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Sunday, October 13, 2002

Route 66

I did not sleep well last night even though it was quiet and I had a good bed. I couldn't find my melatonin, though I'm sure I packed it. It hasn't been working well anyway.

I slept till 7:30 and felt pretty good so I set off for a volkswalk. This was the Route 66 walk through Flagstaff. Even though the forecasts have been threatening rain for the last week, as it gets close the rain forecast moves away. It was cold this morning but clear and all I needed was a sweater and I even tired of that after a while and just left it off.

It started off at near the I-10 and I-17 intersection at Woodlands Village Boulevard and Beulah. I first walked along Flagstaff's Urban Trail. Such a nice idea. Even where it was passing Walmart it was a nice dirt path with flowers. Soon it left the more commercial areas and went through ponderosa pines while overlooking part of the NAU campus. I started seeing fall color and smelled the lovely pine smell.

Then I turned north on sidewalks and walked through the main Northern Arizona University campus. For a Sunday morning there seemed to be quite a few people around. I suppose it was the same reason the motels were full last night. It a nice unassuming campus and fits nicely in an outdoors setting like Flagstaff.

The road continued through an older neighborhood and then across the railroad tracks into downtown Flagstaff. Downtown Flagstaff is such a cliche of a college/ski/vacation town but I like it. I stopped at the Railroad Station to pick up some literature and found out there are two companies making shuttles to the Grand Canyon. I figured that since Nava Hopi went out of business I would always have to rent a car but now I can get to the GC without a car. Cool!

I wandered through downtown and into some residential areas with glorious fall color. I kept taking pictures but they can never show how nice it is. There were people in the parks and washing their cars, enjoying a beutiful day.

The walk then took me east on old Route 66 which curved right past the motel I'm staying at. I'm sure it's old enough to have been here when there was no interstate. I know we came this way in the 50s and 60s but I don't remember Flagstaff or pines. I remember the deserts because our junker cars always overheated. Well, I guess all cars over heated then from what I've heard talking with other people. I do remember going through the little towns with the neon signs beckoning us to the motels and my father always wanting to go a little further and my mother wanting to stop. Us kids wanted to stop so we could swim.

I followed Rt 66 through town and then back on Woodlands Village Boulevard and back to the start point. It was a nice view of Flagstaff on a beautiful day. My feet were so sore since it's been a while since I walked that far, but I put on my Tevas and my feet are ok. I hope they are ok tomorrow as I want to do the other Flagstaff walk and then the Grand Canyon walk on Tuesday. I did feel great as soon as I started walking and always enjoy the volkswalks.

I picked up a few booksat B & N and decided I wanted something hearty to eat. I saw a KFC and it sounded good but I was just not what I hoped for. I am less into fast food than I was. It just seems so uninteresting.

I took my time getting to the walk and took my time walking so the day was pretty well shot by the time I ate and spent time at the bookstore. I had thought of going to a museum but nothing sounded that good so I decided to go to Walmart and pick up a couple things I needed. I headed south on the main road watching for where I needed to turn and suddently I was on I-17 heading south. It was a mile before I could get off. Coming north you're tooling along the interstate and suddenly you're on a busy street in Flagstaff.

I read "Jane and the Stillroom Maid" by Stephanie Barron. This is one of the Jane Austen mysteries. Jane, her sister and mother were in Derbyshire when Jane finds the mutilated body of a young man dressed as a gentleman who turns out to be a woman, a maid at a local estate. Jane finds herself not only looking at what is going on at Penfields, where the dead girl worked, but gets caught up in what's going on at Chatsworth, the estate of the Dukes of Devonshire which may be the model for Darcy's home. She is an excellent and strong detective while still having to live within the mores of the time. Good book.

Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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