Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Verde Canyon Railway Adventure

December 25, 2012

Got back yesterday from a road trip adventure up to the Verde Valley. My daughter Deena missed our BLT farm tour last summer so she wanted to do something on the road with the mom and dad. So, I cooked up a train trip on the Verde Canyon Railway which takes off from Clarkdale, Arizona. And yes, the Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville" was inspired and written about a newspaper account of the train closing in the early 1960s, but it's back, baby, and it was a ton of fun to ride.

L to R: Mike Bortscheller, his new bride Deena C. and a proud old man checking out the canyon from the observation car. Meanwhile, we had a cozy living room in the Presidential Car and on the way back down the canyon the two lovebirds cuddled in:

One of the scenes from "How The West Was Won" was filmed at the destination of the train ride at Perkinsville. In the movie Debbie Reynold's character meets the George Peppard character at the old train station there. Beautiful canyon, open bar and food galore. Couldn't have been nicer or more fun. Saint Nick even came through the cars at one point and made us sing Christmas songs.

My neighbor Matt has a classic 1904 two story apartment in Jerome so we went from the train up the hill to the cozy digs:

After lounging and taking in the spectacular view of the entire Verde Valley we walked up town (literally up!) for dinner at Quince. On Sunday morning we came over Mingus Mountain as it snowed and landed in Prescott for breakfast at the Hassayampa Hotel. Snowed most of the way home. A delightful trip.

This morning i went around to the neighbors and delivered art prints to the deserving neighbors.

Kathy got me the Louden Wainright CD "Older Than My Old Man Now" and I have listened to it almost non stop since my birthday. Classic tunes about growing old ("I Remember Sex") and hilarious and heart breaking songs about families. The title song refers to the fact that Louden has outlived his father, who died at 62.

"There is no shallow end in the family pool."

"You can't see the forest for the family tree."

—Loudon Wainwright III