Author Topic: My 2009 summer road trip day 3  (Read 7264 times)


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My 2009 summer road trip day 3
« on: June 29, 2009, 06:54:28 AM »
Summer 2009 road trip

Day 3, Sunday 28 Jun

Sunday is not the greatest day for visiting towns on a road trip. It's better spent going to some natural site or resting since many people close their shops. The hostel in Flagstaff was nice for a hostel, but the location was awful. It was right in the area where all the Saturday nightlife is for the college kids, and half a block from the railroad line and major crossing. There was no AC (the weather was fine), so I had to have the window open, and trains blowing their air horns woke me every half hour. For a budget person staying in a dorm room it's cheap and clean, but for a single room occupant I could have found much better in Flag.

I got on the road heading east and took the NOTR/older US 66 path out of town since it's such a nice drive through the trees. I snapped some shots of the old truss bridge and got on the freeway for Winslow and Holbrook. I stopped at "The Corner" in Winslow to take some shots and walk a bit. The Old Trails Museum was closed. There's now a big Route 66 memorabilia shop diagonally across from the original one. It must really have cut into that shop's business since it's much bigger. I bought my older daughter a marbled tie die T-shirt with a big peace sign, and the words Take It Easy, from that smaller original shop. The building with the trompe l'oeil scenes of that certain Eagles' song is now just a wall. Weird. I didn't know this, but they tore down the building, left the wall, reinforced it, and build a park where the building used to be. They parked a red flatbed Ford next to the original little xeriscape park right at the Corner.

In Holbrook everything was closed. I bought some stuff at Safeway and had a picnic for lunch, then headed southeast. I was not intending to do any road hunting today, but I just couldn't help noticing the original National Old Trails Road as it paralleled US 180 (originally a tributary highway of US 80 by the way). I could see the road berm, culverts, and the bridge over the Little Colorado River. Look at this aerial. According to my 1915 map, the road was much more winding, and you can see that dirt road to the west of the bridge as well. There's a culvert on the paved section west of the bridge with an Arizona state highway department monument disk. The paved 1920s road heads east to the north of 180 and enters the Petrified Forest NP. This was shown on the 1926 map. It comes out right at the southeast corner of the park, and I could see it come back in and merge with the highway.

I followed 180 to AZ 180 ALT and the NOTR path to Concho. Concho is a nice little town. Both the 1915 and 1926 maps show the road going farther south, then swinging around northeast. As I left Concho I noticed an old road heading south, and soon saw an old one lane bridge. Uh oh... well you know what I did. The road became dirt, but I think it was once paved. It climbed up the steep hillside eastward (aerial photo). Snake Ranch Road may also have been the earlier 1915 road. I'll have to compare maps later. The road eventually came to a bridge that was out, and a fence was beyond it. I later found the place where this road crossed AZ 61/US 180 as I went east.

I drove through St Johns, and on to Zuni Pueblo. Man talk about a town not meeting my expectations. I was very disappointed with Zuni. There were some trading posts open, but the ones I went into were all owned by arab guys. No kidding. The scenery was truly spectacular though, with gigantic red and yellow sandstone mesas and conifer trees.

I had a very mediocre dinner at "El Sombrero" on Route 66 in Gallup since almost all the restaurants were closed. The place was one of the only non-fast food restaurants open on Sunday. It was about 8 pm New Mexico time, but I looked in my Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide for a place to stay in Albuquerque. The top recommendation was the Monterey Non-Smokers Motel. The owners are a Polish couple and all previous owners have continued to upgrade and improve the motel. It really is amazing for a budget motel ($55+tax for me). I've seen luxury hotels that are not as clean and nice as this. It had nice drapes, furniture, wooden baseboards, wallpaper in the bathroom, and not one chip or sign of age. Oh, and of course no sign of gross smoke smells. I talked for a long while with the lady, and she was very friendly. This is quite a contrast to my stay in Flagstaff.

I let Google maps show me a route that avoids freeways to my destination. It goes through Taos, Cimmaron, and Dodge City. Looks good, so I'll try that route since I still have three and a half days to get to Mt Horeb, Wisconsin.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 06:58:33 AM by Parsa »