This morning we got up early and were on the road again. We headed west towards our next destination, Flagstaff, AZ.
'Flag' is about five hours from Albuquerque and a smooth drive. There are a couple things to see on the way.
Near the AZ/NM border is the new Fire Rock Navajo Casino as well as a new New Mexico Visitor Center.
The fun stuff starts when you get into Arizona.
One of the first unusual things you will see is Stewarts Rock and Petrified Wood shop along I-40. This place has been around awhile and I have never stopped even though I've driven from Albuquerque to Winslow, AZ countless times.
It is what it claims to be, a rock and petrified wood shop. Did I mention its also an ostrich farm??? Go figure.
Hmmm... it would seem some visitors have never left.
[click on any photo to enlarge to full size]
There use to be a dinosaur park along the way just past Stewarts. That park use to have these giant size dinosaur statues just sitting off the highway, really cool. Unfortunately a few years back they went under and the statues disappeared. Two of the smaller ones are now part of the Hopi Truck stop across from where the dinosaur park use to be. I had always wondered what happened to the larger ones.
Visit Stewart's Rock Shop here: www.petrifiedwood.com/
I decided to drive into Holbrook, Arizona so I could show T-Rob the Wig Wam Motel. I had never driven into Holbrook from the east end. Lo and behold there was one of the larger statues, just sitting in a desert field. No markings no signs.... just 'there'.
At the west end of town is the Wig Wam Motel. For info on these classic Route 66 motels check out www.galerie-kokopelli.com/wigwam
From Holbrook we continued to the Barringer Meteor Crater between Winslow and Flagstaff, AZ.
One woman in line to get tickets commented: "$15 dollars sure is alot of money just to see a big hole."
Lady, go back to Minnesota and watch yourJudge Judy. Gee wizz.
If this is not your thing why on earth did you even come here. Tourists like that just bug me.
After buying our trinkets at Meteor Crater we headed to our hotel in Flagstaff, the allegedly 'haunted' Hotel Monte Vista on San Francisco Street.
I really like historic hotels. Keep in mind that with some of the classic hotels you don't get all the amenities that you do in ritzy high priced hotels....or even some of the low priced chains!!!
The Monte Vista is a rail road hotel. It is one block from the rail road and the trains going by all the time attest to that.
I had reserved a two queen bed 'suite'. Now that was funny!!
The rooms were pleasant enough but definitely not a suite. They were simply two bedrooms connected by a VERY small bathroom. A larger person would definitely have had a problem. The furniture had seen better days but the beds were very comfortable. After a long day on the road and hiking I slept like a charm and ya know what, I did not even hear one train all night.
Reviews on TripAdvisor.com had highly suggested silicone ear plugs, but I didn't even need them. The gal at the counter later mentioned they were in the process of replacing all the single pane windows so that helps.
Later that evening we would go down to the bar. Not a whole lot going on...lol. T-Rob and I had a few beers and then headed back to our room.
The rooms had different celebrity names on them, I'm guessing because at some point these people stayed there, no way of knowing really.
Jon Bon Jovi...Freddy Mercury....Air Supply...Barbara Stanwyck....among others.
Curiously, our room had no name on the door. Could be the last occupents stold the name plate or maybe a ghost took it.
If this place has ghosts, we never saw or heard them.
After we checked in to the hotel, we decided to head down to Sedona, AZ about 40 minutes away.
What a beautiful area Sedona is in. The drive down Oak Creek Canyon is very steep so if you don't like heights and narrow roads be warned.
Supposedly Sedona is a metaphysical place and is a 'vortex' center.
Like the ghosts that went unseen at the Hotel Monte Vista, we saw no 'vortex' either.... or felt one... although I'm not sure what it feels like to be in a vortex... is that like a hangover?? Dale... can you answer that??
Me with the Magellan 2, a Jeep Commander that got us safely everywhere we wanted to go. All 2,421 miles eventually.
After hitting the area around Sedona we had dinner at Sally's BBQ on the main drag in town and then headed back to Flag and a good nights rest.
I would need a good nights sleep as the drive on Wednesday would be a long but amazing one.
NEXT ON LAND OF THE ZIA:
PRISON TIME IN THE BEDROCK JAIL!!