Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Arizona Trip--Part 1, Driving West

I left Sunday Oct 25 about 9:30. It was a lovely day and I sailed along first to Carizozo and then across a couple of low mountain ranges and a wide plain to I-25 just south of Socorro. Took off from the freeway (anymore I do not even want to go through Albuquerque as it must be about the 2nd crime capital of the world with daily murders and such--yikes!!) at Los Lunas for a shortcut up to link to I-40. My eyes were kind of fussy but not too bad.

Charlie and I had heard about a train derailment Friday night near Gallup so I was on the lookout. It turned out to be on the east side and as I saw machinery etc along the tracks, I pulled off to the frontage road and found a safe spot to stop, walk up onto a road bridge that was closed to vehicle traffic and took a bunch of pictures. It looked like about 30 cars and left the rails and torn up a lot of track. This is mainline BNSF and they had worked 24/7 to get it running but I expect they had a low speed through the area. It was interesting to see the mess anyway, at least to a long tern rail fan. 

On into town I took a shot of the old depot and looked around a little and then went to find my motel; It was on the far west side of town and whereas most of the lodging was on the left or east side of "Old 66" which is motel row, this newer one was on the west so I missed it and did a few extra miles before I finally got the right spot. By then I was frazzled so just got into the room, heated a microwave dish and kicked back to listen to the trains going by. The tracks were probably not 100 yards away but I *love* the sound and it did not bother me a bit. I lived even closer for two years while in college at Flagstaff.

Next morning I gulped a protein drink, checked out, gassed RHM --in case you have forgotten Red Hot Mama is my little red Mazda pickup--and headed west. Another gorgeous day and my eyes were clear. Stopped in Flagstaff for  brunch and gas and then drove on west to Kingman. I followed Charlie's advice and took the Old 66 route from Seligman on to Kingman--great scenery and along the mainline track, No traffic and a great way to drive. I got into Kingman where the old highway becomes "Andy Devine Drive" I needed a pit stop so went into a Jack in the Box and got a shake--they make great thick ones!--and hit the ladies room. Then time to look for my motel and there it was, not a block away. Awesome--no hunting required. 

Another microwave meal and watched the History Channel all evening. Still could hear trains but not so close. It was warm and I had a window cracked all night. Kingman is real desert. I was then ready for my personal pilgrimage errand fhe next morning. I drove around a bit and stopped at a Smith's grocery where I found a pretty dark red and white mum plant that seemed to be just right. Then I drove down to the Mountain View Cemetery on Stockton Hill Road. I missed the main gate and wound up at the back where a guy drove up in a pickup and asked me what I needed. I explained my intent. He said he'd meet me at the office and there looked up the exact location of the grave I sought. When I got off track he came down and walked me to the exact spot. He was very nice and I was a bit too unsettled to get his name but will try to write a letter of thanks.

Anyway I put the plant down and talked a moment to someone who was only there in the form of the shell he left behind and took a couple of photos. I did not weep but it was both a closure and a powerful moment I had waited a long time to experience. This was my "first love" and one that I wronged unintentionally back in 1971. I did speak to him in a dream a few years back and felt he understood but this sealed that and was something I really had to do. For his and his kids' privacy I need to blur the name on the stone but I will post the photo here a bit later.

From there I drove back on Old 66 to Williams and then waited for Mary Frances to meet me so we could get ready for the special adventure of the train trip to the Grand Canyon.

...to be continued!

Here are a couple of train wreck shots and one of the Kingman Depot for now
North and east from accident site

West from site--gray ballast
is repair track area

Kingman Depot--now a historical building
traditional ATSF "Spanish" style

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