It's hard to pack when you're crying, but we managed. Good-byes were said all the way around on the morning of November 8, 2016. Sherrie, Eric and Lilly headed off to the airport and we headed to Williams, AZ and Route 66. Chuck and Gina stayed behind in their now peaceful home!
The drive to Williams takes you through the mountains with great views. It is always a slow climb in the RV, but of course going down the other side is a different story. We are always thankful when we don't need to use a truck run-off or when we don't see a truck using one. Especially this one seeing it is on the left side of the road, probably not the best side to be entering a run-off when your large semi is out of control.
We started off at the South Rim Visitor Center. There is a large revolving earth suspended from the ceiling that has ever changing pictures on it.
The colors of the rocks, the rise and fall of the earth, the trees and the river winding its way through - wow!
From Mather Point we drove to the Desert View Watchtower. It is a re-creation of an Indian Watchtower.
It is a very interesting building. You enter into a round observation room with a small gift shop. Directly above this room is an outdoor observation deck, The views can't be beat.
|The tower ceiling|
We stopped at all of the overlooks along the drive from Mather Point to the tower.
You can see Desert View Tower from Navajo Point and Les and Mielikki are enjoying the view from Grandview Point.
We have seen some funny shaped rocks in our travels but Duck Rock might be the best.
We continued our exploration of Route 66, first in Flagstaff where the Motel DuBeau and Hotel Monte Vista are still in operation. The DuBeau is now a combination hostel and motel. In the 30's it was listed in the Green Book as a safe place for African American travelers.
We also found some Roadside Oddities. The Lumberjack Muffler Man reminds us of Paul Bunyan, he is just missing Babe. Seeing Flagstaff is in the middle of the world's largest Ponderosa Forest, lumberjacks and eagles seem fitting.
While we were back tracking we hit a few sites that we passed in the dark on our last time through.
Twin Arrows being one, it is an abandoned gas station and cafe, but the local people keep the arrows maintained. There is some cool graffiti on the old buildings.
Second, was the Mountain Lion Safari and KOA Camp in Two Guns. Now it is just a few walls of the entrance gate and some abandoned buildings along with the old water towers that have some extra artwork added to them.
While we were this far back on the route we decided to head back to the Painted Desert Indian Center where Les found a pipe the first time we stopped there but didn't get it.
Jack Rabbit Trading Post, famous for its "Here It Is" bumper stickers was another stop. This is the first time we have back tracked past the previous campground - good thing Les likes to drive.
A stop at the Walnut Canyon Bridge finished off our back tracking. It is a Parker Truss bridge built in the early 40's. While it is closed to traffic it is listed on the National Park Service Register of Historic Places.
Heading out into new Route 66 territory we went west one day to Hackberry.
This is a great stretch of road, one of the longest continuous sections left of the entire route, over 100-miles. The drive was beautiful, and once again we tried to imagine what it was like back in the 30's and 40's.
First stop was in Ashfork, where we found the DeSoto's Salon that has an old DeSoto on the roof.
Along the road from Ashfork to Seligman there are Burma Shave signs which always give us a chuckle.
The Copper Cart has some cool old cars in its lot. The Rusty Bolt is the craziest place in town, with all of it's mannequins standing guard.
There are still a number of motels in operation and if you are really hungry you could get a bite to eat at the Roadkill Cafe.
In Hackberry we stopped at the Hackberry General Store. It is an odd little place, hardly any merchandise to purchase.
They do have a giant green head outside and an actual phone booth. Based on the row of mailboxes there are a few people who live here.
We had read in our Route 66 book that the sign for the Frontier Motel had under gone renovations. As we approached it we thought we had read it wrong. That is until we drove past and looked back to discover only one side had been fixed.
We spent one afternoon wandering downtown Williams. It is just a couple of blocks from the campground so we walked there and back.
Lots of little shops with tourist items and plenty of local art which we love to see.
The Sultana Bar is a local dive bar that claims to have the longest operating liquor license in the state of Arizona and quite the history.
It operated as a speakeasy during Prohibition. There is a wooden trap door that leads to underground tunnels that once housed a Chinese opium den and was also used by bootleggers and outlaws. It also premiered the first "talkie" film in 1930.
Right across the street from the campground is the Grand Canyon Brewery.
The bar fills the center of the room and is built from beautiful wood, the bar stools are tree stumps and actually quite comfortable.
We got a flight of their beer which we enjoyed immensely. Liz, their marketing/graphic design person sat and chatted with us for awhile. It was great talking with her and hearing about all the plans they have for expanding They have a small building on the property that they are converting into a vacation rental and will be offering vacation package deals.
Next up is Needles, CA.
Till we meet again...
Happy Trails to You!
Tips and things we have learned along the way
~ Protecting your hands
Many times while Les is working on the outside set-up or take-down he has cut or scratched his hands. The last time we stayed with Katrina and Steve (daughter and son-in-law) Les was admiring Steve's mechanic gloves. Steve was once a BMW mechanic and is in the process of rebuilding his Grandpa's Bronco. Les found a pair of gloves at Harbor Freight that he now wears faithfully and there are no more cuts, scrapes or bruises.