Originally published 25 February, 2014
Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
We gathered up this morning and left our favorite RV resort so far. The Apaches run a nice place..........and to quote Supertramp....."but I must be moving on...." And yes, we must.
Service station from the old days
We head north on I-17, in search of Route 66. When we get to Flagstaff, we turn east on I-40 as Route 66 in eastern Arizona is just bits and pieces....and most of it is gone. We took off one place and couldn't find it....and took another exit where we could see the place I wanted to photograph with my film cameras but we couldn't find a place to park. 53 feet of vehicle can't be shoehorned in just anywhere. We had to keep going.
The NHRA (professional drag racing) ran an event in Phoenix this past weekend. We kept getting passed by tractor trailer after tractor trailer loaded with top fuel dragsters and funny cars. The last one we saw was John Force's caravan of several tractor trailers, and his motor home.
Route 66 passes right through Winslow
While not a big drag racing fan, I always liked John. I worked professional motorsports for years and it was mostly NASCAR with a few NHRA, IMSA, and Indy Car races thrown in. I worked with a lot of famous people, who were one person on TV (usually quite well liked), and another when the camera wasn't on. John Force was EXACTLY the same guy you saw on TV. Sometimes full of shit and noisy, sometimes a gruff guy, other times lovable. John was just John all the time............and I always liked that about him. He's still running and still winning. I like John Force.
Complete with a "flat bed Ford"!
We keep moving east, hoping for a real bit of route 66.....and we wind up in a small Arizona town that many people have heard of but know nothing about. We knew it was here and we had always planned a visit as part of the trip. We drove the motorhome into the town, found a parking lot by the Moose club and walked a few blocks to the center of town. We wound up "standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona".
There are lots of rumors that this isn't the real corner, and it's another corner.....whatever. We thought it was fun. We went in the gift shop, got souvenirs, took pictures.....all the touristy stuff. But that's why it's there. Then we walked back, got in the motorhome and headed east.
Wigwam motel, Holbrook, AZ
Our next stop was Holbrook, AZ, another small town with a pretty decent Route 66 history. Old motels lined the streets, including one that many associate with route 66, the Wigwam Motel. It's a motor court of concrete teepees. None were open and the office wasn't open either. You can apparently still stay in them but they don't open 'til 4 pm. We took our pictures, had our laughs, and drove on through town.
Joe and Aggie's restaurant
There are two restaurants on the main drag in Holbrook which are listed in the Route 66 books and talked about on the websites. They are "Romo's" and "Joe and Aggie's". We chose "Joe and Aggie's" as they had a small parking lot and we were able to thread our rig in it. We went inside and the place was full of threadbare booths, a broken juke box, and a few regulars eating in the back. You look up dive in the dictionary...and it had a pic of the interior of this place. Then there was the food.......
Our rig in the parking lot behind Joe and Aggie's
We ordered a "cheese crisp", which they are known for. It's a tortilla, cheese and chile sauce concoction.....and it was damn good. For a meal, I ordered a stuffed sopapilla....which I had never heard of before, and Laurie ordered some other Mexican dish. I food porned facebook when it arrived at the table. The food was superb.....every last bite. The stuffed sopapilla was so big I had the rest of it for dinner tonight. From there we headed out east again.
Our rig in the painted desert
Laurie wanted to go to the petrified forest and painted desert. They're not one of the major national parks, not having a campground or anything like that. Information is vague and spotty, and we thought it was actually two different parks...but it turns out it's only one. It's like one side of the road is painted desert and the other is petrified forest.
Petrified wood is much less exciting than you think.
To be honest, it was a bit lackluster. We had friends who raved about it, but we really didn't see what the excitement was about. Yes, it's pretty, but we thought if you're looking for gorgeous desert areas, Big Bend Texas, Sedona, southern Arizona.........there were so many that were much prettier. We were, however, there at sunset. Laurie got to photograph a very pretty sunset over the desert, which made her quite happy.
Toward the end of the day, in the painted desert
From there, we went to Gallup, NM, where we're spending the night. We're staying in another Walmart Parking lot.....then we're off east again tomorrow!
Sundown in Northern Arizona
Quote of the day: We ate in a bad diner in Benson which wasn't at all good. Today's choice had Laurie worried. Laurie, before the food comes: "This place has the same menu as that bad place in Benson". Bill, after the food comes: "The only thing this place and the place in Benson have in common is they're both in Arizona".
Song of the day- I thought about "Take it easy", since we were in Winslow. Another Jackson Browne song was playing when we were taking pictures of the sunset....."Running on Empty".....a very apt choice. But another song really sums up where we ended up.
"Walmart Parking Lot"- Chris Cagle
I'm Bill. My wife Laurie and I love to travel and share our stories. We especially love it when we have been able to motivate our readers to start traveling on their own, and making their own stories.
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