Western U.S. Loop: Arizona Route 66

Travel Dates: September 27-28, 2018

I apologize; I’ve been writing about our September/October trip and it’s taken me a week to write this next post. I spent most of my desk time last week taking a computer course on Photoshop Luminosity masking by Matt Kloskowski (He’s an expert and I really like his teaching style). Plus I am not delighted with the pictures I took these two days. I’m not sure if those are reasons or excuses. Anyway, here we are now.

This was the second phase of our trip. The first phase was the Sierra Nevada Mountain national parks. In this, second, phase we were heading down to visit my uncle and aunt who live in Cottonwood, Arizona which is south of Sedona. However; as I’ve said before, when we are in northern Arizona we WILL go to my mom’s hometown of Winslow to stay at the elegant La Posada Hotel.

After our long drive into Kingman the day before we slept in a bit and had a leisurely breakfast at the motel. Carla and Linda headed to the museum at the Power Station museum but since I’ve seen it a few times before I opted to head track side for some train pictures. It wasn’t long before a freight manifest rounded the curve from the west.

20180927_Kingman Trains_A7R03611

It stopped right in front of me!

20180927_Kingman Trains_A7R03793

The engineer and conductor climbed down, gave me a wave and headed across the street to pick up some lunch at the local burger joint. They teasingly told me they  left the keys in it and I could take it for a spin. I told them they could pick it up down in Winslow later that day.

It was a low priority train and had to wait for a number of others to roll by from both directions.

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A great sunlit day for pictures but as you can see I was shooting right into the sun leaving the north side of the trains in shadows. I grabbed a picture as the container train above rolled past the idling freight.

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By now Carla and Linda had finished up at the museum and we headed out on the Mother Road – Route 66.

We stopped at the perennial favorite – Hackberry Springs store. I bought a metal Flying Red Horse sign just like the one in this picture – only much smaller – for my man cave. I remember this logo from – I think – the Mobil gas stations back in the day.

Hackberry General Store
Hackberry General Store

Next stop: Seligman; a center of the Route 66 revival. When the local barber, Angel Degadillo realized that town traffic and tourism would dry up with the advent of the US Interstate system, he organized and lobbied and persuaded the state and other locals along Route 66 to establish a tourism go-to place. Thanks to his efforts, thousand of people travel Route 66 between Santa Monica, California and Chicago, Illinois. People come from around the world to get a glimpse of America of the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Angel is known as the Guardian Angel of Route 66. (A fun play on words)

Of course we visited the Degadillo family Sno-Cap drive in – which has been a Sno-Cap franchise since the early 1950s. It’s one  the most visited Route 66 spots in Arizona if not the whole length of the route.

Snow Cap Cafe; Seligman, Arizona
Snow Cap Cafe; Seligman, Arizona

We were in luck, a small jazz combo was playing on the back porch. Sure enough Angel was blowing sax. Between every song people would go up to shake his  hand and thank him for the work he’s done promoting travel on the Mother Road.

Angel Degadillo - Guardian Angel of Route 66.
Angel Degadillo – Guardian Angel of Route 66.

East of town we rejoined the Super Slab – I40 – to get to Winslow. After checking into our rooms the women toured the hotel and its amazing art work while I grabbed an adult beverage from the bar and headed trackside.

Backside of La Posada Hotel - Winslow, Arizona
Backside of La Posada Hotel – Winslow, Arizona

As in Kingman, the light this time of day in early Fall is not conducive to train pictures. Nevertheless, I got a couple. The trains stop just west of town to refuel and a crew change. As a result trains get backed up. Here is a 3-deep set of trains.

Trackside, La Posada Hotel; Winslow, Arizona
Trackside, La Posada Hotel; Winslow, Arizona

Linda was impressed and fell in love with the place as we have. We had an epic dinner in the Turquoise Room which is part of the hotel.

The next morning I got up early to take advantage the better lighting and was delighted that the Chicago-bound Southwest Chief was pulling in.

Chicago-bound Southwest Chief arriving in Winslow, Arizona
Chicago-bound Southwest Chief arriving in Winslow, Arizona

Luckily for me it was running an hour or two late. Three women who were waiting to board the train were not as happy. They had woken up at three in the morning to get here from Show Low – which is up in the mountains south east of Winslow.

After a great breakfast in the Turquoise Room we headed out for a quick walk around Winslow – which honestly has seen better days. Their biggest claim to fame is the Jackson Browne / Eagles song “Take It Easy” which has the line s

Standing on the Corner in Winslow Arizona
Such a fine site to see.
It’s a girl my Lord in a flat bed Ford
Slowing down to take a look at me.

Nevermind that Jackson Browne said the corner in question was in Flagstaff but “Winslow” just sounded better; the town has worked that song into a tourist destination complete with statue and flatbed Ford. As part of a celebration the artist Ron Adamson was on hand to pose with his work.

Standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona with the artist Ron Adamson
Standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona with the artist Ron Adamson

A second statue – of Glenn Frey – debuted here in 2016.

It was time to get back on the road and drive to my uncle and aunt’s  place in Cottonwood. On the way we stopped at the Walnut Canyon National Monument – the dwelling of the Sinaqua people centuries ago. I’m devoting a separate post for that.


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