I shouted louder:

“Do you know where I could find some grass around here?”

The second time I said it,  the double meaning dawned on me. Fortunately, no police cars were passing by, though, who knows, the moment could have been captured for posterity by a security camera. Big Brother is pretty much everywhere these days — from Motel 6 to your more classy joints, like Howard Johnson’s.

Fortunately, too, my motel neighbor took my question with the intended meaning and pointed us down the road, past four more motels, to the Cracker Barrel.

“Cracker Barrel’s got some good grass,” she said.

She was right. Ace sniffed it for 30 minutes, watered it three times, and gently dropped a load (subsequently scooped) upon it. By then, I was ready to get back to the room, but he lay down in it, knowing it would be more hot pavement and pebbles on the way back.

I gave him a couple more minutes, for he was right, as dogs usually are when they make us slow down. There was no hurry. We lingered a bit, inhaled a few more times.

It was good stuff.

(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” from the beginning, click here.)

An unrushed Sunday in Sedona

Giving ourselves plenty of time to get to Utah, Ace and I spent an unrushed afternoon in Sedona yesterday, figuring it would be the sort of place that I could unleash not just my dog, but possibly my chakra.

Possibly, I reasoned, simply driving through its red-rocked beauty might magically re-align my life energy, and perhaps my car’s as well.

I don’t think any of those things happened, but we had an excellent lunch, which, of course, is far more important.

We started off with a short walk among the red rocks at one of the pullovers, where a group of tourists flocked to Ace’s side, and asked if they could take their picture with him.

For the next ten minutes, that’s what they did.

Later, I pulled into Tlaquepaque, an artsy-craftsy community in town. There we found the Secret Garden, which really isn’t secret at all. I learned about it, and its dog-friendliness online.

We were seated on the patio, where five other dogs — three poodles at one table, two mutts at another — barely raised an eyebrow. The humans in the restaurant were another story, many of them pointing at Ace, and commenting on his size and, of course, handsomeness, and three stopping at my table to inquire as to his breed.

The waitress brought Ace a huge bowl of water, which he was happy for, and me a portabello mushroom sandwich, with roasted red peppers and a few other vegetables on sourdough bread. I made a point of asking them to hold the chakra.

(Note: Chakra is not a vegetable — in case any of you, like me, may have once thought it was a hybrid of chard and okra. No, it’s quite different. According to Wikipedia, “Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices which, according to traditional Indian medicine, are believed to exist in the surface of the etheric double of man.” Clear enough?)

The sandwich was pretty good, even without any meat, and the restaurant had a nice relaxing vibe, which, in Sedona — the rusty-terrained land of psychics and spiritualists, hallowed rocks and the hopelessly holistic — is pretty much required.

Strolling past the art galleries afterwards, we followed the new age music and came upon a keyboard player named Robin Miller, who interrupted the song he was playing to greet Ace, then entertained him by making barking noises on his keyboard.

Ace was doted on — and deservedly so — by a few more people before we left. It’s amazing how he brings smiles to so many faces — my own included. Moreso than my chakra, I think, it is he that keeps me aligned.

From Sedona, we headed to Flagstaff (the closest affordable motels) on 89A, a winding mountain road along Oak Creek. My car seemed to putter some on the climb, leading to me to wonder if maybe there’s something to that  “Malfunction Indicator Light” after all. Possibly my car’s chakra needs work.

But we made it to Flagstaff. And yes, it’s still here. Other than a little smoke in the mountains, the fire you’ve probably heard about is burning out and not threatening the town.

Tomorrow, we’ll continue on to Kanab, Utah, where on Tuesday, we’re scheduled to do a little volunteer work at Best Friends, the animal sanctuary.

(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” from the beginning, click here.)