Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Get Your Kicks...

IF you ever plan to Motor to the West,
Travel my way thats the highway thats the best...

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lyrics to the song route 66 written byBobby Troup
This was one of the first sections I traveled of Historic Route 66 on my recent trip. This shot is in Oklahoma, and thats one of the many family farms that dot the way along this route. I-40 has chopped up much of the old route, but I read that over 85 % is still in tact..I have never traveled along the northern parts of the 66-but that sure is a trip I want to do!
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I love the song of the Meadowlark, these guys make their living along the edges of the Old Route as it winds through the heartland of America. This is west of Henryetta, OK
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While I traveled the quiet rurals of Oklahoma along old 66 I ran into a really friendly fellow...he posed for a photo and then left me to my task of enjoying a piece of American History-

New Friend of mine
The sky is the star of the open range...and this sky was telling me to get moving!

The sky continued to grow dark as I exited I-40 again in Newkirk, NM I saw this wonderful little mission style chapel so of course thats a photo opt I couldnt pass by...wind, hail or whatever!!
Route 66 Newkirk, NM

Chapel sunset
Could not stop me from mailing my Route 66 postcard back home
right here in Newkirk

Newkirk, NM post office

Along the old route are the remnants of a time when Americans were traveling the famous highway in record numbers from ....Chicago to LA! This vintage motel is still in use in Santa Rosa, NM.
La Mesa Motel, Santa Rosa NM
For the Vintage Route 66 collectors, this museum is worth a look!! Check out this sofa!!
RT 66 Museum
I always enjoy vintage CARS!! The Wig Wam Motel located in Holbrook, AZ right on the Historic 66 was quite a site!! NOT just the WIG WAMS but there is a vintage car sitting in front of each unit..
The Wigwam Motel

And there was this one....
Wigwam Motel on Rt 66
Now you go through Saint Looey Joplin, Missouri,And Oklahoma City is mighty pretty.
You see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico,

The old Route is imortalized in this historic marker on the lawn at City Hall in Santa Rosa, NM where the old highway still thrives and helps to drive the economy of this fair town.

Hstoric Marker, Santa Rosa, NM
SO if you ever get the chance....GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day in the Desert

I love bridges-when I lived in NYC I made many photos of all the bridges--the Brooklyn, the Manhattan, the Williamsburg, the Triboro, the Whitestone, the Verrazano, the TappanZee SO Many bridges when you live on an ISLAND!! Check out this great bridge and dam we saw on our camping/sightseeing weekend when I visited my friend in Mesa, AZ. We drove thru the Superstition Wilderness area via the Apache Trails Scenic Byway, and made a loop using hwy 60. The Roosevelt Dam and Bridge was a beautiful photo opt stop along the way...

The dam holds back the Salt was completed in 1911 is 357 ft high and cost $10 million to build! Originally it was 70 ft shorter but was made higher in 1989 it was also re-concreted and this caused the dam to loose its National Historic Landmark status.-Bummer- but if you look at this OLD PHOTO of the dam you can see it was quite a change-
This is the back side of the can see its a HUGE amount of water being held back, I would say that is only 15 ft from the top!!!

The Bridge that spans the water beyond the dam is an awesome piece of engineering! Its a beautiful sight!

...thats Hwy 88 /188 going over that-a-way but we went the other way.... this is the bridge looking back over our shoulders...

We had our lunch alongside the water the view was awesome!

Roosevelt Lake on the Salt RV AZ

...we continued on and just a hop n skip from the bridge is the Tonto National Monument and there are some great ruins of Cliff Dwellings right behind the visitors center there. These were built by the Salado people...and these are approx 700 yrs old....It was close to 100 degrees this day so we took a few photos and kept moving...

This is on the edge of the Sonoran Desert so mannnnyyyyy desert plants everywhere....I fell in love with the desert all over again in this region!!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On A Corner in Winslow, AZ

Between Window Rock and The Crater lies Winslow! Well its not exactly the middle but its along those lines. I mentioned I hit a sand storm and had to stay the night in Winslow AZ...and I gotta say at first I was not impressed--but then...
The day after I took my tour of the Crater, I had to go back through Winslow cause I was heading north up through Utah to Colorado. So on the way back through Winslow I had a change of heart...for one thing it sits on the famous Hictoric Route 66 (I want to drive what's left of it from end to end) and that means there is a lot of "Americana" in Winslow.

Winslow, AZ

Of course the City Works was digging a hole---

Some of the cool things I noted was this great interesection in the center of town made famous by the Eagles a rock group we all grew up listening to... Take It Easy..
Well I'm a standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona, such a fine sight to see, its a girl my Lord in a flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at me...

Standing on a corner...

Notice the painting on the wall behind the statue...its pretty cool!!

Here is the Roadworks gifts shops....

On the Corner in Winslow, AZ

This is the La Posada Hotel C-1930's it was called the Fanciest Hotel along the Route 66 back in the day,...and its not looking half bad today either!!

The LaPosada, Rt 66 Winslow AZ, Vintage

The La Posada c-1930

If you wanted to live here, can probably get a cheap apartment right in town...

Play on Words

And this cute Vintage Burger Joint is Closed!! TOO bad it should be hopping what's up with Americans these days they would rather buy at McDonalds and let a place such as this close down??? Not me, I dont do McDee's or any of those fast so called "food" spots. I dont even eat So whadda I know!! IF I did I would rather buy it from a mom n pop like this spot once was. I'll have mine ALL THE WAY PLEASE..thats a Deluxe for the Yankee people!

Vintage-Burger joint

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Window Rock, AZ

Im kinda excited about the new format of my blog..because I usually host my photos over at Flickr and the medium size is about the right size for sharing here on the blog however I always had to resize them to 400 pixels in I dont have to do that so it should make it easier and faster to get my blog post done
BOY its hot...too dang hot for man or beast so the girls are inside sharing the AC that has been going full blast since I arrived back here from traveling...once it gets hot here in SC it stays till after labor day.

I wanted to post a bit more about some of the highlights of my this time I wanted to share a visit to the town of Window Rock Arizona. First off Window Rock is the Navajo Nations Capital- and the center of business and law. I found out about Window Rock by reading Tony Hillerman novels I am a big fan of his work and I decided to visit some of the places he wrote about in his Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn novels. Window Rock is mentioned time and again by Hillerman.
The day I drove up from Gallup and it was COLD and windy, the elevation there is just under 7,000 ft. This is the ROCK that gives the town its name and its located directly around the municipal buildings that house the government of the Navajo Nation and is a sacred mountain to the Navajo People.

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Its quite fantastic looking!!

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The main capital building with the Navajo and US Flags flying...

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Slightly north of here is Fort Defiance which I did not go see..but I did stop at the Veterans Cemetery just outside of town...since it was getting close to Memorial Day and I paid tribute to the fallen Navajo heroes when I was there.

Navajo Veterans Cemetery, Window Rock AZ

The Navajo's have made a huge contribution to the war efforts on behalf of this country...and that should never be forgotten. They used their language to create a code and this code saved many lives during WWII-this statue commemorates that effort at Window Rock..

Navajo Code Talkers Memorial

This is the Council Chamber Building...i like the fact that its made of Navajo Sandstone and it blends perfectly with the natural stone of the rock formations.

Navajo Nation Council Chambers

and this is the Seal of the Navajo Nation...I love the simplicity of it..
Seal of the Navajo Nation

I walked around and took photos of the beautiful rocks surrounding the area...besides the sacred Window there are other unusual formations nearby this one is by the parking area...thats my Blazer sitting there--

Rock Formations @ Window Rock

I found out by speaking to a couple of men who were also at the rock that day they are just as disillusioned with government and politics as the rest of us are, the modern day Navajo faces the same issues we all face in this modern world. One man told me he had voted that day in some of the local elections...I asked if he felt good about his vote..this was his reply--Now you have to imagine him telling me this story in the slow traditional way the Navajo have of speaking, he said,
"I feel as if I flipped a coin, and it didnt land on heads or tails, it landed up on end, this way," he demonstrated by holding his hand at 180 degrees on its side. It was quite funny!! The other Navajo was surfing the web on his laptop thanks to the WiFi of the Govt buildings right there... and threatening to put me on his facebook...YIKES I took my leave after that!!
Heading south on Hwy 191!

Due South

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Meteor Crater-AZ

While its still fresh in my mind I want to share a closer look at some of the interesting places I stopped at along the way during the recent trip, didnt really get a chance to go into detail in real time...I covered some great distances and barely had time to upload my photos and go!! So my little "reports" wont necessarily be in chronological order but just as they come to mind...
TODAY its The Meteor Crater National Landmark-

So after 5 days with my friend in Arizona I headed north to continue on my trip and noticed a pink cloud when I emerged from tree cover of the Coconino Natioanl Forest and out in open range again. I was headed for Winslow Arizona and the Meteor Crater.
The closer I got to Winslow the pink cloud grew bigger and bigger and more and more WINDY!! It turned out the pink cloud was in fact red navajo sand driven up into the air by the raging winds, a true western sand storm!

By the time I got to the main street of Winslow I didnt turn West to head to the Crater I headed to closest Motel (CHEAP MOTEL) to get out of this storm. I had planned to possibly camp but the winds were just too high!
The "Desert Sun" is run by one guy...didnt get his name, I paid cash and didnt get a receipt He just said "Ill bring you some towels and toliet paper over...gee whiz!!
--the room was old, not exactly clean, and quite dusty!! Every little crack was being invaded by the blowing sand and the door was barely held closed by the lock! I put my large cooler in front of the door just in case it should decide to fly open...

So this sundried owner told me the Crater was closed and the I-40 both directions was also closed due to the 60 mph winds and the sand storm! Visibility was almost zero in some areas....So I would not be going to the crater that afternoon as planned.

Its not far from Winslow to the Crater which is a privately owned natural wonder..well sort of natural...ITS been there for 50,000 yrs or more!! The crater was discovered by natives of course but the first recorded account was by a scout of General Custer's named Franklin in 1871 and then it was called Franklins Hole! But in 1902 a miner from Philly, Daniel Barringer came to the Crater and filed mining claims with the Federal Govt, his decendants still own the land today. The surrounding land is owned and leased by the Bar T Bar Cattle Ranch Co. and together they call the Crater a land trust and invest monies derived from the sale of tickets in scholarships, grants, as well as science and education awards.

The Iron-nickle meteor is thought to have been 150 feet across weighting many tons, the largest fragment discovered is displayed in the Crater Museum.

The crater is 550 feet deep,(thats 60 stories) over 4,000 ft across and is 2.4 miles in Circumference. 20 football fields could reside side by side in the crater!!

The admission price is $15 and I thought it was well worth that since we got a guidfed rim tour, there is a very informative self guided museum tour, a gift shop with a Subway sandwich shop inside, many observation decks, and a short movie in a comfortable theater demonstrating the history of the Crater.

Meteor Crater National Landmark is located about 20 miles west of Winslow Arizona just follow the signs off I-40. There is a great view of the San Franscio peaks to the west and the vast flat desert to the east.


Monday, June 7, 2010

The last leg of my trip, the return home I decided to take a more northern route to avoid the heat so I started out by leaving Colorado and heading to Kansas and Missouri...the Rockies still have snow in the cracks and crevices

CO-Kansas 003

I always hate to leave Colorado behind so many beautiful landscapes in every direction you turn! Saw this horned lark at the edge of one gas stop I made...he was busy hunting insects

Horned Lark

The open vastness of the prairie is always beautiful...

Red Barns

The Heartland

And the Cities too...this is Kansas staddles Kansas and Missouri so its a shared city sort of..

Kansas City

& the great colors of the grasslands is amazing-

Colors of the Grasslands

The wind blows wild n free there!

Blowing in the Wind

The Western Kingbird saying goodbye--

Western Kingbird

as John Denver said in his song..."Hey its good to be back home again"!! I arrived back on Friday just in time to see my son compete in his 5th Body Builders this is what we all should look like-- he did a fantastic job with his body this yr..Im very proud of his effort and his results!!

2010 SC BB (34)

Until my next adventure...something is always cooking in my little pee brain. Tomorrow is election day around here we are electing a new sherrif, a new governor, and lots of other "civil servants"...tongue in cheek!!