At last, bison, see photo below, hopefully.
This country is so full of songs & stories from the past and more recent future it becomes impossible my small mind to remember them all.
Left Gallup behind, Route 66 to Holbrook (who’s ever heard of Holbrook)and Winslow. Leaving behind, as we drive, the dramatic red mesa countryside for more high desert as farvas tge eye can see prairie landscape we are forced onto the I 40 for much of the trip.
Until Holbrook that is, where 66 went right down the main street continuing to Winslow. Well that town that was a major Santa Fe Rail stop and centre, but more recently it’s become a feature stop on the route thanks to its inclusion in the Eagles song “Take it Easy” doesn’t have a lot going for it now. A major refurb of La Posada, reputedly one of the countries top hotels when rail passenger travel was in vogue and the “Standing on the corner” park are the only stories. Here we met Dave. We’re trying to shoot a intersection filling 66 shield when a Harley with rider fully clad in black including full face cover.
He stops for us, we wave him on, he’s heading across to the bronze statue of a musician to get his own photo, Harley, statue and rider. Turns out he doing a ride for a story for HOG magazine. We end up helping him get what he wants with his Canon 5d. He peels of his helmet face mask, turns out to be grey haired ( just like me eh!), worked for Disney and some other studios and is now enjoying the road.
Back to Holbrook for the night and out teepee motel unit. Feeling the sooner we get outahere the better. Down the road to Joe and Aggies Cafe, an old typically shabby joint, for dinner. When paying up, another story emerges. The proprietor and his daughter, 3rd and 4th generation operators of the place we learn Holbrook has a hell of a history. Western shoot-outs, gangs, and such and the inspiration for a load of the Cars, the kids animation movie, places and people.
To Monument Valley today (22nd SEpt), lousy weather, overcast and some rain, by late pm clouds break up, but most images taken in flat light. The trip to the valley was astounding scenery-wise. Description defying landscapes, large mesas, one after the other, stunning red outcrops, wide high desert vistas. A better day would have yielded better images, but hope you get the picture from the smartphone shots picked up along the way.
Hannah, hope you are starting to see just a little of what we were discussing. Realise the images have been crappy, but hopefully more to show when you come down.
I’ve said it before, vastness and scale best define this country, from the man made to the spectacular natural.
23 Sept, drive from Monument Valley, because the info provided by Navajo staff in Gallup was totally wrong. Had planned 3 nights here, hadn’t prebooked, got the last bed in the place, 5 miles away from where we had planned, only could only take us for 1 night.
As transpired, think we missed little in Monument, did the afternoon self drive through the valley, upbat 6.00 am for sunrise, not so spectacular, and off to Page AZ. Again foiled by bus loads of Asian tourists not seen anywhere else, all the photographer tours booked out, managed to get a plebs tour booking, then found an elcheapo photo tour, booked that. Hopefull we’ll something worthwhile, but won’t be the biggie, the Ghost. The 2 day saving in Monument has put us a few days ahead of schedule, so when we again hit the Motherroad should have more time to take it all in. Back to state of sun and song, Arizona withe the words of Paul Revere and the Raiders “Arizona” accompanying my mind.
Anne’s big idea for the day was to go to Antelope Point Marina for our evenjng wine, and dinner at the marina restaurant. Yep, its a marina in the desert. Fantastic facility in man made lake, some incredible houseboats, and amazing marina engineering. The water can rise over 45 feet in a year, and they have clearly provided for much more. You’d be really impressed, Murray & Tim esp.
24th, what a day, why, one reason, we took a photographers tour of Lower Antelope Canyon this afternoon. Fantastic, hopefully the photos will tell it all. These canyons are incredible, no doubt you’ve seen images of them from better than me, again Eric W. you’d have been in heaven, as we were. 100 feet underground, in a slot canyon 1.5 miles long, so light is finding its way in through the slot, the silica in the stone creates amazing colours in the walls. But before that we took in the Horseshoe Bend. Surrounded by mesa like flat landscapes of red with scattered deep green knee high bushes, with odd yellow flowering or lime green bushes spreading out endlessly into the horizon, its shear 1,000 foot walls to the Colorado River below are dramatically remarkable. Doing another canyon tomorrow before leaving for Flagstaff en-route to Sedona and then rejoining the Route 66 highways and byways.
So last night we (Anne would say I) thought, in the absence of a blues or rock venue, we’d dine at an old 66 dive called the Museum Club. Now before I go any further, apologies to our American friends. I figured some lousy food and C & W experience is an opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up.
In we go, along comes Bridget with the words “lets get dirty” on her tight teeshirt and takes our order. The gins come back pretty fast, the food took an hour, then half of my order wasn’t there, I asked about that, off she went to get it, a while returns and say they are right out of that tonight, I ask “so what are going to do about that?” Sorry was the response, never mind I was paying for more tha delivered. Irrelevant. The place was full of big ole cowboy hat wearing dude, the light was low, and sonn got turned down lower, guess that was supposed to hide the food deficencies. Then another hour passed and the show we’ d paid the cover charge for finally hit the stage. Didn’t start playing though, spent the next 15 mins tuning and shaking hands with everyone that walked by. Now for us oldies, a show that starts at after 9pm is starting to impinge on our sleep time. Then it started, and I’ll swear (dont have to believe me) the 1st song the guy lost his truck, his dog and his wife, the only one that returned was his wife. Guess the dog had more taste.
The twangy guitars, screeching voice and over-all totally outside our comfort zone thing had meant I hadn’t been able to get a smile out of Anne for an hour, I started to think that my luck might not be as good as the guy in the song, so after too songs we left, leaving reduced tip due to the earlier delivery problems and head for bed.
On to Sedona. Great drive leaving Flagstaff through ponddrosa pine forest an Oak Creek Canyonwhere the large red buttes and mesas come into sight. A day in and around Sedona, attempted helicopter doors-off flight. Deferred a day due to service problem, so hopefully today.
A few photos, firstly the promised bison!!!
Indian trading post along the way, hard to see in this one, but on the cliffs there are a selection of full size plastic animals, corny as
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