Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 5 Tusayan (AZ) to Gallup (NM) 22nd June

On the road back to Route 66 by 0800, a fifty mile drive to the main road at Williams. Most of this part of the world doesn’t come alive before 10am so we were greeted with plenty of Closed Road signs. Probably a good thing as it would have taken all day just to go through everything on offer in the memorabilia shops. The Cruisin’ 66 Diner and Twisters were the favourite!
Just outside town en route to Flagstaff clear evidence of the old road no longer accessible, huge rocks strategically placed to stop enthusiastic tourists from sampling more of the mother road.
At Flagstaff 30 miles away the Galaxy Diner has been feeding people since the early 50s. It is quintessential American Diner and despite having had breakfast we sat down for a $3.99 feast of eggs, and pancakes. Granny’s Closet around the corner was once the Lumberjack Cafe and is still going strong as a bar restaurant through several generations since the 1940s... Granny’s still there and was oh so pleased to share some of her secrets of the past.
 Through Winona and on to the relics of the Twin Arrows... still hovering alongside the old main road right alongside the I40 that replaced it.
The Eagles ...standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona.... has real meaning when you drive through Winslow. There is a pub on the corner and the town is mighty proud of it.
Like many of the towns and attractions along the route Jackrabbit suffers from depleted numbers passing by the now diverted road. Arguably the most recognised sign in the entire 2400 mile run the signs leading up to this place from either direction gave mile indicators counting down to this one final obvious location! Cindy, who runs the joint is third generation, her grandparents bought the place in 1961 and the family has run it ever since. She was pretty sceptical about the future... maybe fifty people a day make the effort to exit the four lane highway to check it out.... and most of them are foreigners.
We spent plenty of time off the highway today exploring short stints of the old road.. plenty of them were dead ends or turned to gravel and the odd red herring had us off on a couple of extended unintentional excursions!... but that, they say is what exploring this road is all about. Numerous times we could see the old road, even if we couldn’t access it, much of that time paralleling the main train line where it had been originally laid.
Today’s terrain changed from the tall Pines of the Grand Canyon region, to desert prairie, Mesa’s (flat topped hills and mountains) and finally canyons rising up out of an otherwise flat barren land.... more reminiscent  of Uluru. Throughout the afternoon we have been travelling through country populated by the Navajo Indians and their reservations. Although somewhat more modern than we might have imagined it does show a very different side of America.
The change in landscape also signalled a change in state as we crossed the border into New Mexico and camped down at the small town of Gallup.
Twisters diner - Williams

Memorabilia City - Williams

The Old Road - No Access!

Galaxy - Flagstaff

Galaxy - Flagstaff

Grannies Closet - Flagstaff


Twin Arrows

The old and the new

Winslow Arizona ...

...standing on the corner!

Jackrabbit Roadhouse

Here it is!

old fuel?... hope not!

Mes - flat top mountains

Cruisin' 66 Diner - Williams

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