A short hike from the Bonita Campground, Chiricahua National Monument

A strange trip to Flagstaff

Richard Charpentier Arizona, Notes from Rich 5 Comments

Yesterday was my “day off.”  You really don’t get those owning your own place, but the day was not spent in the gallery.  I did have intentions of visiting a few galleries in Flagstaff (more on that later), so it was a quasi-working day!

Sadira and I set out a little before 10.  We were heading up to take some photos of the city under snow cover.  We were also popping by a coin shop, Bookmans, and New Frontiers.  Pack it all in if you can!

I enjoy the ride along 89 and 40, so that’s the way we headed up.  By the time we neared Flag we both needed to stop into a rest area, so we did just that outside of town.  The area was pretty well snow covered, the plows had cleared the lot to the best of their ability, and I wondered why an area that’s used to snow couldn’t do a better job of plowing.

Each of us made our way to the restroom, and we were greeted with a rude surprise.  LOCKED DOORS.

It’s at this point that I caution the faint of heart……   You may not want to read on.  Seriously, stop here if you’re easily shocked.  Heck, I wish I could stop here, but the toothpaste is already out of the tube in my case.

The restrooms at the rest area are in a building that’s somewhat circular.  There are doors all the way around, and when one door is shut another may be open.  Each of us had the same thought, and we approached from opposite side to see about finding an open door.  Other people clearly had the same thought, and we both got to meet “other people.”

From my side I started walking around the building in the snow.  As I rounded a turn I was greeted by a full on MOON.  Twigs and berries too, and an awful smell.  From Sadira’s side she was greeted by a full on frontal of an older man with his pants round his legs.  Clearly the other doors were locked as well, and this gentleman couldn’t wait.

On a sidewalk in front of a locked door this fellow decided to relieve himself.  What a rude surprise for both Sadira and I.  An even ruder surprise for the maintenace crew that works the rest area.  Just gross.

When hiking you sometimes have to find your own restroom.  I experienced that often on the AT.  Drop the pack and head off trail.  WELL OFF TRAIL.  There were plenty of places, trees, woods, and private spots this guy could have gone.  But I guess he was a person with little patience.  Maybe he was sending a message to those who run the rest area.  I just don’t know, but here’s what I can say.  That image really stuck with the two of us for a while….UGH!

We put the rest stop behind us (pun intended) and headed to the next gas station along the way.  No shocks there!

The rest of the ride to Flagstaff was uneventful, and we were happy with that.  Lots of snow on the ground, and I felt like I was back in New England!  Very pretty indeed!

Our errands were first on the list of to do’s.  The coin shop first of course.  Then a jaunt by my bank.  That was my next surprise.  A parking lot that was covered in snow and ice.  Really bad too!  The truck almost slid into a poll when I made my way to the drive thru ATM.  Seriously, the parking lots were horrible!  The same issue came up at New Frontiers.  Apparently somebody needs to come out from New Hampshire to show folks in Flag was parking lot plowing is all about.

The final big stop was Bookmans.  Sadira had some books she wanted to sell.  No trip to Flagstaff is complete without a stop at Bookmans.

While we were in the store it started snowing.  Hard.  New England snow!  By the time we left I felt like we were in a white out.  It was really coming down.  Good thing we took the Titan up.  I threw the 4 wheel drive in and we started heading home.  No photo opportunities in that kind of snow!

Our ride back was trying.  17 got covered in snow fast.  Visibility was limited.  Within 10 minutes of leaving Flagstaff we saw an amazing wreck right in front of us.  An SUV lost control, a tire went shooting straight up into the air.  The SUV did a full 360 and then plowed into a snow bank.  Whew, what a scary sight!

All in all, an odd day!  Half naked old men, ice covered lots, white outs, and finally a wreck that left me shaken for the drive home!  Not a single photo for the whole day.  Ah well, stuff happens!

Comments 5

  1. Post

    Charon, 4 hours from Tucson! We’ll definitely have to meet up! Good excuse for a road trip south!

    Tom, no pics. Good lord, the image was burned into my mind for a while!!!

    Lois, I’ve got to go check Sadira’s blog……

  2. Yeah. Apparently stuff happens on sidewalks…who knew? I…UM…it burns! The image just burns. I keep thinking of the two of us running to each other around the building and the looks on our faces, and each of us saying, “…did you see…?!?!?!”

    I was pleased to find the clean, heated, open restroom at the gas station no more than 5 minutes away. Really, the only surprise there was the sign on the stall door advertising a double bacon cheeseburger from the McDonalds in the building…and me thinking, “hey! That looks GOOD!!” and I would not usually eat at McDonalds…it must have been the full frontal shock.


    No matter…it was a brilliant trip full of fun, laughter, snow (and some fear thrown in on the highway) and I really just enforces how happy and lucky I am to get to go out and play with you!

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