Stan's Tuesday Walks

A Weekly Feature
by Stan Evans,
President, Santa Fe Always Online

I generally take a walk between 5:30 am and 6:00 am, and not only is it good exercise, but it gives me time to plan my day and just plain think about anything that is important to me at the moment.  I enjoy these walks so much that I decided I would share them with you visitors and see what you thought. - Stan Evans
January 15, 2002

I got up this morning with the thought that one-twenty-fourth of the year was already gone, and my accomplishments have so far been minimal. I did not want to contend with such negative thoughts, so I knew that taking my walk was imperative. It helped.

Last Tuesday I had ended up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and it wasn't a vacation. My daughter Kylene, her best friend and another girl had decided to move there; and I was elected, by acclamation, to be in charge of moving them. Kylene and her best friend had been living in Albuquerque, in a second-story apartment without access to an elevator. I thought moving them out of that place was hard—until I discovered they had chosen a third-story apartment in Las Vegas, also without access to an elevator.

We set out about 4 in the morning on the previous Saturday, in a three-car caravan. The early hour was necessary, because we had to be at the apartment complex by 5 in the afternoon. After that, the office closed for the weekend, and we would not be able to get in until Monday morning. My daughter, accompanied by a young male cousin and another male friend, was in the lead. Kylene’s best friend and a neighbor were in the second car, along with the young lady who will become the third roommate in June, after she finishes a teaching contract. My wife, Linda, and I brought up the rear, pulling a U-Haul trailer containing my daughter's and her friend's personal belongings and the few pieces of furniture they possessed.

For Christmas I had made Kylene a coffee table out of walnut and flagstone. The flagstone top weighed about 200 pounds; so when we arrived in Las Vegas and discovered that the apartment was on the third floor with no elevator, I was extremely grateful that the young men had accompanied us.

Due to the September 11 disaster, I was not allowed to drive the U-Haul trailer over Boulder Dam. Instead of turning north at Kingman, Arizona, I was forced to drive over to Laughlin, Nevada, and from there head on for Las Vegas. Kylene went straight through. She arrived in time to pick up her key, and was waiting for us. We decided to move everything into the apartment before dinner. We figured we wouldn't be too eager to pick up heavy things after eating. We spent Saturday night and Sunday resting.

On Monday I returned the trailer to a U-Haul agent in Las Vegas. Then I spent the rest of the day doing odds and ends that were needed to make the apartment more livable. I did manage to make a contribution to one of the casinos before the two young men and I drove off Tuesday afternoon back to Santa Fe. My wife and the young schoolteacher had returned Monday night by air.

Our plan was to drive to Williams, Arizona, and spend the night. On Wednesday morning we wanted to go see the Grand Canyon, which is a little more than 60 miles off Interstate 40. That adds up to 120 miles of extra driving.

Because this time of year is the off-season for the Grand Canyon, all the nice hotels were closed. We ended up spending the night in a place I'll call a motel, but the cost for three of us was $44! The carpet hadn't been vacuumed for a long time. When I mentioned this to the night clerk, he told me the owners were planning to put in a new carpet, and until they did, they were not worried about the old one I'm sure something shared my bed that night, and it was not anything easily seen by the human eye.

The next morning we got up at 5, and had breakfast at a restaurant called Smokey Joe's. There we definitely got our money's worth. I ordered three pancakes, and they were bigger than the plate. I had to punch a hole in the center of the pancakes in order to have a place to put the syrup. Neither of the two growing young men could finish their breakfast orders, either.

By 7 we were off to see the Grand Canyon. I hadn't been there in 40 years, and it was every bit as spectacular as I remembered. Because of the off-season, we moved around the South Rim with ease. After two hours of touring, we headed on home. Although there is nothing to compare with the scale of the Grand Canyon, just west of Taos we have the black Rio Grande Gorge, which to me is every bit as exciting. I'm much more familiar with the Gorge, having walked to the bottom many times to fish the Rio Grande.

I guess no matter where I go, my heart will always belong to New Mexico. When we arrived in Gallup on our state’s western border, I just could feel in my bones that we were back in the LAND OF ENCHANTMENT.

Have a great day.

Stan

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