Flagstaff is a Whole 'Nother Town

My memory of Flagstaff is from the late '70s when I passed through after leaving the Grand Canyon with my then-wife and her parents. (Don't even ask. Just know that I have lived the nightmare.)

Come to think of it, I'm not sure that it actually was Flagstaff. It was that different. Back then, it was just a dry-as-a-bone strip of businesses, one of them a diner we stopped at on our way to Oak Creek Canyon, and there was a small mountain behind this strip of ramshackle businesses. All the same height, basically a ridge that ran the length of "town."

(Picture should have gone here.)

But the town of 2015 is a small city, lively, mostly transients, people on their way to somewhere else. There's a hotel or motel on every corner and you'd think they were all 5-star joints based on the prices I saw on Hotels.com. 

Even my waitress at Coco's, Janée, wasn't from here. She was from L.A. I asked her if she came here to get away from acting. Turns out, she kind of did. Tired of the rat-race she came here to go to school. Close enough for a visit by her parents (6 hours) but far away enough to discourage them from being all up in her daily stuff.

I'm going to browse through the city and shoot what I can. I want to get to Shiprock, NM by local dawn so I can photograph it as the sun is coming up. I may be sleeping in the back of the FJ tomorrow night just so I can time everything to be there at the right time. Did it last year and it was actually rather comfortable. I'm just the right size.

After Shiprock, I'm headed to Albuquerque, then to Santa Fe. I'm not really sure where I want to spend the extra time I saved by bypassing Phoenix. I'll figure that out in the coming days. Somehow, I find it hard to believe that I've been on the road only 4 days. Seems like a month. And it seems like I just left Dallas a few hours ago.