We left our tepee fairly early and, at that particular moment, we were still fairly confused as to the correct time. Our watches said one thing but the phones said one hour earlier. We knew yesterday that, within the national park, the State of Arizona adopted standard Mountain Time, ie not Summer Time, but our experiences today indicate that it appears to apply throughout. Therefore, in line with California, we are 8 hours from the UK.
Just a mile or two down the road we found the Jack Rabbit Trading Post sign, which is a bit of an icon on Route 66. It looks tired compared to examples in the books so we had to have fun with the jack rabbit metal model – of course, we did!
The day had been designated by us as a ‘rest day’. In other words, it wasn’t far to Williams, so a gentle drive and early arrival we thought. Pah!! Where better to go than Winslow to take it easy with The Eagles? What a great place for Route 66ers and Eagles fans alike. We found a statue, murals, quaint shop frontages and a delicious brunch at Sipp Shoppe. So far, so good.
The next detour (only about 12 miles each way!) was to a world famous meteor crater, used by astronauts for training and for imagining the appearance of the moon’s surface. It was hot and required a bit of effort (because of the altitude) to walk up to the top viewing platform but the views of both the crater and the landscape were well worth the effort. Once again, huge efforts have been put into a theatre, learning centre and we both agreed the detour to be very worth while. We’re pictured above with Eduardo, the Director of Guides and the third largest piece of meteor in the world
On with the journey. Next stop, Flagstaff, but don’t forget Winona. I will leave Winona to Carolyn and say how much I enjoyed ‘Old Town’ Flagstaff. The town has, obviously, sprawled outwards but the old town, which is right on Route 66, is full of olde world charm. We were looking for a burger bar where you can grill your own burgers but struggled to find the right place, which appeared to be out of town. A young couple suggested the finest burger place in town was Diabalo. Carolyn said the burger was indeed mighty fine and I can confirm the house salad with blue cheese and ranch dressing was equally so. We had some great conversation, too, with our companions on a shared table – a young couple who live in Phoenix but have, unusually for Americans, visited the U.K.
No more diversions. We crossed the Arizona Divide at an altitude of 7,335 ft and cruised into Williams (a mere 6,800 ft) to find our hotel. No tepee tonight and a bit more space. Grand Canyon tomorrow – excited!
OK. Winona. The lyrics of ‘Route 66’ have Winona out of order geographically and the writer, Bobby Troup, only included it to rhyme with Arizona. However, the words say “Don’t forget Winona”. So, ever obedient (when it suits!) we headed for Winona. Armed with a Sat. Nav., guide book, signposted roads and a good sense of direction, what could go wrong? But, it did. We left the I40 at the designated junction which was signposted ‘Winona’. What could go wrong? Only half a mile away. As we left the Interstate, another sign, simply ‘Winona’ with an arrow which we followed. But, where? We drove west. No! Back East! No! Looked for side roads. No! Reset Sat. Nav. Retraced route. No! No! No! Tonight, I researched online to find it barely exists and “which, alas, is now little more than a name on the exit sign along I-40.” It, also, said it is was called ‘Walnut’. Thanks! We didn’t find ‘Winona’ but we won’t forget it!!! But, we did find Walnut Bridge
Brunch in Winslow was excellent! One of the best experiences for me – music and memories! Take it easy? Sure. But, …
“Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
Don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy.”
I’d like to add two photos to Kath’s because I was ‘chuffed’ I’d taken them. Simply that.
Meteor Crater was another breathtaking set of views. The brickwork formed a surreal picture frame and the panorama was hard to capture.
Strange things happen when you look. Three women of a certain age, together with their husbands, entered Sipp Shoppe where we were having brunch. Nothing unusual … unless you noticed they had identical white trousers and pink t-shirts which all proclaimed ‘Sisters – nothing better!’ Fine. Except, within minutes they all had changed into identical black t-shirts advising everyone to ‘Take it Easy on Route 66’. Hmm!
Flagstaff? Really interesting place with so many things to look at and photo. Me? I did a photo of a Flagstaff flagstaff! What else?
Meep! Meep! We saw a (wily?) coyote a few days ago and yesterday, truly, Roadrunner! Zipping across the road in front of me I couldn’t take a photo but a sign today reminded me.
So, very long trains (145 wagons and five engines), meteor crater, our new friends, Eduardo and the couple at Diabalo’s… and the day ends … but the journey … and, the ellipses … continue!