Albuquerque, New Mexico to Flagstaff, Arizona
28.06.2010 - 28.06.2010 84 °F
Leaving Albuquerque, we began our eighth day on the mother road making our way into Arizona. Most of todays route snaked in between I-40 and back and forth. Before crossing the State line, we pulled over to visit the Continental Divide in Thoreau, New Mexico. By the time we made it to Arizona, we were ready for lunch. We decided to stop in at the famous El Rancho in Gallup, New Mexico.
"R.E. Griffith's Hotel El Rancho was built in 1937 as a haven for Hollywood's famous. His well-known brother, D.W. Griffith (director of such classics as "Birth of a Nation"), encouraged using El Rancho as a base for crews and stars on location because of its access to western landscapes and the rustic elegance of the hotel.El Rancho's elegance included superior service and food of Fred Harvey-trained personnel, accommodations for roughing it in comfort and gaming tables and liquid refreshments in the tradition of the Old West. Stars arrived in Gallup in the insulated atmosphere of Sante Fe Railway trains. But soon they learned about the frontier in a journey to the El Rancho by wagon, carriage or buggy that met every Santa Fe passenger train. Chauffeur driven limousines arrived from Hollywood on Route 66 for use in the daily trips to the filming locations.El Rancho was linked to Hollywood and the movie industry from 1940 through 1964. By 1964, the lure of the western hero was fading. Brilliant technicolor vistas were relpacing dramatic, stark images in black and white. The mysterious west by that time was readily available by automobile along Route 66 and the almost completed Interstate 40." -http://www.elranchohotel.com
After lunch we made our way into Arizona. Our next big stop for the day was the Petrified Wood National Park and Painted Desert. Here we took the 28 mile scenic drive around the park. The first half of the park is known as the Painted Desert.The beautiful landscape included rock formations in blues, pinks and purple shades. Among some of the overlooks you can look down and find an large number of petroglyphs left behind centuries ago by the local native tribes. The second half of the park is known for the large uncoverings of petrified wood. Before we made it into Flagstaff, Arizona for the night, we made a quick stop at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. This is one of the seven original locations of the fames motel chain built between 1933 and 1950. Still owned by the original family, there are now only two locations left. The other being in San Bernardinos, California. This of course being another icon of inspiration for the Pixar movie Cars(similar to the Cozy Cone- "newly renovated"). We then proceeded into Winslow, Arizona, which was made famous by the Eagles song "Take It Easy." We found the commemorative statue on the CORNER of Kinsley and 2nd street. After a quick photo we headed back to 66. After making it into Flagstaff, Arizona we read up on the on going wildfires in the area. There was a recent outbreak to the north of Flagstaff today, but had been taken under control earlier this evening. The fires near Williams also seem to be under control for now. We'll have to play it buy ear tomorrow as we hopefully venture to the Grand Canyon.
Song of the Day: "Take it Easy" by the Eagles