The following morning arrived clear and crisp. We had brought no stove or coffee pot. A permanent resident next door to our tent was brewing a pot. We were so tempted to ask if we could join him, but our pride kept our tongues in check. Instead, we concentrated on breaking camp and locating a cafe. After a hearty breakfast and a doggy bag for McBark we were back on the road.
The worn chain was still haunting me. I had visions of it snapping, tangling itself in the spokes and locking up the rear wheel. So we stopped often to check it.
Barb Getting McBark Water After I Checked the Chain
North from Prescott we found a place called Drake. Though a sign marks the spot, it seems to exist only on the Arizona map. We took a cross-country dirt road from there that, according to the map, wanders in an easterly direction.
Stretching Our Legs
As promised, this road eventually connected with a northbound road that crosses through the Kaibab National Forest. By noon we arrived at Williams.
Williams is located on one of the remaining stretches of the Mother Road, Historic Route 66. It is a tourist trap, big time, as well as the starting point for the Grand Canyon Train. There’s much to see.
We spent the remainder of the day roaming the streets and that evening we watched the return of the Grand Canyon Train. The excitement was contagious.
After dinner we returned to the Kaibab National Forest and made camp.
The following morning we packed up and rode back to Williams and found the town alive with activity. During breakfast we learned that the train was preparing for its daily Grand Canyon run. A tug-type vehicle that might have lived a former life hauling baggage at some airport departed the Safeway store with a half-dozen trailers in tow.
Heading toward the train depot, we arrived too late to witness the mock gunfight that occurred each morning when two outlaws tried to snatch the strong box from the train. Someone pointed out who was who. Later, after the train had pulled out of the station, we spotted the town marshal, the strong box clerk, and two dead outlaws drinking coffee together.
“Should we chance a trip to the Grand Canyon?” Barb asked.
“Because of the chain, you mean?”
The chain didn’t look any worse than it had the day before, so we took a chance.