Wednesday, October 26, 2016

187: Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona

Fun Eagles-themed trivia in the backdrop painting - how many can you find?
I'll be no one else has ever used that title for a blog post before!  But it's unavoidable. We really were standing on a corner in Winslow. Not only A corner, but THE corner. At least that is what they have created for all of us. A very special corner, with a great big mural of the girl in the flat bed Ford, and all sorts of fun little treasures to find in the background of the painting.
It's just a prop! 

We had our picture taken, and watched as others did the same. The guys across the street were repairing their business - keeping it looking spiffy. The cafe/coffeeshop on the other corner was busy. Back down the road, one of the remaining inns on Route 66 had a sign: "Sleep on a corner in Winslow, Arizona"!  All this because of a song. It just goes to show - with the right promotion, these small towns off the beaten path can prosper again.

One group of tourists that we enjoyed visiting with was from Scotland. It had been one of their dreams to come to America and drive Route 66, and so the whole family came along. "How did they know about Route 66?" Roger asked. They've always known about it. I guess it's like we know about the Loch Ness monster! Some of the cultural touchstones of our land are broader than just us - they resonate around the world.

Back in Santa Rosa, we were having lunch in the town's historic Mexican restaurant when a large group of British tourists came in. They were on a bus tour of Route 66 - from Chicago to Santa Monica. The tour director, turns out, is from our part of the world - when he asked where we were from, he said, "oh, Redlands! Yeah, I know Redlands! Turns out this was Jim Conklin, who used to manage the Route 66 Rendezvous over in San Bernardino. Small world, once again!  Anyway, he runs the tour about eight times a year, primarily British guests. They take about two weeks to go the entire route, while we are taking three weeks or so to do the portion from Oklahoma City to home.  But that gives us more days to stay in the inns, to eat at the restaurants. If I had a great big wad of money, I think I'd try to figure out some way to capitalize on all the interest in this route and actually preserve and build up some of these small communities. Maybe there already is some sort of umbrella organization or initiative to do so. But in many places, it seems that it's all up to the local folks, and they just don't have the capital to make a go of it.
One of the iconic Route 66 lodging options

Which brings me to our lodgings for tonight: we are staying at the Twin Arrows Casino Resort just east of Flagstaff.  Wow. First class digs. This is probably the nicest room we've had on our trip. Many years ago, I did some consulting work for the Navajo Nation at their community college in Tsaile. I recall that at that time, the Navajo did not participate in any gaming. Well, that has changed, and they have really done an amazing job.  This place is full of fabulous art, there is a fine dining steakhouse downstairs (where we are going to have a scrumptious dinner soon!) and they have won the Triple A "Four Diamonds" award for the past three years. If you are traveling through the area, this one is worth a stay!
Floor tile detail

This is the floor of the elevator!

Tells the story of Navajo people

By the way - another set of flats today. We actually fixed one this morning before setting out (tiny little wire from the truck radials) and then one about 8 miles from the end of our ride (tiny little wire from the truck radials). Geesh! I guess we are just going to have to budget time for flats into the rest of our trip, as long as we are on the shoulder of the interstate.

The day's report:  Holbrook to Winona, 69.1 miles/ 8959 to date

Our route for today is here

Purple mountains' majesty - approaching Flagstaff

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