We got up EARLY! We had our breakfast at the hotel and rushed off to Historic Route 66 to get on the road. On the way we encountered two crusty looking guys and a woman who had a rough night in a fist fight on a street corner in Flagstaff at 7am. Makes me really want to move there someday! (I’m joking)
We stopped in Winslow, AZ so Mark could stand on a corner… get it? Good… The rest of the city was a dive. I’m talking carcass of a city. I want these cities to be cute, but they're just carcasses. People need to watch the movie Cars and get off the freeway to support local business. Mark and I have been eating at local restaurants, and attempting to support small business along our travels.
After Winslow, we saw the signs for the Petrified Forest and got off at the exit in Holbrook, AZ and encountered the wigwam hotel that I am sure you have seen in pictures before. They were clean, nice looking and pretty much worth staying in. It was 10am and we had no intention of stopping for the day so we stopped for our photo op and moved on. There were tons of other gems in this cute little town that seems to be doing well!
We approached the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Park and it was starting to get really pretty. We entered n the south entrance and stopped to see the petrified wood and it was incredible. We hiked a mile long trail (remember, Mark’s ankle can't take much) and saw some really amazing tree/rocks. They were all laying on their sides some were almost complete trees. We read that they are 200 million years old from the Triassic period. 200 million years ago this desert was a forest that was a lot like the rainforests that are now in South America. Then a volcano erupted, and some other crazy stuff which caused this all to happen. I just impressed myself with my vast knowledge of all things petrified! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrified_Forest_National_Park
We drove on and saw some petroglyphs and they were really neat. As we were walking up to the ruins and petroglyphs Mark jumped about 5 feet in the air and scared the living crap out of me because there were two green lizards on the fence next to us. He scared the entire group of people walking towards us, and we all got a good laugh out of it. The petroglyphs were really cool, and the ruins were really solid, I was impressed. I have never seen petroglyphs before.
We drove on and the map we had mislabeled where the Painted Desert was, so we thought this really boring area was the painted desert. We came to the freeway, and had to drive around this area to get back on it, and then we saw it… it was breathtaking. Pink, orange, yellow, green, beige, and every other beautiful pastel color imaginable was represented. It was strikingly lovely and we just stood there and took it all in. I'm not even going to begin to describe the history of this, so read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painted_Desert,_Arizona
Mark took me to the gift shop and I bought a really cool piece of petrified wood. It still has bark on it, and it glitters. We also bought a dream catcher and matching moccasins…. (this is a joke too).
We got back on the freeway and headed east towards Albuquerque. We were starving and we had directions to a well rated restaurant (Mexican, obviously) and arrived to find it closed. Boo! We yelped another restaurant with our oh so handy new blackberries and found a place called Padilla’s. It’s a locals restaurant with no frills décor. Mark ordered the special, which was carnitas, with potato, and some spinach and it was called carnitas, papas y quelitas. The potato and spinach was yummy and Mark raved about the carnitas. I had the cheese enchilada and the chile relleno. We both got the green and red sauce (Christmas style). Our chips came with a chile sauce which was spicy and delicious. The food was amazing. We both cleared our plates. We were given a basket with 4 sopapillas… 4… holy cow… and you know we ate all 4 of them! They were great!
We tried to like Albuquerque. Mark found a record store and got a stack of records that he was excited about. We visited the historic Route 66 downtown area, it was cartoony and lame. Overall, it was a pretty city, but very beige. We headed out to Trader Joe’s and stocked up on some essentials, and got back on the road.
We decided to stay in Santa Rosa, NM for the night and here is where we faced a conundrum… we couldn’t find a motel for under $75 a night. Seriously, Motel 6 was charging $75 a night… That was no good. We decided to cruise the Route 66 strip and find a historic motel and see how much they charge. We ended up at the adorable La Loma Motel with a super cute sign, and $30 room, and here we are. The room is the size of our mudroom, but its got a bed, a bathroom, cable tv and free wifi…. Can’t beat that with a stick! Check out the website, there is a picture of the original owners and they are adorable! http://www.lalomamotel.com/
Santa Rosa has a neat history: “Santa Rosa's stretch of U.S. Route 66 is part of film history. When John Steinbeck's epic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, was made into a movie, director John Ford used Santa Rosa for the memorable train scene. Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) watches a freight train steam over the Pecos River railroad bridge, into the sunset.” From Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Rosa,_NM
Tomorrow, we get up early and continue this adventure!
As always, our photos are all on www.flickr.com/runaroundrachel
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