Grand Canyon and Williams, AZ Redux

Early the next morning we headed up HWY 64 through gently rolling hills and lazy curves. Except for the profound rise of Cape Royal on the distant horizon there was no indication of the dramatic vistas we were about to see.

We followed the southern canyon rim east headed to Flagstaff, AZ but our morning breakfast stop in Williams on Rt. 66 kept calling us back for one last look- and Hagrid also wanted one more chance to ‘get his kicks on Rt. 66’.

 

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Shout out to the motorcycle crew!

Ola to Ary, Raul, Pilar, Esav, Jen, Mariano, Arantha, Antonio y Alfredo. Hagrid thanks you for the orange juice and wishes you good luck on your motorcycle trip from Chicago to LA. Safe travels on your journey back to Spain and Venezuela!

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Boulder City, NV- headed for Hoover Dam

The visit in Kerman was just too short but Hagrid insisted we hit the road. Down the eastern border of California we passed through more farms and orchards. We took a sharp left in Barstow and headed for Boulder City just outside of Vegas.  Upon arrival Hagrid watched the Boulder City High School Homecoming Parade from the front porch of the hotel. For the next two days we chased Hagrid all over town as he wanted a photo op with all the local celebrities.

The reason Boulder City exists is because of  The “Thirty-Oners”-  the people who came to help build the damn in 1931 and never left. It was almost as hard keeping up with Hagrid at Hoover Dam. There were so many things to see.

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Leaving Utah and Nevada behind…

After we left our friends in Salt Lake City we skirted the Great Salt Lake crossed the Salt Flats and cruised into Elko, NV- the Cowboy Poetry Capitol of the World! After that it was on to Winnemuccca and Carson City. Finally we made it to California- Yosemite and surrounds.

At the western side of Yosemite Hagrid was a bit overwhelmed by the Giant Sequoia.

As much as we hated to leave Yosemite behind we had to head to Kerman, CA outside of Fresno to visit my nephew Brett, his wife Ashley and three daughters Ella, Emma & Elana. We drove through miles and miles of pistachio and almonds orchards, raisins drying in the sun, and rows of King Palms. But the highlight was of course- the girls!

 

 

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Hagrid and the Wild Wild West

Hagrid had lots of adventures on the plains, over the hills, up the mountains and down again. And he let Spencer and me tag along for the ride- across Minnesota into South Dakota and down through Wyoming into Nevada. Soon we’re headed to California!

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Through Rollings Hills of Wisconsin Headed West

We took the back winding and hilly roads of Wisconsin to get to Madison. It was a peaceful and scenic drive: farm after farm after farm. But nothing could compare to our visit to Taliesin- the inspiring and beautiful home and studio of Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

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Goodbye Ohio Hellow Illinois

In the last couple of days in Yellow Springs we managed to pack in a lot. Our great friends Krista Magaw and Andy Carlson gave us first class tours of the area and incredible meals! Thanks so much guys! Andy gave us a great tour of his farm just outside Yellow Springs where he’s slowly and determinedly restoring an 1880’s brick farmhouse and barn. Krista took us on a whirlwind tour of nearby Springfield , OH.

In Springfield Hagrid once again proved a good luck charm. We were driving by the Westcott House (http://westcotthouse NULL.org) – a 1908 Frank Loyd Wright design – but it was closed for tours. We decided to take a photo of Hagrid on the lawn in front of the house. Just as I was walking across the lawn with Hagrid under my arm a neighbor of the curator of the house had pulled up with friends to visit her. They told her she should go check on the man with a dog on the front lawn. She came out and when we told her the story of Hagrid’s ’round the country tour’ she invited us in for a private tour- and to bring Hagrid along! Thanks Marta Wojcik (Executive Director and Curator of Westcott House).

We then moved on to the Springfield History Museum and the Springfield Public Library where Hagrid posed for photo’s with Sheldon the Turtle. That evening we had just enough time for one more photo-op with Hagrid in Knome-Man’s-Land andad a fairwell dinner with Krista and Andy.

On August 29th we headed out from Ohio, across Indiana to Bloomington, IL for the night. We did have a chance to visit the Bloomington Public Library and Hagrid posed underneath a wonderful tree & park bench sculpture. Bloomington is known as The City of Trees.

 

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Adventures in the Ohio Valley

Leaving the Hackworth’s of Dutch Valley, TN we headed north across the Cumberland Mountains across Kentucky to visit the notable and impressive architecture of Columbus, IN. It was quite a tour lead by an extremely knowledgeable and entertaining guide. The highlights of the trip were Hagrid’s photo ops underneath a Henry Moore sculpture and in the I.M. Pei designed Columbus Public Library (http://barth NULL.lib NULL.in NULL.us/) where Hagrid posed with Jennifer Tchida, the children’s librarian and Bartholomew the library turtle- a yellow Russian Tortoise!

After a couple of days in Columbus, IN we headed out in the predawn hours for Yellow Springs, OH where I was scheduled for a 2 pm storytelling gig at the Yellow Springs Public (http://greenelibrary NULL.info/Branches/YellowSprings-Community-Library) Library. Across miles of cornfields we finally reached the rolling hills of Cincinnati and headed north to Yellow Springs, OH. We arrived as our friends Krista McGaw and Andy Carlson and their daughter Anna were packing the car for Andy to drive Anna down to Warren Wilson College in NC for her Junior year

We settled into the First Baptist Church- well, it use to the the First Baptist Church. It’s now the humble abode for Krista, Andy and Anna. After a great lunch we headed back up the street- a couple of blocks- to the church, I mean the house. It was a short walk but took a bit longer since in Yellow Springs it appears that everybody know everybody- or at least they know Krista! I headed back up the block on my own to leave everybody to chat and grabbed my guitar to get to the Yellow Springs Library- across the street from the church- I mean the house.

Yellow Springs is a wonderful little berg- home to historic Antioch College- it reminds me of a small New England village of the 1960’s- and let me say ‘all that that implies’! Artists, educators, inventors, and peace activists- it’s quite an engaging place. Krista gave us a great tour of Yellow Springs and the surrounding community- and she knows the community- being the Executive Director of the Tecumseh Land Trust (http://tecumsehlandtrust NULL.org).

 

 

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Spencer’s Gallery

Spencer is the official Trip 2012 Photographer. Here are a few of his favorites.

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Heading West To The Mountains of NC & TN

Saturday we began to go over our check-list of check-lists for packing for the two month journey. Our friend Frannie came by to wish us and “Stand-up-Hagrid” a bon voyage. On Sunday morning the 19th we awoke to rain. Soon my niece Haley arrived- our house-sitter and full time entertainment for Leia (Stand-up-Hagrid’s little sister) while we’re away. Soon we were on the road to Asheville, the first stop on the trip.

We had a great couple of days with our friend Rena in Asheville. Hagrid posed for a couple of photo’s at Rena’s house and at the local public library. After a wonderful hike along the French Broad River we enjoyed a incredible dinner with Rena and her son Eric and turned in early. Bright and early the next day we set out for TN to visit with storyteller Dianne Hackworth on her own little mountain top paradise in Dutch Valley north of Knoxville.

After a daring zigging-and-zagging up the graveled driveway remembering to “gun it” at the last incline we arrived at Dianne’s immediately settled in on the porch- we had our pick of resting place- chair, bench, hammock, glider, rocker, or swing. The swing is always the favorite for most folks- it sits ten, yes I said ten- or eight if you of the hefty-variety. That night we were invited by Dianne’s family to join in a Birthday Pork Chop supper for Dianne- she got to select the menu. It was a raucous evening with stories and laughs and even kids running around. Thanks Jan and Roger for the incredible dinner and the even more incredible stories!

Over the next couple of days Dianne and Zane Grady the Cat entertained us. Hagrid had a few more photo op’s. We took a tour of downtown “Antique Central” Clinton, TN, had barbeque by the river and drove through infamous and secretive Oak Ridge, TN. The most adventurous jaunt was hiking an old logging trail down the back side of Dianne’s mountain and back. That made for a sound night’s sleep and ready to head out early the next morning for Columbus, IN.

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