Saturday, August 20, 2022

Taking it Easy

We have just left Winslow, Arizona and have completed the obligatory pilgrimage to the corner in town turned into a tourist attraction after Winslow was mentioned in the song "Take it Easy". This particular corner is not necessarily the one referred to in the song, but Winslow has certainly capitalized on the brief mention. While there are myths and speculation, it seems that Jackson Browne started the song and was having trouble getting it finished. The line about Winslow came from Browne needing a car repair and spending a long day there. Glenn Frey of The Eagles helped him out, and supposedly wrote the line "It's a girl my lord in a flat bed Ford slowing down to take a look at me", so perhaps that part of the story happened somewhere else, or not at all. There is a statue of Jackson Browne at the corner, and another statue was added later that resembles Frey. There is also a flatbed Ford truck permanently parked there and a mural painted on the building facade. The song is officially listed as written by Browne and Frey. It was recorded by The Eagles 50 years ago, was their first single, and was the opening track on their first album. It is listed as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll". It doesn't really matter what happened on which corner, but it really is a great song. It's good to visit here where a part of the song came from.

We stayed at La Posada Hotel in Winslow, a railroad hotel that first opened in 1930. It has a long history and numerous celebrities have stayed here. You can read about it here.

When I last wrote here we were leaving La Verkin, Utah for Kanab, Utah. Along the way we got a signal from the Volvo to check tire pressure. Sure enough, the right rear tire was very low. Fortunately, on a road in the middle of nowhere, there was a tire shop two miles away. The tire had been punctured by a part of a screwdriver still lodged in it. The shop applied a patch to the inside of the tire, but it continued to have a small leak. So they inserted a plug into the gash from the outside and told us we needed to replace the tire. 

It turns out that the particular tire we need is back-ordered and couldn't be obtained by anyone in the area. A call to Volvo revealed that many Volvo dealers stock these tires and we found one at the nearest dealer in Albuquerque. We have had to drive hundreds of miles watching the tire pressure carefully. It's been a little nerve-wracking but so far the patch has held. Monday, during our stay in Santa Fe, I will drive down to Albuquerque to get the new tire.

We spent two nights in Kanab and visited the northern rim of the Grand Canyon Thursday. The drive up and the views of the canyon are truly beyond belief. In fact, the scenery is spectacular everywhere in this part of the country. Kanab bills itself as "Little Hollywood" because of the vast number of westerns filmed there. There are plaques all over town about movie stars like Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, and others spending time filming in Kanab. The landscape reminded us not only of westerns, but also of Roadrunner cartoons.

Kanab was also interesting because we stayed at "Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile". This is a motel designed for people and their pets, and owned by Best Friends Animal Society. It is right up the road from the motel and is the largest non-kill shelter in the United States. On any given night, Best Friends has up to 1,600 rescue animals in its care. For more information on this amazing organization, check out its history here.

Yesterday we travelled to Winslow among more astonishing scenery. We stopped along the way to see the dam at Lake Powell. Water levels there are at about 167 feet below full and by content at around 24% of capacity. The ability to generate power and provide water are all at risk because of extended draught conditions. A recent explanation from the LA Times can be found here. It's a sad situation.

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