I had planned two days to get to Flagstaff, but for some reason I kept on going. I spontaneously got on the freeway for a bit, to decrease travel time. something I’m usually hesitant to do because freeway driving sucks my soul. As I reached the halfway mark, I got out of the car to assess my options. With each stop consideration, I wasn’t feeling it. My gut said to move on, even though I was tired. I did take timeout, though, to walk out to Horseshoe Bend at the suggestion of the old cowboy running the tourist center in Kanab, WY. The walk was only 1.5 miles round trip, but it was exhausting – up and down a sandy hill in direct Arizona sun. Signs at the entrance warned of extreme heat, and to not leave without water. I looked around me and saw everyone applying sunscreen, so went back to my car and did the same. I also brought my umbrella. There were tons of tourists; most didn’t speak English. I felt comforted by the foreign tongues.
I got to the site, and was almost too tired to appreciate what I was seeing, though it was beautiful. Then, I thought about my beer heating up in the car and the two-hour drive still ahead of me. I headed back up the hill; going back was the more difficult of the two halves. Despite my precautions, I felt my skin burn. I made it to my car and cranked the AC. After I cooled down, I found the workout gave me the energy I needed to push forward on my journey. It looked like I was going to get to Flagstaff just at dusk. Perfect timing.
I pulled into a McDonald’s parking lot and stole their internet to look up the bar, and see if they had karaoke tonight as well as tomorrow. When I called, I found out they only had karaoke tonight, not tomorrow as was advertised on their website; I realize this was one of the only places I never confirmed and felt a rush of relief that I was here on the right night. After finding a hotel room and resting for an hour (thank goddess for the time change!), I made it to the venue as a very young crowd starts to pour in. I’d card the lot of them, but I know they’re legal; I’m just that old. I get a Coors Light and a song book, and write out a slip; I had thought about a couple of song choices in the hotel, not wanting to be stymied by my tired brain. My submission was quickly snatched up by someone and brought to the front.
I introduce myself to the KJ and let him know my quest; he thinks it’s neat, but is more interested in hearing my opinion of the show tonight as it was “karaoke reunion” night where he invited a bunch of former regulars to come sing. It’s then I realize that karaoke this night was a one-off; there are no more regular shows here. I totally fell into this, and I’m extremely grateful. I also learn that the woman had snatched my slip up and put me into the growing queue because she thought she recognized me from before, but of course that wasn’t the case.
I wait almost an hour before it’s my turn, because the place is that popular. I sing Eye of the Tiger, though I don’t have a lot of energy behind it – too wiped out for that. People sing along and clap loudly when I’m done, as they have been for everyone. It’s a fun group, but I see the large pile of slips representing more hopeful singers at the KJ’s station and know I’m done for the evening. I’m OK with that. I finish my beer, and continue enjoying the show for a little while longer before heading to sleep.
I thought it was my general stubbornness and stupidity getting in the way of a smart journey, but it turns out that wasn’t the case after all –some other forces were helping me sing Arizona that night.
- Location: Granny’s Closet, Flagstaff, AZ
- Miles traveled: 521
- Songs sung: Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)