We’ve been moving every couple of days and seeing so much in northern Arizona that I can’t keep up. While we were at our lovely RV park near Holbrook, AZ (Root 66 RV Park) (she said sarcastically), we drove to nearby Winslow, AZ to re-enact the Eagles song, “I was standing on the corner in Winslow, AZ............”. We were not the only ones to do this, even on a slow weekday in November.
The town has erected a guitar-holding statue on the corner of their main street (Route 66) and parked a flatbed red Ford at the corner. They also have piped in music playing the famous Eagles song. We couldn’t resist taking photos of us on “the corner.” Maybe the summer months are busier with tourists and therefore keep the town afloat, but when we were there, not much was happening and there were lots of shops closed and/or for sale. In fact the town looked like it had seen better days. It reminded us of alot of the towns we have seen along old Route 66 - dying.
While in the area we visited the Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert NP. We have never taken the time to stop at either one, so we were excited to check them out. We stopped at the Visitor Center at the Petrified Forest first and watched a short film about the history of the Park and visited their Museum. Once again, thank President Theodore Roosevelt for preserving this area and making it a National park. This is the area where so many dinosaur remains were found including the infamous Gertie.
When visitors first arrived by train in this area, back in the 20's and 30s, they tromped all over the area and picked up lots of the petrified wood to take home and then came the pillagers who dynamited the trees and extracted uranium that was in the crevices of the trees for profit. The insides of the tree trunks look like precious stones and the colors come from various minerals that seeped into the trees over millions of years and were uncovered by erosion in recent history. We learned that the NPS only contains about 10% of the petrified trees and that 90% of the rest is on private property or reservation land and that is why so much of it is for sale at private enterprises. At one of the gift shops we stopped at, there was a fairly large chunk of petrified wood that was for sale for $60,000! Not sure who would buy that and what they would do with it. Ed had to buy a few small rocks, but he only paid $1.00 for 2 pieces.
We drove around the 28 miles of Park road and marveled at the beauty of the land and all the petrified wood exposed. We thought it was so beautiful and then we drove through the Painted Desert. WOW. I can’t even describe how beautiful the area is. It’s not a large area, but it is stunning.
We left Holbrook the next day and had the hardest day of driving so far. I think we were at the front edge of the Alaskan Polar Express. The wind was blowing so hard Ed had trouble holding the wheel. Sand was blowing over the road and so were the tumbleweeds. We got hit by several and they sounded unexpectedly loud. We also ran over a hard hat as we were passing through a construction zone and it flew off the workman’s head. Smashed to smithereens. Sorry buddy. By the end of the day we were in Williams, AZ and glad to be stopped. Ed’s arms were sore and my foot was sore from all the “braking” I had done from the passenger seat. (HaHa)
Next stop - Grand Canyon.