Roots on the Rails Roots on the Rails

Upcoming Trips: 2021 Gathering of the Tribe: La Posada



with Jon Dee Graham, Mary Gauthier and Jaimee Harris, Bonnie Whitmore, and Sam Baker

Over the last 17 years of organizing these musical adventures, an extraordinary and entirely unplanned phenomenon has developed – the formation of the Train Tribe. This band of merry travelers have forged deep connections with each other over the years – whether having traveled on one trip or twenty – and we couldn’t be happier about it!

These last months of social isolation and live music deprivation have been tough on the Tribe – we know you all miss each other terribly, and miss gathering for the music we all love. We have missed you too! So we have planned a gathering that can safely give us an opportunity to reconnect, featuring artists you know and love. It feels like time for a family reunion of sorts.

One of our favorite stops on many of our adventures has been La Posada – a beautifully-restored Mary Colter designed former Harvey House, La Posada is considered by many to be her architectural masterpiece. It is now a small hotel, with beautiful rooms, garden spaces, a spectacular restaurant and a perfect setting in which to gather, re-connect, safely socialize, and enjoy live music. We’ve done many trips here, and know the owners well. They have been meticulous in their re-opening and Covid-19 precautions, and since we will be essentially occupying the entire hotel, traffic from the outside world will be minimal.

La Posada is also situated perfectly for day trips to some of the Southwest’s great attractions: the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Meteor Crater, the Hopi ruins at Homolovi State park. So by day we’ll organize optional trips out to explore the region, or those who wish a more sedate experience can hang at the hotel in the rocking chairs on the platform and watch the trains roll by. We’ll have plenty of space for song circles, open mics, and perhaps some dramatic readings by those who have been honing their read aloud chops during the pandemic. By night, we’ll gather for music in the ballroom, or out in the Cottonwood grove. The gardens should be approaching their peak loveliness, and the weather should not be oppressively hot.

GETTING TO WINSLOW, AZ: Amtrak’s Southwest Chief does stop directly in front of the hotel, and it is very cool to hop off the train and roll your bags inside. With Amtrak’s proposed schedule changes, set to go into effect on Oct. 1, 2020, it is still possible to take the train to and from La Posada, but it will be slightly more complicated than in the past (we remain hopeful that these unwise changes do not occur and trains will remain daily). We are happy to provide technical assistance in figuring out the best plan for you and what type of tickets to purchase. It would mean:
  • Folks coming from Los Angeles would need to board the eastbound Southwest Chief at 6 pm on Saturday, May 15th, arrive at La Posada at 5:28 am on Sunday, May 16th, stay that night at their own expense (we can get you our group rate) and on the return, you would depart Friday May 21 at 7:28 pm, and arrive back in LA on Saturday, May 22 at 8:15 am.
  • Folks coming from Chicago or Kansas City would need to board the westbound Southwest Chief on Saturday, May 15 at 2:50 pm CHI (10:40 pm KC) , arrive at La Posada at 7:28 pm on Sunday May 16, stay that night at their own expense (we can get you our group rate) and on the return, you would depart Friday, May 21 at 5:25 am and arrive back in Chicago Saturday, May 22 at 2:50 pm.
If you’d like to arrive at La Posada by rail (in the grand manner), but are not up for a long train journey, it’s also possible to fly into Albuquerque and catch the train to La Posada from there. You would need to schedule yourself to arrive in Albuquerque early enough on May 16th in order to catch the train at 4:19pm, and you would be staying that night in Winslow at your own expense (we can get you our group rate). You’d be departing on the 5:25 am train on Friday, May 21, scheduled to arrive in Albuquerque at 11:20 am, so we would advise booking a flight out of Albuquerque well into the afternoon in case there are train delays.

Another option for getting to Winslow would be to fly in and out of Flagstaff (62 miles, 1 hour from Winslow) or Phoenix (154 miles, 3 hours away) and rent a car.


Monday, May 17: Staggered arrivals during the day, late afternoon trip check-in and Open Mic, dinner on your own, evening music program in either the ballroom or one of the outdoor spaces (weather dependent)

Tuesday, May 18: Morning departure for optional day trip to the Grand Canyon, lunch on your own at Grand Canyon, latte afternoon return to La Posada in time for dinner and evening music program.

Wednesday, May 19: If the Navajo Nation has reopened for visitors, we’ll take a group out for a tour of Canyon de Chelly. Led by Navajo guides born and raised in the canyon, we’ll take 4x4 vehicles along the canyon floor, flanked by soaring sandstone walls, cliff dwelling ruins and petroglyphs. and hear the history of this fascinating place and meet the people still living here today. Late afternoon return to La Posada in time for Happy Hour/Open Mic and the evening’s music program.

Thursday, May 20: Mid-day trip to the Meteor Crater – the world's best-preserved meteor impact site. At mile wide and over 500 feet deep, this is a truly awesome sight to behold! Late afternoon musical Happy Hour, followed by a festive Farewell Dinner at the famous Turquoise Room, and evening music program.

Friday, May 21: The gathering officially winds down and we all head home.


JON DEE GRAHAM is the only artist to have been inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame three times: as a solo artist in 2000, again in 2008 as a member of The Skunks, and again in 2009 as a member of the True Believers. His spare and succinct songwriting style is an unassuming portal through which the listener is drawn into an immensely complex emotional and narrative landscape – a place of immense beauty amidst heartbreaking difficulty. He has spent part of his social isolation time amazing a loyal following at his noontime Facebook readings of children’s stories as Tio Pantalones or “Uncle Baggy Pants” while painting his signature evocative bear paintings.

BONNIE WHITMORE songs are carefully crafted vignettes that invite the listener into a rich world of clear-eyed observations about love, heartbreak, and the humor and humanity in it all. A frequent collaborator with a veritable who's-who of Austin musicians, Whitmore has amassed a fanatical following with her weekly Continental Club Gallery residency, "Bonnie Whitmore and Friend." Her most recent record, “F*ck With Sad Girls” showcases her outstanding musical and vocal chops through a series of tightly-crafted songs delivered with equal measures of rage and delicate vulnerability.

MARY GAUTHIER first traveled with us in 2005, on one of our epic trans-Canadian trips. Since then, her musical journey has been remarkable, including her song “Mercy Now" being named One of The Saddest 40 Country Songs Of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine. Now that's an honor! Her most recent work, evolving out of her “Songwriting With Soldiers” workshops, the Grammy-nominated and multi-award winning album, “Rifles and Rosary Beads,” was co-written with and for wounded veterans, and is astonishing in its raw honesty. Mary’s work consistently features a clear-eyed, unflinching take on the stories of people living on the margins, and to hear her discuss her songwriting process is inspirational. With eleven records under her belt, she has a book, “Saved By A Song,” coming out in August of 2021,

JAIMEE HARRIS is a Texas native - and her musical influences dug their hooks in early. Her dad bought her her first guitar when she turned five, and she spent the bulk of her formative years chasing all the live music she could find. A move to Austin in 2009 connected her with artists who would become collaborators as well as mentors, inspiring a clarity and purpose in her songwriting and performing. Lauded by none other than the legendary Jimmy LaFave as one of Austin’s most promising singer-songwriters, Jaimee has come well into her own with a powerful debut record, “Red Rescue”, about which Americana Highways posited, “Red Rescue may be a debut record, but this is the work of an artist of considerable maturity and sophistication. This could very well mark the arrival of one of the major figures in the next generation of Americana artists.”

SAM BAKER Sam Baker makes people happy. The characters in his songs face many challenges—alcoholism, car wrecks, racism, drug addiction, a mother’s abandonment—but they persevere. Much like Sam himself. In 1986 Sam got in the middle of someone else’s war. When a terrorist bomb exploded in his train compartment, he went from being a young, healthy, tourist enjoying Peru with friends to a broken man surrounded by death and dying. Given his injuries, he too should have died. But through a series of miracles and coincidences he survived. A Sam Baker show is a celebration. Some songs tell of everyday people who survive life’s daily challenges; others are stories of growing up in a small Texas prairie town. All his shows are an acknowledgment and appreciation of the pure joy that comes with people gathering to listen to live music. Sam’s fans travel to see him, often driving hours to experience the powerful performance.


We're really pleased to be able to offer this great event at a price only marginally higher than we did six years ago! With our traditional no-interest payment plans, we're aiming to make this trip truly affordable to as many as we can.

"Gathering of the Tribe" -  $2189 per person (shared hotel room)
"Gathering of the Tribe" -  Deluxe: $2489 per person (shared hotel room)

Deluxe Rooms are unique, featuring either fireplaces, whirlpool tubs or balconies - let Sarah know when you reserve what your preferences are, and she'll accommodate requests as they come in.

If you are traveling solo, we will pair you with a similarly-gendered patron, or you can purchase a solo supplement (see below) for your own hotel room each of the four nights.


Pay in full for maximum savings! It makes our life much easier if trips are paid in full, and we pass the savings in time and bookkeeping on to you. 2% discount off regular price. 
If you'd rather pay a deposit to hold your space(s):  $300 per person deposit.
THEN: Within 30 days of deposit, pay your remaining balance through our online store:
If you've already locked in your Early Bird pricing with a deposit, this is where you can pay your balance: 
Solo Hotel Supplement: $300 supplement for four nights single occupancy of standard La Posada room.
Deluxe Solo Hotel Supplement: $500 supplement for four nights single occupancy of deluxe La Posada room.

Credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover) and checks accepted. Payment plans at no additional charge are happily accommodated. Payment plan must be agreed upon and set up within 30 days of sign-up. Deposits, whether paid separately or as part of a full payment up front, are non-refundable, though they can be applied to a future trip with us. Liability release signature required.


We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance for your trip. By purchasing through this link to Squaremouth (an aggregator where various insurance company policies can be compared at no additional cost to you), we receive a small commission (about five percent). This helps us keep our trips as affordable as possible. On virtually every trip we have someone who needs to cancel at the last minute due to injury or illness, family emergency, or any number of unexpected circumstances. Those who had purchased the trip insurance were disappointed to be missing the trip, but very relieved that they were not losing all the funds they had paid us, the airlines, hotels, and others. Those who did not purchase the trip insurance were really, really sad to lose a train trip and a bunch of money too. We'd hate to see you be one of those people, which is why we stress the importance of trip insurance. Really, truly, we think it is worth it.


Our customers are extremely important to us, and when travel disruptions occur we are committed to working with you to minimize the financial impact. In the even that you need to cancel a trip for whatever reason, we will work with you to try and find a buyer for the space you are needing to give up. Often this works out great for the person needing to cancel, as they recover most of not all of their investment, and a person who might have been on a waiting list gets to go on the trip!We understand that the new realities of travel are such that we need to be more flexible than ever before. We are also an extremely small business with many fixed costs that can't be recovered once a trip is within 90 days of departure. Given that the coming months are filled with unknowns, we are proceeding ahead with confidence that we can deliver the products promised (with some reasonable degree of change when necessary), and will be completely transparent if a scheduled trip looks like it needs to be adjusted in any way that might impact your enjoyment of the experience. So please read through our cancellation policy carefully and feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

Cancellation policy: Deposits, whether paid separately or as part of a full payment up front, are non-refundable, though they can be applied to a future trip with us. Outside of deposit and credit card fees, full refund will be given up until 90 days prior to start of trip. 50% refund 60-90 days. No refund less than 60 days prior to start of trip. Reservations are fully transferable to another person.The payment of a deposit or any part or full payment for a reservation shall constitute consent to all the provisions contained herein. Flying Under Radar, LLC shall not be held responsible for property loss or damage and/or any damages resulting from illness, personal injuries or death which may be sustained by reason of, or while engaged on, any trip or tour whether due to the ownership, maintenance, use, operation or control of any vehicle, hotel, common carrier or any other conveyance used in carrying out these tours. We can assume no liability due to any cause whatsoever whether caused by failure or delay or other irregularity, acts or omissions occurring during a tour under which the means of transportation or other service thereby is offered or supplied by owners, operators or public carriers for whom Flying Under Radar, LLC acts only as agent. Flying Under Radar, LLC reserves the right (at its discretion) to alter or omit any part of the itinerary, or change any reservation, feature and/or means of conveyance without notice or for any reason whatsoever and without allowance or refund and with extra costs, if any, resulting therefrom paid by the passengers. Although all artists are contracted to appear, lineup is potentially subject to change due to illness or force majeure. We reserve the right to cancel any tour prior to departure, in which case payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. Flying Under Radar, LLC shall not be responsible for any injury to person (whether or not resulting in death) or damage to property.Flying Under Radar, LLC strongly urges individual passengers to obtain appropriate insurance coverage. Baggage is at the owner's risk entirely. The transportation companies concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not aboard their carriers or conveyances. The passenger contract in use by the carriers concerned (when issued) shall constitute the sole contract between the transportation companies and the purchaser of these tours and/or passage. By accepting the ticket the passenger also agrees to its terms and conditions. By forwarding of deposit, the passenger certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other passengers. Flying Under Radar, LLC reserves the right to cancel or withdraw any person as a member of the tour at any time. Flying Under Radar, LLC and Roots on the Rails management reserve the right to refuse service to anyone whom it considers incompatible with the best interests of its services or its guests.