Category Archives: South West US May 2012

Route 66 in Williams Arizona – getting my kicks!

When I was first planning my trip to the US southwest, I intended to pay a short visit to Winslow and stand on the corner  just like in the Eagles song “Take it Easy”.  After all it was only 50 miles from Flagstaff where I was going to spend my first night.  After more thought I decided to stay in a hotel on the famous Route 66.  It worked out that my second last day took me to the Grand Canyon.  I had heard of Williams Arizona – the last city on Route 66 in Arizona to be bypassed by the interstate highway.  Williams is only 1 hour south of The Grand Canyon National Park and so I booked a room in the Williams Travelodge right on Route 66.  Williams is a small, well preserved “Route 66” city with a lot of ties to what I always imagine to be the golden era of the US – 1950’s.  I stayed at the Grand Canyon until well past dark to get some sunset photos so I didn’t get to see much of Williams by the time I got there at around 11 PM.

Next morning I woke up and looked out my window.  I had been transported back to 1955.  Directly across the street was “Goldies Route 66 diner”.  Right out of the 50’s. I waited for a biker to drive by to take the photo.  There were plenty to chose from.

Right across from my hotel. I waited for someone on a motorcycle to come along. There were plenty to chose from.

I didn’t eat breakfast there but took a look inside.  It was a Saturday and there was a display of classic, restored vehicles from all over the state.  The cars were angle parked right on the Route 66 loup which goes through town.  Blaring in the background was 1950’s music, little Richard, The Platters, Bill Halley, The Ronettes etc. etc. etc.  It was great looking at all the vehicles and walking into the nearby souvenir shops.

One of the nicely restored vehicles on the strip

A custom made vintage Ford truck

From the car exhibit, I drove along Route 66 to downtown and parked my car.  There were a lot of tourist shops selling Route 66 souvenirs.  There were also Navajo Indian jewellery shops.  I truly enjoyed some of the old style diners with authentic looking tables, counters, chairs, booths etc. etc.  Some neat signs as well.  I also liked the Texaco Service station and pumps.  I wandered around for a few hours taking photos.  Check them out below.  Be sure to enlarge some of the photos of the signs – they are quite interesting.

 

Also posted in travel, United States

Monument Valley – My Forrest Gump moment

I got into Kayenta, Arizona around mid-day and immediately took a drive to Monument Valley about 20 minutes or so away towards the Utah border.  I decided to take the 17 mile drive around the Valley over the rough and tumble road which took me to some truly fantastic places.  Among these was John Ford’s point named after the famous movie director who shot a number of westerns with that setting as a backdrop.  I also drove to get a view of the “Totem Pole”.  I once saw a spectacular photo of this landmark from a slightly different vantage point which had sand dunes in front of it.  I didn’t go to that part of the valley.  I learned that you need to go with a Navajo guide and it just didn’t work out for me especially since I wanted to go before sunrise.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed the view from the spot that I got to and I took a few photos although none of them are anywhere near as beautiful as the one that first inspired me to go there.   Check it out here.

The next morning I set out for Moab and Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.  I had to drive by Monument Valley and then past it towards Mexican Hat to the north in Utah.  I knew that the road would pass by the point where Forrest Gump stopped his cross country run with the iconic view of Monument Valley in the background.  As I drove, I kept looking in the rear view mirror until I recognized the spot.  I stopped the car and put my camera on a tripod in the middle of the road and took the photo.  I attached a few photos of this area including my “Forrest Gump” moment.  Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them.

 

Me along one of the smoother portion of the driveTree and totem poleJohn Ford's point at sunsetMy Forest Gump moment with Monument Valley in the background

 

 

Also posted in travel, United States