Randy Granger

Randy Granger
In the Chihuahuan Desert near the Organ Mountains, New Mexico

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sundance Film Fest trip day one.

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January 14th I start my long trek to play at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The nearly 14 hour drive is daunting but I'm grateful that it is sunny out when I look at the Weather Channel and see so much of the US in a deep, nasty freeze. This is my first time at the festival and I'm looking forward to performing but in the back of my mind I'm thinking if one thing good comes out of it in the way of work in film I'll be grateful. I also know it is probably going to be like Mardi Gras in the snow.

I decided to push on to Cortez, Colorado after realizing that Farmington, NM is kind of giving me an unwelcome feeling. My GPS sends to a hotel address that isn't there. Damn tom tom. Something about Farmington, the unfriendliness, the aggressive traffic for a small town and a general unease makes me drive to Shiprock, NM to look for a hotel. Mistake. Guess what? There are NO motels in Shiprock a town of about 9,000 on the Navajo Nation. Shit, who knew? There is a casino however. No thanks.

I push on in the dark and cold to Cortez nervous as hell that a deer will jump out. My small Suzuki will not like that. On the south side of Cortez is an old school looking hotel called the Tomahawk. I pull over and inquire about rates and the Polish women quotes me about $55 or so and I ask sheepishly if that is competitive and she says it is for a AAA rated place so I say yes. I like the fact that there is a Christmas tree still up, a desktop fountain and that the room numbers are in the shape of a tomahawk. I am glad I checked in. First of all I like motels because I can park my car outside the door while I unload. The rooms are very sparse i.e., no coffee maker, hair dryer, shampoo, etc. but the pillows are comfy, the cable is excellent and the wireless was fast enough. I highly recommend this place and when I checked rates on line for other hotels it was actually cheaper. Go figure. I liked it so much I stayed on the way back.

The Gas station up the hill on 491 north was a lucky find too. I was pumping gas and I knew the men inside were talking about me. I have long hair, I look like a musician and I drive a bright yellow Suzuki. But a guy came out and said he'd turn on the pump so i could just come inside and pay. When I did he was friendly, asked me about New Mexico and even gave me a coffee on the house. Wow. Don't make assumptions Randy.

Driving through the small farm communities was beautiful all covered in snow. A man was walking through the snow out to his fence carrying an Ax. Really bucolic and picturesque. A stop and Newspaper Rock in southern Utah for photos and to play my flute in the snow then off the 5 more hours to Salt Lake.

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