As I write this we are just 24 hours away from hitting the road, so stay tuned for more posts as we wander. Not many pictures this time time but we should have some in the next one.
We left with the intent of getting thru Phoenix traffic at around 10 am and taking rt 87 to Payson. When we got a little north of Phoenix we started seeing signs that 87 was closed due to wildfires. We weren’t in a rush so we diverted to the West side of town and onto I 17.
We have made reservations for the first 3 weeks and so found ourselves at the Meteor Crater RV park which is West of Winslow. Quite a nice CG with full hookups and far enough off I40 that there was no traffic noise.
|The clear plastic to the right blocked the faucet.|
After we’d set up we discovered that the cold water faucet in the bathroom wasn’t working. The hot was OK, and all the cold water in the rest of the rig, but not in the bathroom!
After multiple attempts to fix it we finally just bought a new one, then I decided to delve deep into the guts of the old one and found a piece of plastic in one of the passages of the thing. Best guess is that a piece of the wrapper for the last new filter we put in was inside the new filter and was drawn thru all the piping into that one faucet!
|The rim of Meteor Crater|
|An idea of how big the crater is.|
We moved on with our lives and went to visit the Meteor Crater. This is really impressive, over a mile in diameter and 500 feet deep. It was created when a large meteor crashed into the earth at 26,000 miles and hour.
|Standing on the corner. A MAJOR tourist attraction.|
We naturally explored Winslow, visiting the “Standing on the Corner” statues and the La Posada Railway Hotel built in the 1920’s for the passenger trade. The place had been left derelict then restored and it is really worth a visit. Later in the day I was chatting with my Cousin Liz in England and found she had been right here experiencing the same things 16 years ago.
|Wonderful interiors of the hotel.|
Lots of places are still closed but we found a brewery that was open and had lunch there. Later on we talked it over and decided that it maybe wasn’t the smartest thing we might have done because it was very crowded and there was no social distancing going on. The staff weren’t wearing masks or gloves (Except the chefs) and I personally didn’t see anyone cleaning tables. If we go somewhere similar in future we will probably turn around and leave.
|The beer was excellent but later on we reconsidered how comfortable we felt there.|
The Elks Lodge was open and doing good things, plus keeping to the guidelines. After a tour of the Lodge and the exchange of Lodge pins we had a nice dinner and a few drinks before returning to the rig.
|Of course this is all on the old Route 66|
|We explored some of the abandoned roadside attractions|
We took a picnic lunch with us when we went to Flagstaff and Walnut Canyon, where there are cliff dwellings in the canyon walls. We got out of the car and actually hiked a while there.
|Walnut Canyon is very deep|
|Cliff dwellings in the canyon|
|Barbara said it was like a cliff dwelling high rise|
There is a drive from there through Sunset Crater Volcano Park up to the Wupatki Pueblo Park. The crater was a little bland, although the lava field is dramatic. The Pueblos though were really worth visiting, they were built 1500 years ago, with views across the plateau and the red rocks stood out in the bright sun. A raven watched us from a pinion tree making me think about the native spirits here.
|One of the pueblos|
|I felt like his spirit was watching us|
|This huge pueblo had 100 rooms and 2 ball courts|
So what have we learned in this first week back on the road?
First the national parks are open, at least in this area. The visitor centers are closed and as a result they are not charging for admission.
Some places are open as usual but some are not. They don’t seem to have updated their websites so it’s better to call ahead and ask if they are open. We went to the Flagstaff Elks only to find it had reopened then closed down again.
We also learned to look at places before we go in to find out if we feel comfortable with the Covid prevention steps inside.
So that’s it for now.