Williams is a town with a population
of around 3,000 residents
in Coconino County, AZ. Formerly a stop on the famous mother road
Route 66, the town was bypassed by Interstate 40 in 1984. Should
you want to drive to Williams, town has 3 highway exits and is even
accessable via Amtrak. Having spent 3 straight days on the Grand
Limited, I was ready for a train free day. As much as I would
like to be on a train, I did not want to be on a train more. I
could look at trains. Being in Williams Arizona, one could not
avoid trains. Williams is a train town with 2 BNSF mainlines
running through and the Grand Canyon Railway. After making
coffee, the first order of business for me was to watch the
GCRyWilliams Flyer leave town for the canyon. My goal was to
watch the cowboy show, but I didn't get over to the location and missed
The BNSF mainline to Phoenix runs parallel to the Grand Canyon Railway
Little did I know it, trouble was walking my way. This dude
looked baaaaaaaaaaad and I was afraid. Luckily he walked past me
and accosted a nice couple who were visiting Williams.
That bad dude's henchmen were waiting across Grand Canyon Boulevard in
front of the Arizona coach.
Suddenly it was train
time, and the Williams Flyer lurched into motion! The boys above
were probably planning to rob the Williams
Flyer later. I know they wanted to rob the Grand Canyon Limited
very badly. Good luck on that. We were not accosted the day
before when we went to the canyon. Their plan might be to
rob us tomorrow. We'll wait and see.
My plan was to walk around Williams
and take care of some minor
business and find the Dara Thai restaurant. I was glad I had not
visited this place the night before as I was just completely spent from
all the time aboard the Grand Canyon Limited. I was hungry and
ready for my favorite kind of food on this planet....not that I've
visited any other planet yet. Some like it hot and I ordered it
hot. This meal has happened at my house a number of times with a
close friend. We have made green curry with my Alaskan halibut
and with chicken a several times too. Dara Thai was excellent and
I intend to eat there the next time I visit Williams. They are
located at 145 West Route 66 at S. 2nd Street with their front door
facing west on 2nd St. Google them and eat there.
After lunch, I walked down Route 66
and checked out the Safeway
market. On the way, I encountered Christie and Amanda Hatrick who
were also checking out Williams. I planted the idea of going to
Cruiser's Route 66 Cafe for lunch and told them that there was also
going to be live music at noon. After my visit to Safeway and my
other business, I returned towards the center of town and stopped at
Cruiser's 66 Route 66 Cafe and checked out freshly brewed beer from an
adjacent brewery. Grand
Canyon Brewing product is available on tap at Cruiser's. Not
what to order, I tried them all. On my first pass down east bound
Route 66 I had noticed the musician
setting up. He was now working the crowd on this nice Thursday
afternoon. Two invited guest musicians were helping for one song.
You know the old adage, you never buy beer, you only rent it?
Well, if it were true, Cruiser's 66 men's restroom was a work of art.
The guy below left had a huge Canadian Cascade Mountain Wolf on a
leash. I forget both their names, but the guy was very
interesting and said he owned one of the legitimate cab companies in
Williams. One of the other transportation options was the horse
The railroad mainline bypass junction is slightly east of
Williams. This general merchandise train had come from points
east and was heading for Phoenix via Matthie. The highway bridge
above the train is Route 66 overcrossing. The Amtrak Southwest
Chief actually stops at Williams Junction and has a freee shuttle to
and from the Grand Canyon Railway Depot. The Chief stops at
Williams Junction at 3:50 AM eastbound and 9:33 PM westbound.
The Grand Canyon Railway Deopt has a spacious loading area with some
playful signs (top of page) and benches for relaxing. It is also
a front row seat for watching whatever BNSF sends by. I was
standing on the platform at the No. 29 steam locomotive. The
young man in the above 2 photos is the one I had referred to the night
before as the one who was taking the No. 29 home.
Happy centennial birthday Arizona.
Grand Canyon Limited Day 5
Canyon Limited Main Page