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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Route 66 in Arizona

March 12, 2013 3:53 pm Az time  Quality Inn Room 1106  Williams, Arizona




And lastly, the rendition most of us know: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MK7PgeEbp4

Up at 630 this morning--the time change or not is doing a job on me. Can't figure out what is on TV at any moment or even what time it really is. My computer has home time on it and that is the only way I can figure anything out. The cell phone has local time on it but the car clock?  Who knows???

Anyway, up at the crack of dawn--showered, dressed, packed and fed and on the road by 8. First stop, downtown Winslow--found the corner, took some shots, went into the gift shop across the street and picked up a shot glass for Jeff, a gift for my nephew, Charlie and post cards. Toured around the old Rte 66 area a bit and then hopped I 40,where we soon saw what I thought looked like a white tepee in the distance. Bill said it was a sailboat!  We were both wrong, of course, but I have no idea what it was.

At this point we were  headed to the famous crater in the middle of nowhere. And it is!  Huge, though it doesn't seem as big as it is--the brochure says to imagine 20 football games being played simultaneously on the floor of the crater with over 2 million spectators observing from the sloping sides!! The Washington Monument would be at eye level on the rim if it were stood on the floor. Unbelievable. My Dad told me about it when I was little and while the largest fragment of the meteor that created it is in the museum, the second largest fragment is in NYC at the Museum of Natural History and I saw it dozens of times without truly realizing its significance. Another one of those pictures found in every  general science book I ever studied or used in teaching.The big hole, was for many years believed volcanic but a fellow by the name of Daniel Barringer, a mining engineer from Philadelphia became interested in mining iron at the site in 1902. He was convinced that the crater was not volcanic but rather the result of a meteorite crash into Earth. He spent over 26 years digging for the meteorite but never found it---it had disintegrated on impact. By 1929, his equipment was destroyed and his money gone but, though he died that year, he lived long enough to see the scientific community beginning to come around to his theory. His family still owns the site and though it was recently offered to the National Park Service, they have turned the family down. So, a private consortium runs it.It has been named Meteor Crater or Barringer Meteorite Crater.


Of more current interest is this article. Eduardo, the tour guide who led Bill's 1 mile tour of the rim, said the guy wanted to reach the center of the Earth!  Hmmm


From here we continued on I 40 towards Flagstaff. All day we were dwarfed by the San Francisco Peaks of Flagstaff in the distance. But, before we reached them, we came to the exit for Winona!  How could we miss Winona?  It was lunchtime so we decided to make the place memorable, so we wouldn't forget Winona.  Well, let me tell you, the article on the song is correct. Bobby Troup threw that line in simply for rhyming purposes. There is NOTHING in Winona to FORGET or REMEMBER! LOL

Took a back road, not 66 to rte 89 in Flagstaff and ate at Mary's instead. I had a BLT and iced tea--Bill a green chili burger. Then onto Rte 66 to the edge of town and I 40 once more and into Williams, the gateway to the Grand Canyon. This was the last town to be by-passed by I 40 and the last miles of 66 were torn up here in 1984. Believe me, they build their commerce totally around the fact they were on the Mother Road. Took a brief run about town --will probably do it again early tomorrow morning. I stayed in and Bill went into town to eat at Pancho's McGillicuddy's. Found another shot glass for Jeff--and I got him one at Meteor Crater--wow--three in one day!

Tomorrow, I think we'll go down to Sedona and look around. I know it is a artsy-fartsy town but I also hear that the buildings are all made of the beautiful red rock from around here and is simply beautiful. We go through an historic Walnut Canyon to get there so looking forward to it.

I've made reservations to go up to Grand Canyon on a train. We will stay at the Railroad Hotel here in Williams tomorrow night, take the train Thursday morning to the Canyon and return to the Hotel Thursday night. After breakfast we head up to Tuba City, on the Navajo Nation, in preparation for our visit to Monument Valley. I'm so psyched. A little pricey but one must splurge now and then. Met a man from Harrisburg,Pa at the Crater. He lives here in winter and says that the train is really wonderful and that you have plenty of time at the Canyon. So we are looking forward to it. Don't know what Internet service will be like so we'll have to wait to see when I'll contact you again. But, I'm thinking it will be worth the wait!


So, for tonight, I bid you adieu---I think NCIS is coming on--but who knows? KandB

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