For some reason there are a lot of dinosaurs in Holbrook... you can't leave without getting at least one picture... this tall one was at a Rock Shop or something, they have a bunch of them in the front yard and a sign that said, feel free to take photos for your personal use only.
We left Holbrook and continued to sort of abandon the old road. We felt bad but we really had to make some headway.
At one point we decided to get off the main highway and take a bit of the old road... I was navigating and I'm not as good with the EZ-Guide as Beth is. To be fair, as valuable as the EZ-Guide is, there are major problems with it. The problem is that to edit the book you have to take the drive and frankly it would take a LOT of time to go and make all the notes to fix it and make it more accurate and fix the bits that are missing. Oh and... what in the world does "Stay Ahead" mean??? Who says that?
I missed a turn and took us about 2 miles down a dead end that ran parallel to the highway. Oops.
So these bunny signs used to be all over New Mexico leading up to the bunny roadside attraction. The mileage markers are gone, (10 Miles to the bunny) but the "Here It Is" sign is an icon... You'll have to go find it yourself if you want to see the bunny.
Today was a bit of a challege because in an attempt to document all the cities in the famous "get your kicks on Route 66" song we have been working very hard to take some sort of photo or video at a sign for each of the cities mentioned in the song. The lyrics say, "Flagstaff Arizona, don't forget Winona...", well let me tell you something WINONA forgot Winona.
First off, Flagstaff is west of Winona so if you try to capture the cities in the order of the song you are gonna have to backtrack to Winona. Ok thats problem one. Problem two?? Winona has no "town" at all... there is a colleciton of homes and some assorted buildings but the only SIGN that says Winona is basically on the off ramp. Oh, we got it alright but we had driven down that stretch of road for 8 miles before we figured out that we had missed our only "Winona" opportunity.
There was a big fire right out side Flagstaff.
This old bridge was in Winona but had no markings or signage that said "Winona", we needed a marker for our video...
So we back track, which gets really frustrating after a while, we got the shot and we headed down the interstate to Flagstaff. At this point we are tired, hungry and frustrated so we decide to break down and go against our "no McDonalds" rule for the trip and we grab a fast lunch and get back on the road. HOWEVER... much later in the day we realized... we NEVER SHOT A FLAGSTAFF shot. Beth was really mad.
We pull into Williams Arizona, a cute little town with tons of fun neon and old motels. More than one old gas station that has been converted into something or other. We pick the Travelodge near the east end of town and we unload and nap before we head north to go see the big hole, most people call it The Grand Canyon.
I'm not gonna complain about The Grand Canyon but I will say this. I find it inherently difficult to swallow when you have to PAY to see a NATURAL phenomena. Think about it for a minute. I know what the first response to this complaint is. "Well they have to pay to maintain the park". Really? Why do we NEED a park? Why do we need a visitor center? To sell "I saw the big hole" T-Shirts? Better bathrooms? Better parking? Maybe something that is so far away in nature doesn't need a visitor center or a bathroom or a parking lot.
Look at how well and how successful Burning Man has been with no government agency to facilitate it. I know they charge an admission fee (which is also weird) but seriously. When does it stop? Will a ranger come and ask me to pay a fee to take a photo of the moon on the horizon someday? Sounds obserd doesn't it. Now go back 100 years and try to collect a fee from settlers as they stand on the rim of The Grand Canyon. They would probably pull a 6 shooter on you and tell you to move along.
Now, all that "grumpy old man" stuff being said, the view was amazingly beautiful if not a bit TOO amazing. We chatted breifly with an old dude who reminded me of my brother in France and he told us that from where we were sitting we could see something like 42 miles to the far rim. That is beyond comprehension. You look down and you think are you seeing moss on the rocks but then you realize, "oh that is WAY down there... thats not moss thats trees and bushes. So to an extent... The Grand Canyon is too big. (hows that for "grumpy old man" insite?
A word about Williams Arizona. Williams is a good city to go see the canyon from. If you are traveling Route 66 it may be the best to go from. Its about an hour south of the canyon and you need to allow yourself time to get thru the fiasco that is the "park gate".
Since we wanted to be at the canyon for sunset by the time we got back to Williams it was dark. You could easily spend a day in Williams especially if you are like us and have a fondness for the old neon and nostalgia of the old road.
Back to the Travelodge and rest up for tomorrow. Things are gonna heat up.