Yesterday and today mark the annual Train Days and Bar-B-Q Cook Off in Williams, AZ. This historic Arizona town captures the charm of an old western movie with the history of Rte. 66. It is the Gateway to the Grand Canyon from I-41 (you know, that road that replaced Rte. 66 for a faster cross-country thoroughfare). You get bikers, pasty-white tourists, leathered cowboys and everyone in between in Williams on any given day, and the day of the great BBQ cook off is no exception.
Folks pour in to this small town to feast on some 30+ vendors' competition meat, each one vying for the title of "Best Bar-B-Q." They compete in rounds that include chicken, pulled pork, ribs and brisket. Now add to the festivities craft beers for sampling, and live bluegrass music echoing across the grounds from the grandstand, and you're now celebrating Father's Day in true Williams style. Add that to the vintage 1929 Cataract Rambler Steam Engine ride, and this is now a Father's Day celebration for the whole family!
The Steam Engine and Pullman cars are the originals that were used back in the early twentieth century. The windows in the non-air conditioned cars are even the originals! They lift up and have little latches (like on some bathroom doors) to hold the windows up so you can catch some breeze. (And since there are bound to be kids on the train for those celebrating Father's Day, I recommend not opening them up past the second notch.) The green velvet seats were reupholstered after vandals and vagrants took up residence in the cars when the train retired long ago. A massive renovation took place before getting her up and running again. Those same green velvet seats are also the really fun kind of train seat that can flip the back rest to create a limo-style seating. I_ _I < like that.
Back at the festivities, there were also train exhibits for parents and kids alike. A Big Red Santa Fe Caboose is just one of the retired train cars that folks can tour. Across the street from the depot, a tent houses local model railroad layouts for children to enjoy. There were also a few steam-powered engines on display whizzing and popping every few seconds. All the while, the soft ramble of bluegrass music plays from across the railroad tracks. It gathers speed, and the rhythm reminds you of the train ride you just took.
This was a really wonderful way to do something new and enjoyable with the kids. Corey and I financed our entire trip with Fun Dollars. We packed a cooler with salads, sandwiches, and fruit. We expected to have some BBQ, but we wanted backup food to save on Fun Dollars. Factoring in the train tickets for myself and half of Carrick's fare (Corey and I split it) as well as the BBQ samples, I spent $30.00 Fun Dollars.
Happy Father's Day!
Train tickets and BBQ Samples- $30.00
Balance this Pay Cycle- $36.00