Flagstaff brings Monte Carlo Queen, Flag Brew and Jams

The bus got me from Vegas to Boulder City, that's where I began walking down the road with my thumb out and a cardboard sign that read "Flagstaff". A cop drove by to shout out, "Hitchhiking is illegal in Nevada", and drove off. I kept walking, now with the sign just behind me, thumb no longer out.

I walked as far as the Hacienda Casino, close to the Hoover Dam and the Arizona border. I assumed that Boulder City cop wouldn't come out this far, and there wasn't any room to walk anymore, so I threw my bag up and posted up with my sign. Above me a helicopter buzzed back and forth from the dam and back giving rides to tourists.

A girl stopped for me, a military linguist heading to Flagstaff to see her family on her way back to Colorado. She hadn't got much sleep, a night in Vegas can do that, so she was happy to have me as company to keep things lively. Somehow we missed the Hoover Dam entirely, I knew they'd been building a new bridge and was excited to go over it, maybe we did, but we never noticed and still can't figure that all out.

We rolled into Flagstaff just after dark where she met her parents at a hotel. My friend Keith had set me up with a place to stay, some of his friends, at the moment he was somewhere tramping around Florida I believe. I walked to their place and met a few of the roommates and friends.

After a bit of hanging out I walked with a couple guys into town, it was Wednesday night, which in Flagstaff means 25 cent drinks at the Green Room, ladies 80's they call it. I got my first rum and coke, I didn't get but two sips in when I made eyes with a girl walking by, we instantly smiled, she shouted happily and jumped on me. It was Godiva, the girl I'd met in a whirlwind of madness one time in Vegas, we'd gotten kicked out of her suite in Mandalay Bay only to hours late be declaring ourselves as king and queen of the Monte Carlo.

The night spiraled on from there, bar to bar telling stories, making up stories and throwing passion around on the streets. I met up with, lost track and re-met people throughout the night, that's what Flagstaff nights are about.

I woke up next to Godiva the next morning on a futon in someones apartment downtown. She had to get to work, I walked out into a beautiful warm day, snow melting and the sun covering all. I wandered the town until Flag Brew pulled me in, I got a coffee and sat outside a while enjoying the day.

Eventually I made my way back to the house where Keith's friends lived, one of the guys, Jack, was outside smoking a cigarette. We talked a bit, then went inside where him and his girlfriend started making some pancakes.

A guy came in at one point looking for someone else, I didn't think much of it having seen a few faces come in and out of the place the day before, but apparently there was a bit of tension. The guy let his dog out along with Damien's, another roommate, that dog instantly ran away and the guy began chasing him. Damien had been passed out on the couch nursing a long night, he woke up with tension and aggravation, this didn't help.

The dog eventually returned, Damien gave the other guy the finger while smiling with sarcasm that wasn't being immediately picked up, hence the finger, and finally the guy left after a few more faces showed up and cleared things up, whatever it was. Damien took to the drum kit with his headphones on, blasting away, I was told the previous night involved some coke that may or may not have been cut with something else.

Some faces left and another came until it was just me, Damien and another guy. We all got to picking up instruments, starting with me on the bass, the guy on the guitar and Damien still behind the kit. I futzed my way around the strings until I landed on something simple and followed the drums with it, we clicked here and there without every running away with a jam. We switched spots and I got on the drums, the guy got to the bass and Damien took over on guitar. We fell into some nice jams there, it was a better fit and we kicked around in that manner for a while as the sunlight through the windows began to dim.

I made my way back to Flag Brew after that where I grabbed a burger and pint while clicking around on the computer looking at maps and whatnot. The night lead me back to Damien's place where things were much tamer compared to the night before, just some smoke and movies before falling into the couch for sleep, the next day I'd be continuing east, Lubbock, Texas being my next destination.

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