Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Crests, Really Dead Trees and Wigwams

We're Traveling Route 66 in Style

Uncle Neal came by and saw us off from Santa Fe. It was great to see him and we were sorry to go. On leaving Santa Fe we strayed from Route 66 since Mary and I had done the section from Santa Fe to Albuquerque some years ago. Instead we took the Turquoise Trail, a National Scenic Byway. It winds through back roads and small towns between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Along the way is the drive to Sandia Crest at 10,678 feet. The road to the crest got most of us a bit carsick but the view was great.

We soon reached Albuquerque where did some shopping and stopped for a late breakfast at the lunch counter at Duran's Central Pharmacy. They serve a great meal with tortillas made to order and it is on Route 66.

Now we were really back on the road and headed for Arizona. Before crossing the border we made a quick stop to acknowledge crossing the Continental Divide.

Albuquerque From Sandia Crest

The Open Road Beckons

The Continental Divide Gift Shop

Our first stop in Arizona after the welcome center was Petrified Forest National Park. Petrified Forest National Park contains one of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in the world along with views of the multi-hued badlands of the Painted Desert, historic structures, archaeological sites, and 225 million year old fossils. There is also a nod to Route 66 which used to run through the park. We did the park road tour starting from the north and exiting from the south. Along the way we saw the Painted Desert Inn, petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock, the Giant Logs outside the Rainbow Forest Museum. Some of the logs seemed as if the trees had just fallen. Joe and Ned received their Junior Ranger badges.

The Painted Desert

Joe and Ned Take the Junior Ranger Oath

A Petrified Log

Mary Checks out One the Trees

Joe and Ned With "Old Faithful"

A Petrified Tree as Balance Beam

A Friendly Lizard

Detail of a Log's End

It was late in the day when we left Petrified Forest National Park and we were hungry and tired. Originally I planned on staying in Holbrook right down the road but then thought we should get closer to the Grand Canyon since we didn't have a place to camp there. I was in a quandary - if pushed on we would also miss Meteor Crater which I really wanted to see.

We stopped in Holbrook, AZ and had dinner at Joe & Aggie's Cafe another Route 66 classic restaurant which promptly solved our hunger problem very well. Now, where to stay the night? Holbrook is home to the Wigwam Motel one of a original seven "Wigwam Villages" from Florida to California. When we stopped to take a picture the boys asked if we could stay. They are usually booked way in advanced but I stopped and asked anyway. After checking a few things the clerk decided there was an availability, one with double beds. We got it.

Before turning in for the night we drove through town to look at other neon lights and stopped by the courthouse where Navaho dancers were finishing up a exhibit of their dances. We returned to our teepee and fell asleep.

Joe & Aggies Cafe

The Wigwam Motel From Across the Street

Joe and Ned Show Off a Wigwam Bed

Standing at the Entrance to Our Wigwam

Nighttime at the Wigwam Motel

Santa Fe, NM to Holbrook, AZ, 353 miles 9 hrs 7 min

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