August 1992. Trying to find the road into Sedona, Arizona in the pitch night. My map reading skills were lacking at the time. To the trepidation of my companions, I veered onto an unpaved, gravel road. After a tense, rocky hour-long trip, slipping past survivalist camps along the way, we emerged from a canyon and arrived at The Matterhorn Motel at 2 am. We woke up to blistering sunlight and a sick view of the Red Rock Hills; the Mr. Coffee motel coffee tasted strong. Johnny Rivers was on The Today Show on the RCA Victor hanging from a bracket from the ceiling. Giving it his all at 9 am East Coast time. Secret Agent Man.
“There’s a man who leads a life of danger
Swinging on the Riviera one day
And then laying in a Bombay alley next day”
“That road you took was sketchy at first but it turned out to be a cool shortcut,” one of my travel companions said, as we soaked up Mr. Rivers’ energetic, early-morning performance.
With five days remaining on the road trip, kissing persuasive lips now seemed a near certainty.