It was a long train ride from Chicago to Williams, Arizona, but I was determined to take my grandson Trent to the Grand Canyon. We did it in August of 2016. I had promised Trent we would take Amtrak to Grand Canyon, but my “knees ” didn’t want to cooperate. They hurts thanks to an old injury, “a torn miniscus” and arthritis. I finally was able to get an “injection” in the bad knee, so we were ready to go. Trent was not as excited as I was, because he is “city” guy and nothing excites him much. He was to be surprised by the excitement of being in the Wild West later on our journey.
We had a sleeper room with a lounge above and below for the two of us. It was tight but enough room to stretch out at night. We had a bathroom down the hall and down below us a shower, which we used sparingly, due to cleanliness issues. We took “bird baths” to Trent’s disdain. It kept us clean enough until we got to our hotel. It was an adventures, eating in the dining 🚗 and traveling across Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, New Mexico and Arizona. We arrived in the middle of the night and was picked up by a little shuttle. I was not a happy camper, after having to move twice and drag out bags up to the coach car two hours before we were to reach our destination. Trent helped and made it possible for us to survive the trip.
We met lots of nice folks on our train ride and we got lots of questioning stares too. Trent’s blonde hair and blue eyes didn’t seem to fit with his African American grandma, but that didn’t matter to us. I understand a lot about President Obama by relating to my grandson. They will not view race like we do because they have known great love and companionship from their ❤️ ones, regardless of race. I think this is the only solution to the “racism” we fight in America. We have to have personal contacts that break all the stereotypes. As I chased my grandson through the 🚂 I watched the faces of the other passengers and it always showed their surprise that we belonged together like “ice cream and cake” because he was the ❤️ of life, my legacy, my blood, my gift from God. “Suffer the little children to come unto me, for such is the Kingdom of heaven” and I am 😊 to be Trent’s grandmother. It is the best time in my life, teaching him to be the best he can be at whatever he decides to do.
Our hotel in Williams was nice and although we arrived after midnight, we had to be up at 7 am to get our bags ready to go up the mountain to the Grand Canyon on another train, the “Grand Canyon Express” which left at 9:am. We made it up to eat breakfast and a chance to see a “gunfight” at the local corral. Everyone was super nice and some of the cowboys took pictures with me. There were horses and gun fights and the city guy “hooked” on the Wild West just like his grandpa.
Grandpa Wilson loved cowboys and Indians as a child growing up in South Carolina. He listened to cowboy programs on the radio and dreamed of going to Abilene, Kansas and Dodge City, Kansas. When we met 47 years ago, our first date was to Abilene, Kansas to the Eisenhower Museum. We drove to the top of Pike’s Peak on our honeymoon, more than 5,000 feet high in the sky. I must have been crazy or madly 😍 ❤️. Grandpa had served 26 years in the Army, 10 as a paratrooper in the 101st Airbourne Unit. He had jumped out of planes all over the world and in his heart he was a “cowboy” taking chances to make an extra $55. to send his grandmother who raised him as a child. These two guys are the best kind of men, because they are ” good guys, brace and courageous too.
Our trip up the mountain to Grand Canyon was exciting because we saw how the scenery changed as we went higher and higher. We got there in time for lunch at one of cafes at the Grand Canyon National park. We would be staying in one of their lodges or condos. We were so happy to discover that we had Wifi in our condo, we took an hour off to get our “fix” on. We met nice families, but it seemed they were always taken aback by two such “unlikely” grandmother and grandson. We didn’t care. We kept moving meeting folks regardless of how they “stared” and I am glad we did.
The Grand Canyon was big and magnificent, but Trent was most impressed with the “train robbery” of the Grand Canyon Express on our way back down the mountain. He videotaped the whole thing and took off to find the sheriff who he had seen on board earlier. Well Trent was so excited when the outlaws rode up on the horses and boarded the 🚂. We all had our hands up except Trent who was busy getting evidence. Well he couldn’t make any arrests but he found the sheriff and told him at least. It was just another of our adventures.
Once again we were up at three in the morning to take the Amtrak shuttle to board the 🚂, but it was late as usual and we didn’t board until 7 am, so we were up all night again. We got in our sleeper in time to have breakfast, which we had delivered to us. The conductors on this train were more customer friendly than our first 🚂 and that was good. We decided we would get off the train as we passed through Missouri. We would make a break for it at and get in a shower ASAP. We were done with Amtrak. We lost Trent’s buddy, on the train a green stuffed animal. We had an announcement made but nobody gave up his buddy, must have been desperate for a friend. Well we had a great time and “bonded” together because love ❤️ has no race, it’s all about the heart. Trent and I may not look alike, but we are “kindred souls” we love adventures and making new friends. We are “techies” and ❤️ computers and gadgets. We have our own goals and pretty much ” march to our own drummers” and that makes us perfect for each other. Next summer, we will be driving across the prairie to visit cowboy and Indian sites across Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. This time grandpa is going with us and maybe some of Trent’s Kansas cousins, who look just like him. Funny how love mixes up everything.