Thursday, June 28, 2012

On the Road--Doc Ends It All With Smokey and the Gunfighters

I know . . . I know . . . you were kind of expecting Smokey and the"Bandit" in the title, weren't you?
Doc shivered in his boots when these guys came looking for him.

    Our vacation with Doc is drawing to an end. If you've missed any posts in our series, here's your chance to catch up: Meet Doc gnomeDoc and the Jenkins Reunion, Doc Goes to Church, Doc Gets a Taste of the DesertDoc Encounters Poop, Pool and PhysicianDoc on Route 66Doc Visits the Grand Canyon,  Doc Visits Las Vegas.
     It is the last day of our vacation in Arizona and we're taking votes as to what we want to do. After much discussion, it is lunch time and we decide on a return visit to an unexplored section of the Grand Canyon. We pour into two vehicles and we're off, with a pit stop to eat  at the "Steakhouse" restaurant. Our other family members had visited this particular restaurant the day before. Overnight, my nephew, Duane, has worked up the courage to try something he saw on the menu--fried rattlesnake.

The small portion is delivered to the table and with all eyes on him, Duane takes his knife in hand and saws . . . and saws . . . AND SAWS! The poor guy has to stop for a breather as a bead of sweat appears on his forehead. My husband cracks up at this point and I can hear a furtive giggle from Doc, who is resting comfortably in my purse. Duane looks around and asks in a  breathless tone: "Am I doing this right?"

      How should we know? The rest of us just run when we're close to a rattlesnake, we don't hang around to eat it. Duane gives up on the knife and picks up the piece with his fingers and bites into bone--or spine--or something inedible.( Surprisingly it doesn't taste like chicken). His wife, Stefanie, bravely gives it a try and because there is so little "meat" involved, they send it back and it's marked off their bill.
     Lesson learned.
A different view from the Southern rim. 
     Afterward we tour the far south-eastern rim of the Grand Canyon and today, the wind is whipping around at 65mph. We learn that in the 1800s a hotel was built on the site that overlooks the GC. Since few guests could tolerate the rough trail ride to get there, the place soon closed.  The canyon looks completely different from this vantage point and I get a little camera happy. Again, I am struck by the fact that the view we are witnessing just doesn't seem real. It is so vast and breathtaking.You did so good, God!!!!
You can just make out the "green" river in the middle-- the reason for this beauty.

     We're heading back to the campground when Doc asks us to pull over. It just so happens Doc's favorite celebrity is posing for pictures at the park entrance. Smokey the Bear is here! Doc begs us to take a photo as he converses with his stoic pal. When Smokey mistakes him for the Travelocity gnome, Doc rolls his painted eyes in disgust, heaves a sigh and admits, "No that's my cousin." Afterward, a disgruntled Doc offers an excuse for the bear's obvious error. "His pants are too tight," he mutters, " and it's cutting off the circulation to his brain."
     We take another look at Smokey . . . (like you are doing now) . . . and you know what? Doc is  right--those are some super-tight britches on that bear!
Doc meets Smokey the Bear.
     Later that evening, we decide to close the day with one more trip into Williams. It is the final call for souvenir shopping. Out on the street, some colorful cowboys grab Doc's attention and he ducks out of sight, convinced they are after him. Before we know it, we are caught in the middle of a western gunfight-- although the gunfighters are more hilarious than they are threatening.
Even gunfighters need to party from time to time.
Our final destination is the Pine Country restaurant so we can have one more taste of those delicious homemade pies. 
Finishing our day with smiles and pie.
Writer's Reflection:
When we throw something new at our characters it can create tension for them--or humor. In Duane's case, the rattlesnake sampling  did both. Although the experience was a disaster, it was a funny one our family will remember for a long time Don't be afraid to let your characters try something new and get out of their comfort zone. It can make a great reason for minor characters to add a nickname or tease your main character. At the very least, a humorous incident might be a great ice-breaker for your hero and heroine. Happy writing.


  1. Ava, I love your writer's reflections! They are great little nuggets to chew on.

    I've always wondered what rattlesnake tastes like, but I think I could live a long and happy life without knowing! :)

    1. So glad you are enjoying them, Gabrielle. This trip has really given me some ideas for the next WIP.
      I'm with you on the rattlesnake meal, as you can see, I was NOT one of the brave souls who tried it.

  2. I can't believe it didn't taste like chicken.

  3. More along the lines of cardboard, they said. But then I wondered when did they last taste cardboard? LOL

  4. I am a pretty adventurous eater, but I don't think I'd be able to manage rattlesnake. Sounds like you had some fun times.

    1. I'm with you on that, Marney. That is one delicacy I can do without. So glad you stopped by. I love seeing new faces.


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