49 Exits on Route 66 – Day 33

49 Exits on Route 66

Day 33 – May 3, 2003 – Saturday

36,326 on the odometer as we left Sedona with Gallup, New Mexico as our final destination.  Today will be a Route 66 day.  There are 49 exits on Route 66 marked on our map between Flagstaff and Gallup.

 

Tom and Lane commented on my beads as I checked out of the Sedona Real.  I’ve told the story of the Floating Neutrinos (Day 18) so many times now that Bozzie Jane and I are discussing the possibility of making up a new story now every time someone asks.

 

As we gassed up, a bearded man approached the car asking for money.  He was very happy to have his photograph taken.  His name was Bear, and he lives in the woods.  Seriously.

We again enjoyed the beautiful one-hour drive from Sedona to Flagstaff.

 

There were a few sights we missed in Flagstaff (Route 66 Motel, Wigwam Curios, and the Museum Club – where the owner’s collection of stuffed animals is mounted in tree branches above the dance floor), but we didn’t warm to Flagstaff, so we just drove on.

 

“Don’t forget Winona” is one of the lyrics in the famous song “Route 66” written by Bobby Troup in 1946, so we were excited to see it.  Unfortunately, it appears just about everyone has forgotten Winona.  Everyone except the Route 66 sign thieves, as there were neither Route 66 signs nor Winona city limits signs.  We didn’t even see a business, but we did backtrack to get a photo of a sign with an arrow pointing toward Winona.  Someone should put a memorial of some type there – at least a Route 66 sign of some type.  49 exits on Route 66 but a lot of stolen signs.

 

The Twin Arrows Trading Post in Twin Arrows is one of the special landmarks along Route 66.  Sadly, it has closed, and the place is in pretty bad shape.  I got several photos of the huge wooden carvings of the twin arrows.  I had to jump big cement barricades to get to it.  From what I can tell, the property must be owned by the state of Arizona.

 

In this stretch of Route 66, Interstate 40 is the route, and we have to take the various exits to see little pieces of the original road and various sights in the little towns and whistlestops.

Down the road a dozen miles, and we pulled off the Interstate to Two Guns, Arizona.  Like Twin Arrows, Two Guns was the site of a gas station and trading post.  Nothing remains except some stone wall ruins and an old Two Guns sign where someone has written “Not” above the old “Welcome” sign.  We caught a glimpse of Diablo Canyon, but I decided the little white car did not need to venture down the rocky road.

 

The terrain in this part of Arizona is just flat desert with low shrubs.

 

The next landmark on our Arizona Route 66 map was Exit 233 — Meteor Crater.  49 exits on Route 66.  We hadn’t read much about it, so our expectations were low – especially since it is six miles or so off a section of Route 66 that is already in the middle of nowhere.  Were we ever in for a surprise!

 

50,000 years ago, a huge meteorite struck the ground here – the first of only two documented cases of a meteorite striking this planet.  The crater is 550 feet deep and 2.4 miles in circumference.  To put this in perspective, the crater could hold 20 football fields.  The Visitors’ Center, Museum of Astrogeology, and Astronaut’s Hall of Fame are housed in a big beautiful brick facility that we certainly didn’t expect, and the museum was totally professional – certainly as fine as anything we have seen.  The owners have big fences with concertina barbed wire to keep people from sneaking a free peak; the $12 per person entrance charge seemed steep, but after all, no one else has what they have.  Wind gusts were being clocked at up to 72 miles-per-hour, so we didn’t stick around after we saw a good-sized man lifted off his feet near the rim.

Meteor City is about 12 miles away.  The Meteor City Trading Post has two world’s largests – the world’s largest Route 66 map (painted on the fence) and the world’s largest dreamcatcher (a net that would appear to catch tumbleweeds and litter that blow in its direction as well as all dreams lost in the wind).

 

I have done a poor job of spotting the remains of old Route 66 drive-ins. I missed what was left of the Tonto Drive-In on the western outskirts of Winslow.  We may have been distracted by a billboard promoting “Standin’ on the Corner in Winslow, Arizona.”  This is a famous lyric from one of the Eagles biggest hits, “Take It Easy.”  The song was written by Glenn Frey and Jackson Browne, and we were told rumor has it that Glenn Frey might have begun writing the song after being released from jail in Winslow.  The song goes: “Well I’m standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona with such a fine sight to see.  It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flat-bed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me.”

 

We had read that Don Henley (who was the lead singer on “Take It Easy”) gave some money to an effort to build a monument to the song on the street corner.  We were very pleasantly surprised when we found a beautiful monument and park on the main corner of Route 66 in downtown Winslow.  We parked the car and took a number of photos of “the corner.”  Then we walked around town.  We were very fortunate to meet John and Karen, owners of Dominique’s Hallmark/gift shop/Route 66 shop/flower shop right across from the corner.  Many years ago, John was a delivery driver for the Thrifty Food Company, and he traveled all across Arizona on Route 66, so he had great stories to tell about Route 66 during its glory days.  49 exits on Route 66. John and Karen bought their corner building a year ago and completely refurbished it.  They now get a lot of tourist business; they didn’t get any in their previous location.

 

At John’s recommendation, we walked down to the La Posada Hotel for lunch.  The La Posada is a beautiful Harvey Hotel designed by Mary Colter (famous Southwestern architect who designed the buildings at the Grand Canyon among others) and built in 1930.  The hotel was one of a number of luxury hotels adjacent to train depots that the Fred Harvey Company built in partnership with the Atlantic and Pacific and Santa Fe railroads.  The post-World War II decline in rail travel led to the closure of the grand hotel in 1957.  The property was purchased in 1997 by Allan Affeldt, who along with his wife Tina Mion and Daniel Lutzick, managed to get $10 million in grants to restore the place from the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund and the Arizona Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant program.  We further understand they just obtained another $1 million in grants for landscaping.  Can you imagine getting $11 million in grants to fix up your business?  We must be doing something wrong.

 

The La Posada is very impressive and we had a delightful lunch.  This would definitely be a great place to stay!  John on the corner told us that the restoration of the La Posada has had a tremendous impact on the revitalization of Winslow.

 

While the hotel was something to see, we probably got a bigger kick out of observing local high schoolers decorating the hotel with balloons for their prom that night.  Somehow we doubt that limos and motel rooms are part of the program for high schoolers in Winslow.

 

As we drove out of Winslow, I stopped at a patriotic display and was pleasantly surprised to find Remembrance Garden was built around two beams from the World Trade Center.

We really liked Winslow – one of our most favorite Route 66 towns!

 

The Jackrabbit Trading post was built in 1947 by two Joseph City, Arizona businessmen, Robbie Robinson and James Taylor.  They devised a billboard campaign that made the “Jackrabbit” famous.  Bright yellow billboards with a silhouette of a jackrabbit were all that was needed to promote the Jackrabbit Trading Post.  There’s a big fiberglass jackrabbit out front, and Boz was gracious enough to climb on for a photo.  We met Tony Jaquez, the owner for the last 12 years.  The lights weren’t on when we arrived at about 1:30, so we fear that business may not be that good.  Bozzie bought some moccasins for granddaughter Madison.

 

The Jackrabbit is on the outskirts of Joseph City.  Not much else to see there, but we got a nice photo of a patriotic sign put up by the two local Cub Scout troops.

 

Holbrook is a decent sized town.  There are a number of old motels there. And one of the best-known Route 66 landmarks, Wigwam Village. This is a beautifully restored old motel featuring concrete teepees originally built in 1950 by Chester E. Lewis.  We loved Wigwam Village.

Heading east just outside Holbrook, we saw giant dinosaurs next to the highway.  We pulled off to find the “International Petrified Forest, Dinosaur Park, and Museum of the Americas.”  Sounds BIG and IMPORTANT.  We drove up to a ticket booth where Tomacita took our $10 bill.  It was to be a two-and-a-half-mile drive through the Dinosaur Park.  Tomacita looked a little sick and mumbled incoherently when I asked her if it was really exciting to see.  It wasn’t.  I believe we saw a total of six concrete dinosaurs in the 2 ½ miles; there were bigger and better-looking dinosaurs for free along the highway.  There was some petrified wood in the desert on the drive, and there were some Indian artifacts in the Museum of the Americas, but this was not a noteworthy stop.  I imagine they are having a tough time of it; there were 21 flagpoles standing proudly out front, but only two sad-looking flags remained.  The rest room was extremely nice and clean.

 

The REAL Petrified Forest National Park WAS just a few miles down the road.  We enjoyed the views of the colorful Painted Desert and Petrified Forest along the 27-mile scenic drive.  We met a number of nice people, including Marcus and Ranger Rachel.  Ranger Rachel told us we should have bought a 13-month pass good for all National Parks for $50; I’ll add that to my list of things one should do before heading off on a trip to all 50 states.

 

In the parking lot, we met John and Corinne; they had been on their own trip across America for over two months and were just heading home.  Inside the park, we met Gary and Janice as well as Ian, Matthew, Bruce, and Celia.

 

Several exits produced little or nothing as we headed east.  I felt cheated when we stopped to see “Indian Ruins” after we saw many signs promoting it.  It was nothing but a modern gas station and Indian-themed gift shop.

 

We detoured off Route 66 to head north to Window Rock, Arizona to see the famous window rock.  The sun set on the way there, so we didn’t get the best view of Window Rock, but we did manage a photo or two.  It turns out the city of Window Rock is the capital of the Navajo Nation, and we saw the various tribal headquarters offices.

 

We crossed into New Mexico at about 7:30, but the time changed, so it was 8:30.  We galloped into Gallup, New Mexico about 20 minutes later.  Gallup is known for a number of great old motel neon signs, and we cruised down Route 66 and snapped several photos.  It wasn’t until the next day that we realized we missed the biggest and best part of the motels on the east end of town.

 

We had a nice meal at the Ranch Kitchen.  They’ve served 7 million customers in 49 years.  It was started by Earl and Beverly Vance.  Sharon was our waitress.  I had barbeque brisket and chicken, and the combo was very good.  We checked into the Holiday Inn.  The lobby was spectacular, but the rooms were poor, though Barbara noted they are about to remodel.  We have been disappointed with only two motels — the only two Holiday Inns we have stayed at.

We saw 15 trains today.  That means 15 ice cream cones for Bozzie Jane.  I hope Papa is still buying.

 

While it wasn’t one of our favorite days, it was certainly a diverse and interesting one.

I’m not sure what lesson we learned today.  There was no strong message.  It was sad to see so many ruins of what were significant spots on Route 66.

 

 

May 3

36326 8:15 after telling the bead and couple other stories to Tom and Lane at the Sedona Reale Inn where we were unable to get an internet connection probably due to something with the hotel’s phone set-up as opposed to Earthlink.

We met Bear at the gas station and got his picture. He’s lived here 3 months in the woods and probably not in a house or anything.

36328 we’re getting a slow start after awakening at 6:00. Someone who has the longest and darkest hair slept in.

Barbara would like to know why Arizona doesn’t observe day light savings time.

Flagstaff 36355 9:20

Wynona 36376 9:45am

We’re taking a picture of the bridge with the ‘road closed’ sign.

It looks like people steal the city limit signs to Wynona so we’re going back to get one with an arrow.

Train for Bozzie

It’s ashame Wynona doesn’t have a Route 66 sign of any type. It would be nice if had a little memorial, but we didn’t even see a business.

Crossing Padre Canyon 36386 as we exit to Twin Arrows 10am

We got a bunch of pictures at Twin Arrows. It’s all closed up and they have cement barriers to keep people from pulling in over there but I hopped the barriers. The land out east of Twin Arrows is your basic flat desert. There are little plants no more than a foot high. The mountains are way back in the distance.

36398 10:19 Two Guns which looks pretty much to be gone

We got this divided broken piece of Route 66 in Two Guns. We rode out to the end of the broken piece and took some pictures. I guess that would be Diablo Canyon that’s down in the ruins. There are a bunch of ruins here.

36402 10:30am at exit 203 off of I 40 and getting off for Meteor Crater

Meteor Crater signs say “this planet’s first impact meteor site…” It’s called an impact crater.

36408 10:38am we’re in the parking lot of Meteor Crater

Barbara: We just stopped to see the meteor crater and it was really an incredible site to see. There are only two proven craters that have ever hit the earth. The museum and facility all around about the history and information about the astronauts and everything is very well done. It’s a beautiful building. We would’ve stayed longer but we don’t have that much time and also the wind gusts are at 70 mph. It’s kind of hard to stand out there and take a look, but it’s definitely something everyone should see.

I was expecting more than Sponge-o-rama when we drove to Meteor Crater but there’s no way you expect a big, gorgeous brick building with as professional a museum as we’ve seen anywhere. People own this out here and they have all kinds of fences and stuff from keep people from being able to get a view without paying $12 per person to get in. It was a little steep but hey it’s the only one.

Meteor City 36420 11:13. This is the Meteor City Trading Post that has a map that some people are rude enough to park in front of. It’s the world’s longest map of Route 66.

We took a picture of the world’s largest map of Route 66 and of the world’s largest dream catcher.

Train

City limits of Winslow 36432 11:30

“Stand on the corner of Winslow, Arizona” billboard

We took a picture of a patriotic display photo coming into Winslow

Train

Barbara: We met John at the Winslow corner. He had a really interesting job many years ago. In the 50’s he was a delivery person for the Thrifty Food Service Company. So, he would call on everyone from Kingman to the New Mexico line, the reservations and down to the Verde Valley. He knows Angel in Saligman and tells interesting stories about how these businesses were thriving. He bought the building just one year ago, completely refurbished it. The windows were blacked out, the ceiling was covered up; he and his wife spend a lot of time and money refurbishing the building. He really just got moved last Memorial Day and opened. He didn’t used to get the tourist trade, and now he has a whole section for the Route 66 paraphernalia. Now, tourists come in all the time. He goes out on the street corner to take pictures. He says on a summer weekend you have to wait in line to get your picture taken with Don Henley on that corner. His wife is from Winslow and her father paid $1800 cash for a house down the street; he lived in it til the day he died. On his death bed he was still cussing having paid so much for his house.

Glenn Fry and Jackson Brown actually wrote the song many years ago before they were with the Eagles. The story is that Glenn Fry was in jail for drunk driving. There was something across the street, came out, and was standing on the corner. It was years later that Don Henley sang it and turned it into the hit that it is. We’re walking down to the La Pasada Hotel which really was the beginning of the refurbishment of this town. A developer got 10 million dollars grant money from the state to refurbish the La Pasada. Later, just recently, he got 1 million dollars to refurbish the cinema, the old theater which is now showing first time movies. It definitely sparked everything else going on. It is one of the few towns along this route that has held onto its heritage and buildings and is coming back. One other interesting bit of info is the Hallmark Store with John. He and his wife have both a hallmark portion and a floral business. We met his wife and I just though it was kind of fun that she apologized to us for not being able to spend much time but she was busy with prom business. There’s just something ironic or funny about it to me that this little bitty sleepy town is fixing corsages for the young people. It might have been a good idea for the man who did the La Pasada to have spend some of the 10 million dollars on the side walk; it’s very uneven out front where Bill almost lost his life in a pratt fall.

We’d like to know why trains don’t have cabooses anymore.

We got pictures on the outskirts of town of Remembrance Garden with two beams from the World Trade Center. There are tons of flags; it’s really pretty. We had a nice meal at the La Pasada. It was very impressive.

36429 1:09 passing the Little Colorado River. We just left the outskirts of Winslow a minute ago.

Bozzie spotted another train and she’s demanding ice cream.

The original wigwam village is in Kentucky, so I may need to modify my Kentucky route to see it.

Train

We went to the Jack Rabbit Trading Post and met Antonio. He said the area was named Jack Rabbit after the trading post because of the hype created by the man who started it. His lights were off when we went in, so I don’t think he’s getting tons of business. He said he’s owned it for 12 years. We bought some moccasins for Madison.

36452 1:35pm we’re leaving Jack Rabbit

36458 1:40 Joseph City elevation 5000 and founded 1876

There’s nothing in Joseph City but we did take a picture of the “we salute our troops” from Cub Scouts 59

We’re exiting off I 40 at exit 285 for Wholebrook 36469 1:55pm

We stopped to get a picture of the Golden Inn Motor Hotel that has seen better years. It is available for rent. We got a picture of their Route 66 mother road mural, and a Petrified National Park mural.

Wholebrook is a good-sized place; we’re kind of surprised.

We just met Thomasita at the Petrified Forest painted desert.

The first thing we photographed was a streuthommus, ostrich dinosaur it’s called.

The second dinosaur we photographed is called allosarus. It’s very attractive.

All off to the side are piles of petrified wood. They’re just little poles and rows. It basically looks like a big dirt pile.

A young dilothosaurus

This is a 2 ½ mile drive we’re on and I would say at the current pace it appears there’s a dinosaur every ½ mile. But in between the dinosaurs we have piles of trees that are petrified.

This next dinosaur is called a coelophysis; it’s a small little dinosaur.

This place is just right on I 40. You can see the truckers going by. It is $10 per car for this tour.

Dromiceiommus is the next shot.

The next one with the little mounds behind is the segnosaur

There’s 21 flag poles and only 2 flags left. They had a giant green dinosaur stuffed animal in there for $75 originally $97. They have nice restrooms and a nice little Indian display.

They really are better looking, bigger dinosaurs as advertisements along the highway as opposed to what you see when you go inside the park.

The wind is blowing so hard out here that the sky is literally light brown.

Goodwater 36489 3:10pm. There are no services in Goodwater. As we look off, there’s a couple of trucks parked on the side of the road, a couple huts, a mobile home, a shed or two. It doesn’t appear to be a big city.

36501 3:19 we’re exiting on 311 for the Petrified Forest National Park

We got out at the visitor’s center at the National Park and met John and Corinne. Inside, we photographed Marcus who gave us some info. John and Corrine have been on a trip since February 28 just driving around seeing the sites and stuff. They’d been to Savannah and Charleston.

The Petrified Forest National Park has a $10 entrance fee.

We met Ranger Rachel, took her picture, and she gave us a nice little extra goody of a map and told us we should buy a $50 13-month park pass.

We met Gary and Janice at the first stop—the painted desert photo stop.

We took the Painted Desert Inn at Cochina Point.

We just passed the Puerco River. It appears to be just dirt. 36513 4:10

We met Ian, Matthew, Bruce, and Cilia and took their picture at the Blue Mesa area. They’re from Oklahoma City. They’re nice people and headed to Phoenix and Sedona.

The next photo with dark drainage ditches is the dindritic drainages.

We were probably at 36520 at the Blue Mesa at about 4:47

Train

Some of these hills are like Neopolitan ice cream—chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry striped.

Dead River 36547 5:28pm and we just entered the Navajo Nation

We believe there are Indians on the horizon.

We just left the National Park about 5 minutes ago. We’re on I 40 because there is no Route 66 here but we have lots of exits with cool stuff coming up.  49 exits on Route 66.

We’re at exit 320 Penta Road 36551 5:31pm. This may be the painted desert ruins.

We took a picture of the gravel where the painted desert trading post used to be.

We took a picture of where the road, Route 66, ends at the former Painted Desert Trading Post.

We stopped in Navajo; we didn’t really see a town. I guess there really isn’t one. There was a modern Texaco station and we bought gas. I hope it goes to some Navajos.

Train

Another train

We’re exiting at Chambers, exit 333, because of the Hubble Trading Post National Historic Site. There’s a great looking gas station. Oh, wow, that’s really pretty! I don’t know if we can get to it but it’s pretty. 36565 5:56pm

Another train after leaving Chambers

Exiting 341 Ortega Road to go to Indian Ruins. It has hundreds of billboards up and down the highway advertising it.

Indian Ruins is a modern Indian-named gas station.

Right outside the Indian Ruins on the on-ramp I took a picture of what was an old gas station.

36579 6:16 we’re in the Quarino Canyon

Another train

36593 6:33pm we’ve turned off on highway 12 North going to Window Rock. It’s 26 miles so we hope it’s worth the drive

Window Rock is a 26 mile detour off the interstate north.

We took a sunset going down over a hill when we were in the Navajo Nation as they prefer to call the Navajo Indian Reservation.

36618 7:02 we’re turning right on state road 264 toward Window Rock.

Navajo Nation Museum with some big rocks. I don’t know if these are the window rocks. 36620 7:07

7:15 36622 we’re leaving the Window Rock and Navajo Nation Tribal Headquarters

New Mexico 36625 7:21pm though it may be 8:21 here.

Another train

We haven’t seen a sign but we appear to be in Gallop 36646 7:43 or 8:43.

Another train

 

 

Sedona Arizona – Day 32

Sedona Arizona

Day 32 – May 2, 2003 – Friday

We were out the door bright and early today – 7:29 am to be precise.  We were anxious to get to beautiful Sedona Arizona.  We met the Ingrams from Canton, Georgia as we checked out; they were vacationing with a big group of Georgia folks.

 

I passed someone.  That’s pass #10.  Route 66 out of Williams isn’t a great road.

 

We’re trying to pass through as many Route 66 towns as possible – even if the Route is the Interstate at the time; we just exit and drive through the towns.  Parks, Arizona was our first such pass through for the day.  We saw only one business – Maurice’s.

 

Belmont provided a peek at the Camp Navajo Army Depot and a nice view of the snow-capped San Francisco Peaks.  We were in the Coconino National Forest during this part of the drive.

We reached Flagstaff at 8:17 am.  6,906 foot elevation.  I never realized this part of the country was at such a high altitude.  It makes for much cooler temperatures.  The top hasn’t been down on the car lately, and our tans are fading.  Flagstaff probably has some good sights to see, but we didn’t see much – just a few nice old buildings.  The folks in the Visitor’s Center were not very helpful – just didn’t seem interested in us at all.  The people working in Visitor’s Centers have usually been very helpful and informative.

 

Highway 89 is a two-lane road from Flagstaff to Sedona.  It is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable drives we have EVER taken.  It is FAR superior to go to Sedona Arizona from Flagstaff than up from Phoenix – much prettier and much better and varied scenery.

 

We stopped at an Oak Creek Canyon roadside park for a few photos.  It was very green there – much different from the terrain we have seen since the LA area.  Highway 89 is a very windy road, but there are guardrails.  Harry Turner told us where to turn off to get a good view of Oak Creek as it flowed along near the highway.  As we got closer to Sedona, we began to see big red buttes; Sedona is known for its red rocks.  The views at Slide Rock State Park and Midgeley Bridge were great.

 

The Sedona city limits sign appeared at 10:15.  Sedona Arizona is exceptionally beautiful as everyone knows who has ever been there.  Boz had visited previously on a trip with Miss Brittany, but this was my first visit, and it was a treat.  The setting is amazing with red rock buttes all around, and it is a clean, modern town.

 

A lot of folks come up to us at gas stations, and we met Kevin and Walt in Sedona.  We gassed up and headed south to Jerome since Jenny at the Route 66 gift shop in Williams recommended that we go there.  We wanted to get a look at Jerome and some lunch and then return to Sedona for sightseeing and a Jeep tour.

 

We drove through Harry Turner’s hometown, Cottonwood, and then Clarkdale before we saw Jerome perched on the side of a big mountain.  Jerome is an old copper mining town.  The old buildings have been maintained, and it has become an artist’s community.  We really enjoy seeing towns like Jerome as they are not overly commercialized as so many old places are.

 

After a very good lunch at the Jerome Grill (Micala was our server), we walked around town and enjoyed the old buildings.  We met Leszek Szewjkowski on the street with his camera.  Leszek is from Poland.  It was interesting to talk with him.  Poland has only been free for 14 years.  He says the Polish people are really hard workers, and he believes Poland will continue to improve and develop as a stronger and stronger country.  Leszek says Poland supports the USA, and he noted that Poland has had bad neighbors over the years — France and Germany.  Leszek was headed back to Poland the next day with an engagement ring that he bought in the US.  The young lady does not know it’s coming, but Leszek’s confidence was high that it would be well received.

 

When we spotted some beautiful Sedona Arizona area photographs, we stopped in the American Landscape Gallery and met the photographer, Tom Norvid.  We were really taken with his work – amazing colors.  Tom says he never uses filters and never adjusts the color on any of his work; he just takes advantage of days with great natural light.  Tom’s story is an inspiring one.  He was a pharmaceutical executive in Massachusetts for many years.  His was a very stressful job, and he gave it all up to move to the Jerome, Arizona area to pursue his love of photography.  Quite a leap of faith, but he is happy and very successful as a landscape photographer.  He left the stress back in Boston.

 

The sky was a bright blue when we entered Sedona Arizona at 10, but it was overcast as we drove back into town at 1:45.  No rain, but the overcast sky really detracted from such a beautiful place.

 

We knocked the dirt off the car at the Arizona Car Wash where we met Sharon as we waited for our cars.  We drove straight to the touristy area of Sedona Arizona, and we met Melissa at the office of the Pink Jeep Tours.  She recommended that we take the “Broken Arrow” tour.  We scheduled it at 5 pm, as the tours are better early in the morning or late in the afternoon due to the impact of the light on the terrain.

 

Scott, Amy, Beverly, and Clarence told us to be sure to drive up the Airport Road in Sedona, so we took their advice.  There is an overlook area there with a great view.  We took a few photos, and a group from Columbus, Ohio asked Barbara to take a photo of their group with their cameras.  There were nine of them, so it took a little while.  I came over and took a shot with my camera and told them we would put it on our website.  That led to an explanation of what we were doing on our trip, and they asked a lot of questions.  They then asked to take OUR picture, and they did.  I was able to get a shot of them photographing us.

 

Back to the touristy area we went.  We did a little shopping and grabbed what turned out to be dinner (ice cream) at the Black Cow Café – known for its homemade ice cream.  We bought a New Mexico Christmas ornament, as our goal is to pick up an ornament in each of the 50 states.  We are limiting ourselves to this one souvenir purchase in each state; our photographs are our souvenirs.

 

We arrived at the Pink Jeep Tours office early, and we had a very enjoyable conversation with Leetha.  We also met Denise and one of the guides, Mike.  Leetha informed us that we would have their absolute best guide, Mike Peach.  She described him as a Cowboy Poet.  Leetha also told us the story of how the Pink Jeep Tours were started.  The whole thing was started 45 years ago by a realtor named Don Pratt.  Mr. Pratt was selling real estate in the area, and he took prospective clients out to see property in a Jeep.  One day he realized he was doing more and more touring and less and less selling, so he decided to start Pink Jeep Tours to make money from the demand for tours of the areas where cars cannot go.  The rest is history.  Several people across multiple states recommended The Pink Jeep Tour when they learned we were going to Sedona.  (More information is available at www.pinkjeep.com.)

 

Mike Peach called our names at 5, and we buckled ourselves into our Jeep.  There were five of us – Deborah, Marion, Don, Boz, and me — and Mike Peach, driver, guide, humorist, and more.  It was an extremely informative two-hour tour, and Mike was very entertaining.  The scenery was great, though it would have been much, much better in bright sunlight.  The real highlight, however, was the four-wheeling.  Mike drove us up and down cliffs that I didn’t realize a Jeep could climb.  I still don’t believe we made it down one without tipping over.  Bozzie Jane and I had never done anything like this, so it was a special treat.

 

Earlier in the tour, I had asked Mike if he had one story about something special or unique that had happened during his 18 years as a Pink Jeep Tour guide, but he didn’t answer the question until the tour ended.  He then delivered one of the great poems he has written, and he told us two wonderful stories of special experiences.  It turns out Mike moonlights as an entertainer for various groups.  The day before, a group had the Governor of New Mexico speak to them in the morning, and Mike was the evening entertainment with his “Cowboy Poetry.”

 

Everyone with whom we came in contact at Pink Jeep Tours was as nice and helpful as could be.  When you go to Sedona, we encourage you to take a Pink Jeep Tour.  Drop in and see Melissa and Leetha, and be sure and ask for Mike Peach as your guide.  And, take the drive between Flagstaff and Sedona Arizona!

 

There are a lot of really nice, expensive resorts in Sedona.  We didn’t stay at one of them.  We stayed at the Sedona Real Inn – very nice, but not a big fancy resort.  Unfortunately, something was wrong with their phone system that kept us from accessing the Internet, so we were yet again unable to post to our Daily Journal.

 

The lesson for the day is that we don’t all see things the same way.  Many of the rock formations in the Sedona Arizona area have names; quite a few have more than one name, because one person sees one thing while another sees something different.  It really is amazing how different we all are.  What one person sees as beautiful, someone else sees as ugly.  What one person sees as serious, another sees as funny.  We’ve observed the differences in the way different people see things throughout the trip in a variety of ways.  Perhaps it’s because we have more time to focus on such things, but we’ve been more aware of different viewpoints on this trip.  It would be mighty dull if we all saw everything the same way.

 

 

May 2, 2003

7:29am 49 degrees 36187 as we leave the Fairfield Inn

We just met Carol and unknown Imgram possibly from Canton, GA. There are a bunch of people at the hotel from GA on a 16 day odyssey.

When you leave Williams, you need to be on I 40 and then you go a little ways and exit # 171 and then you’re back on 66.

It doesn’t tell you which way to turn, but we turned left and are on a little frontage road.

We just passed a car; that’s probably # 9.

36202 7:55 and we appear to be in the town of Parks

We took a picture of Maurice’s in the town of Parks

The road is not so nice along here, but not as bad as California.

Back on I 40 at the other end of Parks

Train

We’re at Bellmont 36211 8:04

We took a picture of the Canton Navajo Army Depot

Nothing to photograph in Bellmont

We did find something to photograph—the snow-capped San Francisco Peaks

We’re in the Coconino National Forest

We saw the same train twice so that means she gets a double scoop or the topping of her choice.

So you’re back on I 40 for a ways and then you exit at 191 on the outskirts of Flagstaff and that puts you back onto the “mother road,” the main street of America, the Will Rogers Highway, the Lincoln Highway, and various other names.

Arizona Divide, whatever that means. We’re way high in the air. 36217 8:12am

We exited at 36219 8:15. There isn’t any Route 66 sign since we left Williams. They did better over in the Seligman area.

Barbara said there was signage. I withdraw.

Flagstaff city limits 36220 8:17am elevation 6906 established in 1882

I took a big trash pile picture in Flagstaff. Lowell Observatory is here.

Train

36230 9:05 and we’re taking 17 just a little ways until we hit 89 to Sedona.

36239 9:25 we just finished getting some pictures

The pictures we just took were of Oak Creek Canyon.

Highway 89 is a real windy road but has guard rails. It’s nowhere near like the road to Oatman.

It’s a completely different terrain since we’ve headed south from Flagstaff. There are big tall trees as we drive along 89. There’s a creek running all along to the right side of the car. It’s very pretty and impossible to photograph.

Bozzie says there are huge imposing buttes the other side of the creek.

Harry told us to get off at the west fork of Oak Creek which was, if you saw Don Hole’s Cabins you’ve gone about a mile or two too far. We went back and it was $5 to park, and we were too cheap to park.

36251 9:55 we’re passing Slide Rock State Park; it’s very beautiful.

We took a number of pictures at Midgely Bridge

Entering Sedona city limits 36256 10:15am

Sedona Arizona is just exceptionally beautiful. It is new, modern looking, clean. It has beautiful scenery and has developed into a beautiful community with great resorts.

We met Kevin and Walt at the gas station.

The other side of Sedona on 89A is very attractive, but it’s nothing like the far side. Most people who probably come to Sedona Arizona from Phoenix never see the far side.

The south side of Sedona, the direction headed toward Phoenix, is also more desert-like while the others have more mountains and trees and water. They’re totally different.

We’re in Cottonwood, the world-famous home of Harry Turner, 36276 at 10:55.

36276 crossing the Verde River

Clarkdale 36281 11:05am; we see the J in the side of the mountain that stands for Ja-rome

Jarome 36285 11:10

The sign says Jarome, billion-dollar copper camp.

We wanted some fried or baked cactus appetizer, but we chickened out. They say it’s a lot like zucchini.

Tom Novard, the photographer, certainly has an interesting story. He was a pharmaceutical executive living in Maine or Massachusetts and gave it up to move to Jarome, AZ and do his photography. Apparently he’s doing well; it’s beautiful work. He says he doesn’t use any filters but he has these incredible vibrant colors which he says just comes from getting the light and the shadows right. It was very interesting to talk to the guy from Poland. He said that Poland has only been free for 14 or 15 years, and he thinks the Polish people will end up doing very well. They work really hard and he said they support America. He commented before I ever asked him anything about it that they haven’t been lucky with their neighbors, Germany and France. They haven’t been good to them over the years. He was here for a month and about to get married. He bought an engagement ring and the woman doesn’t know about it yet. He’s going to try and come back and spend 90 days in the US next year.

Jarome is a good-sized artist community. There’s a lot of galleries and art stuff.

Back in Clarkdale after we got some old service station pictures 36291 1:10pm

We just passed Nescow Goulch? 36293 1:13pm

Back in Cottonwood 36293 1:14pm

Verde River 36298 1:28pm after a stop at Walgreens for travel-sized hairspray for Mom and mouthwash and toothpaste for me.

Sedona Arizona 36311 1:42pm. So far the view coming in from this direction is nothing compared to the other.

Melissa sold us our jeep tour tickets. We will tour at 5-7 pm. We drove up Airport Road as people had told us to do at Grand Canyon. We met a group of people from Columbus, Ohio. We took their picture, they asked a bunch of question, and we talked to them for the longest time. We gave out a bunch of cards. We didn’t get their names but hopefully somebody will e-mail me. We’re off 36320 3:00pm

 

Interview:

“…that’s a sacred place and when animals do certain things there, you should pay attention because those are the spirits of the people. They can teach you things. One morning I’m up there and I just had one couple with me, and there’s a point where we step onto a big rock and then can’t go any further. We’re looking at the older part of the structure back there where they first started living. It’s a cliff dwelling and under a big overhang. It was the first thing in the morning and very very still as there was no one else around. As we’re looking up at it something caught my attention and I looked and there was a hawk feather just floating and bobbing in the air. It floated right out into the middle of the overhang, took a right hand turn into the structure. We’re standing there and by now our jaws are just agape because there’s been no sound or no real wind but this feather has just done this right angle turn and floated in there. They turned to me and they said ‘does that happen all the time?’ I had never seen anything like that before. And right then, a red-shafted flicker, which is a type of woodpecker around here, was flying across the mouth of the overhang in front of the dwelling. About the middle of the dwelling, it does an abrupt stop in mid-air and does a beeline right up to me and flies up in front of me. He puts his wings up and belly towards me and fans his tail out. They’re called red-shafted flicker because on the under side of the wing and tailfeathers, it’s a brilliant red orange color. He was doing a display of that. He did his display, hung in the air for a bit, and then tucked and went up onto a branch. This couple was just like ‘what’s going on?’ I told them to look for the female, and sure enough she twits and she’s in the tree. It was mating season and these birds become very aggressive in their displays when they’re trying to impress a female. This same species of bird damaged a shuttle nose cone at Canaveral years ago by punching so many holes into it you couldn’t use it anymore. Because it was a red color it sets them of. And what had set this guy off was that I was wearing, for the very first time, a new hatband that I had made from the skin of a black tail rattlesnake that somebody had run over on the road. What I think caught his attention, was the movement of that pattern that he’s used to seeing on the ground and wasn’t used to seeing it where it was. So he came over and did an aggressive display in front of it.”

Quiet Day – Day 23

Day 23 – April 23, 2003 – Wednesday

Quiet Day

A quiet day.  I didn’t do a lot, and I didn’t meet many people.  The morning was spent at the hotel – resting my eye and writing.  The work by Dr. Miller and the medication are definitely working as the eye feels much better.

 

I headed for downtown Tucson a little before noon.  I found Café Poca Cosa, a highly-regarded Mexican restaurant.  Yvonne was my waitress, and she recommended the Chef’s Special – an assortment of three entrees.  All were very good, though much fancier Mexican food than I am used to.  The hot sauce was great – probably the best I’ve ever had, and the quantity of food served was most impressive.  The place was packed.  I met Heather standing in line waiting for a table.  She said the best thing about Tucson is the downtown area.

 

After lunch, I followed Heather’s advice and walked around downtown.  I saw a beautiful church, a great old theatre that is being restored, and some nice murals.  Downtown Tucson is very clean, but I passed a lot of empty storefronts.  Since several people told me downtown Tucson was cool, I’m sure it is, but I didn’t stumble upon the cool part.

 

I did meet some heavily-tattooed dudes who were skateboarding.  Two punk rock bands passing through on the way to a gig in San Diego.  I’d not normally strike up a conversation with young guys with tattoos and rings in various body parts, and they’d probably not normally talk with a gray-haired guy wearing Rockport Walkers and love beads, but the three I spoke with were very nice.

 

From downtown, I headed to Miracle Mile.  This is an area that is home to all of the old motels built in the 40’s and 50’s.  A significant number still exist, and I took photos of the great old signs.  While the sign was poor, I loved seeing the No-Tel Motel.  The Sahara appears to be undergoing a complete restoration.  I applauded that, needless to say.  I ran across a couple of rough-looking guys as I found myself in a dead-end alley when I pulled off to take two photos.

I saw an extremely interesting woman near the Pueblo Hotel and Apartments.  She was all draped in layers of clothes (on an always hot Tucson day), wearing sunglasses, and a scarf wrapped over her hair and most of her face.  Her shoes were silver and gold slippers and didn’t look to be a street person’s shoes.  She wore bold-striped socks.  She was carrying a shopping bag, but again, it didn’t appear to be a street person’s bag.  She had on earphones – not sure if she was listening to something or simply using them to cover her ears.  I’d love to know the story there, but I didn’t feel comfortable approaching her.  She might have been a well-dressed street person, but she could just as easily have been an eccentric movie star.  I’m bettin’ on movie star.

I don’t feel nearly as comfortable in Tucson as I have felt in the small towns.  There are a lot of street people, and the drivers are the worst I have encountered.  I get honked at repeatedly for driving the speed limit.  Very annoying.

 

The highlight of the day was the miles and miles of old airplanes at the Davis Monithan Airfield.  Grady Harrell, our daughter’s father-in-law, told me not to miss it.  It’s unbelievable – airplanes for as far as you can see.  Great, old airplanes of all types.  It is the world’s largest airplane graveyard.  It’s always good to see that there’s a place for old stuff.

 

I didn’t chase the sun today.  I know the sunset would have been outstanding from Mount Lemmon, the big ski area outside Tucson, but I still have a lot of writing to do.

 

Tucson is a really nice place.  I’ve been here several times before, so I’ve seen most of the sights.  I’m sorry I didn’t get out to see them again so I could photograph them to share.  I have loved visiting Old Tucson, the site of many of the great old western movies.  Sadly, much of it was destroyed by fire, and while it has been rebuilt, I understand it’s just not the same.  It’s bad enough when great old buildings and other stuff gets destroyed by neglect or “progress,” but to lose these treasures by fire, flood, hurricane, and the like is especially sad.

 

After the huge lunch, I wasn’t at all hungry at dinner time.  But I had to see Little Anthony’s Diner, so I went for a late pie about 10 pm.  The HamburgerMobile had caught my eye.  The whole place has been really well done by local entrepreneur Tony Terry.  I had Mud Pie, but the highlight at Little Anthony’s was the people who work there.  Brooklyn, the hostess, was very nice, and when she heard about the trip, she called out to one of the waiters, and the next thing I knew, there were four young people seated with me — Brooklyn, Kyle, Greg, and Dawn.  We just talked, and laughed, and told stories for an hour or so. They are all proud of where they work and who they work for.   I didn’t meet Tony Terry, but I like him.  He’s a very sharp entrepreneur.  He does things with creativity, and he obviously attracts great people.

 

The kids asked me what the lesson of the day was, and I told them I hadn’t decided yet.  I guess my primary thought today is quit the honking!  Everyone would be better off if they weren’t in such a hurry.

A lot to see in Tucson Arizona but I did not see it. Day 22.

A lot to see in Tucson Arizona but I did not see it

Day 22 – April 22, 2003 – Tuesday

There is a lot to see in Tucson but I did not see it.  My apologies to Tucson.

Tucson Arizona: Jose was one of the people we met at Simoniz Car Wash. Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.

Tucson Arizona: Vehicle care such as oil changes are vital on a 50-state road trip. Jiffy Lube is great. Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.Today was car day and me day.  I took care of the car first – wash, shampoo, wax, and windshield repair.  Then an oil change.  A lot to see in Tucson but I did not see it.  I could not see!

I met wonderful people at each stop and ended up telling Round America stories.

There was lots of laughter, so I think people enjoyed themselves.  Many of the folks I met suggested places to go and things to see.  A lot to see in Tucson but I did not see it.

At the Simoniz Car Wash, Anthony, Arturo, and Reuben got the car cleanup started, and Jose did the detailing.  Jacques repaired a chip in the windshield.  Inside, I met Debbie the cashier; Yolanda (originally from Paxico, Kansas) and her boys Cole, Drake, and Blaze; Joyce; and others.

Tucson Arizona: 
Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.
Tucson Arizona: 
Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.
Tucson Arizona: 
Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.

Tucson Arizona: 

At Jiffy Lube, an especially friendly group of happy workers included Leo, Francisco, Javier, Joe, and Granpappy Jack.

Tucson Arizona: 

Tucson Arizona: Pearle Vision Center provided medical,care for removal of a dirt clod from the eyelid. Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.

Once the car was squared away, it was time for me.  First stop was the Pearle Vision Center.  There was a lot to see but I did not see it.

Tucson Arizona: Dr. Steve Miller diagnosed me with “dirt clods in the eyelids.”  He was kind enough to remove them and provide medication.  No wonder my eye kept hurting so badly.  The cornea was not scratched, but the upper part of my eyeball was badly scratched, and there was dirt or sand embedded inside the upper and lower eyelid causing the irritation to continue.  I could feel some relief right away, but it will take several days to heal.

Liana and Kathleen were great fun at Pearle.  Kathleen said I made her day telling them the stories of Fast Freddy and the Floating Neutrinos.  I told her that she made mine by feeling that way and telling me.

Tucson Arizona: Bill Windsor found Just for Feet store one of the Places We Go for more comfortable shoes. Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.

Next stop was Just for Feet.  The trip began with a brand new, bright white pair of Nikes.  Seriously, they quickly looked to be a year old and had become a really ugly combination of colors.  Judging by the shoes and my left eye, I stopped to realize that there is a lot of wear and tear going on.

Tucson Arizona: 
Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.

I’d taken 2,033 photographs, so that means glasses on and off at least 2,000 times and the car door opened at least half that many.  I’d put 6,417 miles on the car so far, and I’d gone in and out of 19 motels in just three weeks.

Tucson Arizona: New sand-colored shoes were purchased at Just for Feet. Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.

Back to the shoes, I wanted a dirt color pair in hopes they will look better over the long haul.  I also needed something as comfortable as humanly possible.  I tried on really cool-looking shoes by Timberland, New Balance, and others, but they either rode up on my heel or felt like I was going to topple over due to an oddly shaped sole.

I finally settled on the ugliest, but these babies were comfortable.  I became the proud owner of Rockport Walking Shoes Model MWT13 (made in China).  Sand is the official color – perfect!

Tucson Arizona: 
Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.
Tucson Arizona: 
Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Just for Feet, Jeff helped me, but then Jason, Eric, Ricky, and Frankie joined in.  Analisa took my money.  Brian wouldn’t let me take his photo, but he was the answer when I asked the guys where to find the most unique sight in Tucson.  Brian can put his hand flat on the floor without bending over.  Amazing but true; I saw him do it.

Tucson Arizona: Weinerschnitzel is a great place for a hot dog. Great-looking fast food restaurant. Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.
Weinerschnitzel is a great place for a hot dog in Tucson Arizona. Great-looking fast food restaurant. Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.

Since today is a day of rest and a break from the norm, I broke the rule about fast food chain restaurants.  I enjoyed two delicious hot dogs at Weinerschnitzel.  It was nostalgic for me.  We haven’t lived in a place that had a Weinerschnitzel since college.  At Texas Tech in Lubbock in 1971, it was called Der Weinerschnitzel.  Nasty Johnny, Arne Ray, Cottar, Franklin Shanklin, Bozzie Jane, and I and all the other students called it “the Der.”  We’d go, especially late at night, for a Der Dog and Chili Cheese Fries.  I think the chain blew it by dropping the Der from their name, but the dogs were great.

Tucson Arizona: 
Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.

At “The Der,” I met a really nice couple, Mario and Stephanie, and their dog Rocky.  Mario said my little car is his dream car, so after scarfing down the dogs, I went outside where he was seated and gave him the key.  He wouldn’t drive it at first, but he finally did.

 

Tucson Arizona: 
Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.

Mario invited Barbara and me over for home-cooked Mexican food the next time we are in town.  I’ve got their number, and we will most definitely take them up on the kind invitation.  It took a lot of shots to get a decent one of Rocky.  The only thing harder than photographing animals is flags…the darned things just won’t hold still.  It may take me five or six shots to get a decent flag photo.

Tucson Arizona: 
Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Day 22. 2003-04-22.

This marked the beginning of Week 4.  34,453 on the odometer.  It had been quite a ride so far.  I looked forward to healing so I could get back at it, but the decision was made to extend the stay in Tucson by a day so my left eye could rest…and so I could get caught up on the writing and website work.

 

 

As a result, I spent the rest of the day in the room.  I organized the huge piles of brochures and things to be shipped back to Atlanta, and I processed photos, wrote, and slept.  I perfected sister Marty’s technique for processing batches of photos with PhotoShop.  It works great and is saving at least an hour a night.  Thanks, Murt the Gurt!

As I reflected on the first three weeks, I was really happy.  The trip had gone very well.  Not without the occasional unexpected event — Officer Passarelli, eye injury, and gas panic on the bad end … with Harry and the Natives, tee pee village, Floating Neutrinos, Fast Freddy, and many others on the good end.  We’d been able to see most of the sights we wanted to see; only a few disappointments in that regard.

I’d really missed Boz the last week, and I was anxious for her to return to the trip in two days in San Diego.

We kept adding book title ideas.  Check out the list, and email and let us know the title you feel would be best.

All systems were working well, though there had been too many too long days.  I planned to sit down again with the itinerary and see if there were more days that need to be split in two.

I had not read a newspaper or watched the news (other than brief war reports) for 22 days.  Not hearing all the bad news was good.

There was a lot to see in Tucson but I did not see it.

I was surprised that only seven antacids had been consumned, ad five of those were on one day when Bozzie and I both got sick after drinking a Coke of all things.  Contrary to popular expectations, we were not gaining any weight.  I was not eating nearly as much as when I am home; I often felt like only one meal a day.

Eight states so far, though the trip would soon be 20% behind us.  I’d lost track of how many people we’d met so far and how many times “the car” had been lost.  That would take some work to calculate, but it’s probably well over 200 people – at least 10 a day on average and probably lost 30 times.  8 states.  2 countries.  576 towns.  I’ve bought 320 gallons of gas so far.  6,417 miles.  2,033 photographs.  1,500 U-turns.  1 flat tire (bought for someone else).  1 speeding ticket.  A million laughs.

I’d have to look back at each day to answer this best, but the most fun for me so far was Day 18 – seeing Big Bend, meeting the Floating Neutrinos, getting my beads, viewing 50 spectacular sunsets, eating a bowl of chili in Terlingua, and losing the sight in my left eye.  Savannah on Day 2 was a close second.  My favorite stories so far are Freddy’s Fast Lube & Snow Cone Stand and the trip to the river on Day 16 and the Floating Neutrinos on Day 18.  Barbara and I will update our initial round of nominations for Best and Worst as we leisurely see San Diego and Los Angeles.

There was a lot to see in Tucson but I did not see it

Thanks again to those of you following the trip as Online Travelers.  Please email.

As I wrote this, I tried to play back the tape from the last two days, and the brand new Radio Shack Micro-45 Recorder was not working.  Looks like I had to add Number of Tape Recorders to the Trip Scorecard.  I’ll have to get a new one – number 4.

The lesson for the day is that you can have more fun just doing what you gotta do every day in real life if you just take a minute or two to talk to folks.

Tucson Arizona: Flag man of car parts on sightseeing trip. Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Not much sightseeing on a medical day. Day 22. 2003-04-22.
Flag man of car parts on sightseeing trip to Tucson Arizona – Round America 50-State Trip 2003. Not much sightseeing on a medical day. Day 22. 2003-04-22.