I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.
By: joealaska , 2:49 AM GMT on January 16, 2014
Dateline 5:30 PM Las Vegas, Nevada. Not on the strip, but close enough.
OK. Flew out Wednesday. The highlight was flying past LAND BETWEEN THE LAKES in far western Kentucky. That Ohio River is very nonchalant in the route it takes. Many bends. Many
tugboats and barges dealing with that.
First stop Houston. I hit a BBQ place there, just OK. Texas knows BBQ, but kinda forgot there.
The next leg from Houston to Vegas was bad. I had a window seat, but still had to sit sideways with a big guy next to me. My back hurt , my knees hurt, my feet hurt. I could not move.
Got to Vegas and had to walk forever to the rental shuttle. There I discovered that shuttle would take me to the REAL shuttle, a secondary shuttle, to FOX renal cars. The FOX sucked. AVOID!
It was well after dark I took off and tried to eat up a little of the next day trip. I got to Boulder City, Nevada and got a room. I had been thru there many time in the past. I also knew there was no more hotels after that until Kingman, 100 miles south.
I never sleep late. The reason is, if I know THAT will be a problem, I do not sleep more than an hour or so. But I had to get up early and drive two hours or more to the interview. So I went to bed around 11 PM, and woke up 4 or 5 times before I wanted to.
I left at 6:45 AM for a 2 hour + ride. When I plugged in the GPS, it told me I would arrive 45 minutes late. Trouble. It suddenly hit me Arizona has their own rules with TIME, and as I crossed the state line into Arizona I was late. When I got a signal I called the main office and told them, and they were not very concerned. Then there was construction on the last few miles of road. The dirt and gravel section was being paved. At one point just a couple miles away I was stopped for about 15 minutes where they let two way traffic use one lane.
Eventually I arrived. I was given a tour of HUALAPAI RANCH, where I would be working if hired. Originally I was told Grand Canyon Ranch, WRONG. Not sure how that happened, I just write down what they tell me. Grand Canyon Ranch is owned by Nigel somebody, not an American. The Indians hate the guy. He owns a sliver of the road to the Hualapai Reservation. Not that long ago he set up a road block and started charging 500 bucks to get a tour bus thru. And he gave no receipts. The Hualapais got around it for a while by shuttling from a different direction. Even the individual employees were asked to pay 50 bucks toll. This all lasted just a few days, but it established how neighbors would treat each other in a remote area. The tolls have ended, but NIGEL is not welcomed at The Grand Canyon West.
I took a tour of Hualapai Ranch. It sets an old west ambience with various activities. Horseback rides, cowboys, lassoing, quick draws with a gun loaded with blanks, wagon rides, stagecoach rides, etc. There is an old west town set up. I heard most of the guests are Asian. If you want a helicopter ride, you have to take a shuttle a mile further down the road to Grand Canyon West. That is where the Sky Bridge / Sky Walk is located. There were 5 or 6 helicopters buzzing around all the time.
The interview went well. At the end they asked me if I had met the Deadliest Catch guys. But I am not real happy with the living quarters. There are none, at least nothing special. I could have a bunkhouse room where I share a bathroom with 6 people or so. Or I could buy an RV an park it there. OR, I could arrange housing elsewhere and make a long commute. I do not see it happening.
Tonight I am just off the Vegas Strip. Thinking about playing a little poker across the street at The Hard Rock. Back late Thursday via Cleveland.
When I was packing up for the trip Tuesday I was stunned to hear one of my old best friends had passed away. Everyone knew he was sick. It started out as the flu, but turned into double pneumonia. They even put him on life support. Then we heard the doctors thought he was over the hump and doing better. Next day he was dead. He was a great guy. Family guy. I mentioned him some time ago in this blog. He was the guy who was in our band during our YOUNGER days. Now he was playing solo here and there. He had a group of fans. My sister and I were going to go see him a couple months ago, but I was getting sick and weather was coming in. So I passed, thinking I could see him next time. There was no next time. On the day he died there was an announcement on facebook about him playing somewhere that day.
It has been three days and I still am getting choked up as I write.
RIP STEVE DECKER.
I fly tomorrow as he has a funeral.
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