Thursday, June 21, 2018

Globe, Arizona

June 12 - 13, 2018:

This was a wild 150 mile ride from Holbrook to Globe, AZ on routes 77 and 60.  Route 60 takes you across the massive White Mountain Apache and the San Carlos Apache reservations.  You then wind your way like a roller coaster ride into and across the Salt River Canyon.  It’s then all downhill along the Tonto National Forest to Globe, AZ where we pull into the Gila County RV Park.  This is a small campground in the city of Globe, we’ve been here before, with full hookups.  It is super hot, 104 degrees, and we get the AC cranked up fast as possible and mostly stay in it the rest of the afternoon.

Rugged country

As Twinkles is checking in, she learns that the owner is a native of Elmira, NY where Twinkles lived when I met her.  I was in Elmira in the early 1980's for New Jersey Transit to monitor a railcar overhaul project being performed by ABB Traction.

In the evening I venture to a favorite Globe saloon, the “Drift Inn Saloon" as I need to keep myself hydrated  in this heat.  The Snowdrift, built in 1902, is one of the oldest continuously operated bars in Arizona.  The barmaid saw me taking a couple of photos inside and asked me if I would like to see the “Bar stories” binder.  Hell yes, I love to see this stuff, bring it on (I didn’t really say that, but should have).  It told the story of a Italian Immigrant Pasquale Nigro, who built the building housing the Saloon in 1902.  He obviously was quite an industrious man who took risks. He started with a saloon in Tombstone which  failed, then went to Bisbee where he started another saloon but got in trouble for selling illegal bootleg Mescal and finally to Globe.  He built the International Lodging House and ultimately became a very successful businessman.  I also read in Bar Stories about a shooting in the bar on a Christmas morning and reports of ghostly happenings since on Christmas mornings in the bar. 

It’s also noteworthy that two gay women from Washington DC bought the Drift Inn about 15 years ago and have maintained it in near original condition to this day.  I don't approve of the overuse of bar advertising signs on every wall, but at least they didn't modernize it.

The Drift Inn Saloon where you can sit on the front porch

Pool and shuffle board tables and an active juke box

It was a quiet night, we stopped after going to a movie
when it was more crowded, almost all young Apache Indians

Great old painting on the wall, it goes on for another 20 feet

We visited the Gila County Historical Museum which we have somehow missed in previous visits.  It has a ton of local history on this area of the country.

Titled, A picture of good health

Painting of the beloved Toastmaster Cafe

This was a hard working family

A cowboy tribute

Globe in more prosperous days 

The Globe- Miami mining area is immence 

The Salada people were great potters

A few miles away is the Best Ba Gowah Pueblo ruins of the Salada people, we saw it back in 2012, but decided to take another look.  It is actually better than I remembered.  It is an excavated and partially reconstructed pueblo site that was occupied from about 1225 to 1400 AD.  It has 200 rooms and many artifacts were found during the excavation.  The Salada people are renown for their pottery style and quality.   The artifacts found in the ruins are on display in the museum in the visitor center.

A depiction of the Pueblo

This section of the Pueblo has been reconstructed

It is an impressive structure

It’s now time to return to Tucson to deal with our new house.  

Twinkles and Slick

Monday, June 18, 2018

Holbrook, AZ and the Petrified Forest

June 11 - 12, 2018:

The ride today could have been all I-40 at 70 MPH, but instead I slowed it down by taking historic route 66 for about 35 miles.  It wasn’t really a very interesting section of the Mother Road, but it was a more relaxed ride.  Of course, coming into Gallup, New Mexico I had to exit I-40 and take route 66 through the downtown area.  I could have stopped for hours and wandered around, but I’ve done that before and I don’t want to leave Twinkles waiting too long for me in Holbrook.  After Gallup, it’s back onto I-40 west through more Indian country, past several roadside Trading Posts, the Petrified Wood National Park entrance and to our destination in Holbrook, New Mexico.

Remains of an old Trading Post on route 66

I just can't resist train photos in front of mountain views

The El Rancho in Gallup is where the stars hung out

Many Indian souvenirs can be had along this route

I went into this shop at the Continental Divide and bought a soda 

We have been to Holbrook a few years ago staying at the same OK RV Park.  We’ve done and seen about everything here, but it’s still nice to come back to familiar places.  The petrified wood here is incredible, it’s everywhere.  We’ve been to many places where they are excited about a few logs, but here the streets are lined with it, if you dig a hole here, you probably hit petrified wood.  We always go to Jim Gray's Petrified Wood where they have a huge lot filled with huge petrified logs of all sizes for sale.

I thought about getting one, but they weigh tons and cost thousands

There is a huge inventory

The Rock Shop is one of the most interesting in Holbrook,
but always appears to be closed

A building built from petrified wood

Holbrook is a most interesting town with its route 66 nostalgia, its wild shoot em up cowboy history, the Indians, the Railroad, the gateway to Petrified Forest National Park and adjacent to I-40 with several Hotels and dining options.  I believe this is the 4th time I have visited over a period of 8 years and not much has changed over the years.  The historic downtown still appears depressed and half vacant and the newer business district isn't much better.,_Arizona

It's very quiet these days on the Bucket of Blood Street 

I keep expecting some revival of this store, not yet

One of my favorite murals in Holbrook, on the side of
Corral Bar 

Probably the most photographed view in Holbrook

Along with this one of the Tee Pee Motel

I keep waiting for someone to do something with
this historic area and the original Bucket of Blood Saloon 

We go for dinner at Romo's Mexican & American Cafe which was very good and as we were sitting there we saw Indian dancing going in the park across the street.  It was very nice, there were many dancers, of all ages in great costumes.

Romo's is one of the top rated restaurants in Holbrook

We’ve been to Petrified Forest National Park a couple of times and it’s still amazing to see.  The colors and textures along the Blue Mesa Trail are the best for me and in spite the 95 degree temperature we do it again.  The Painted Desert Inn is always great to and the Painted Desert view from Tawa Point is incredible.  The ice cream at the Painted Desert Inn sure was good in the 95 degree heat.

It all began about 225 million years ago when when this area was located near the equator with a tropical climate.  The trees fell, became buried and eventually became petrified. After much tectonic continental movement and uplift the wood and fossils were exposed by erosion.  I wonder if this cycle is continuing now ?

This is a huge tree which has been reassembled for display

The colors vary much depending on the minerals they
were exposed to

There are many great views along overlooks in the park

A sign on the Blue Mesa Trail

The colors and layers are incredible

Twinkles looking at it all in amazement

The Painted Desert Inn was built by the CCC in 1937 - 1940.
It was a Harvey House Restaurant from 1947 - 1963

Great Hopi Indian murals inside painted by an Indian 
artist Fred Kabotie 

A better view of the Painted Desert Inn

The actual Painted Desert

I feel like I an doing a farewell tour, first Santa Fe, then through Gallup to Holbrook and now on to Globe, all places we have spent considerable time at.   

The next and last stop is Globe, Arizona before we return to Tucson;

Twinkles and Slick 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Acoma Pueblo

June 8 - 10, 2018:

It was a 150 miles drive today from White Rock, NM to Acoma, NM mostly on I-25 and I-40.  The route 599 bypass route around Santa Fe was super easy, but going through Albuquerque was high traffic, not so much fun.  We arrived at the Sky City Casino Hotel in early afternoon where we had a reservation.  It is an easy pull through site with full hookup for $20 per day with lots of amenities.

Highway overpass near Sky City, I have no idea what it says

We took a ride about 16 miles west on I-40 to the town of Grants to check out an interesting bar / cafe called the  Route 66 Junkyard Brewery.  It is actually located inside a junk yard shop building on old route 66.  The owner installed a Brewery inside, has a bar made out of a car lift, with tables from car hoods and old car seats.  There were only two other people there, the owner opened the front overhead doors, turned on the flashing lights and had classic blues music playing on the sound system.  There is an original 1923 Lincoln sedan parked inside for ambiance, the beer was very good, but no customers.  We asked where to go for dinner in town, he said there wasn’t anyplace he would recommend, but he could cook me a burger.  The burger was basic, just the way I like it, and good. The two other customers left and it was then just Twinkles and I.  I felt bad for the owner and told him his place was great, it should be packed with people, where are the customers ?  He just said that the locals don’t come out.  That’s kind of the way the old route 66 downtown area looked too, mostly vacant but as usual the Walmart outside of town was packed with people.

Route 66 Junkyard Brewery

1923 Lincoln Sedan

An old car lift is used as the bar

Tables made from car hoods

The junk yard next door has many 50's vintage cars

Our reason for being here is to tour the Acoma Sky City Pueblo which is about 10 miles away.  You are able to drive into the reservation to their beautiful Sky City Cultural Center where you buy tickers for the guided tour, you aren’t allowed in any other way.  They also have a museum, a gift shop and a cafe at the center.  The tour takes you by a shuttle bus up onto the Mesa top where you then walk around the Pueblo with the guide explaining the history and culture of the Acoma people.  There are vendors along the tour route with ceramic bowls, figurines, jewelry and such for sale.  The unique thing about the Acoma Pueblo is that there is no electric, no running water or sewer systems installed, it is much like it was a thousand years ago.  There are only a few people who live full time in the Pueblo today, but tribal owners and families come back for special events or occasions.  There are approximately 300 structures all made of adobe and sandstone and owned by Acoma Pueblo females.  The oldest buildings and habitation are from the 1100’s, but most the these buildings were destroyed by the Spanish in the 1500’s and then rebuilt latter.  A few escaped the carnage and are still occupied.  The guide was really good and made the tour interesting, also there was another young indian man on the tour from another tribe, also a tour guide, who added additional input.

Statues at the Cultural Center

View from atop the Sky City Mesa

Our tour group and guide

Looking out towards Enchanted Mesa that figures heavily
in Acoma legend and even UFO controversy

Note:  The above link does not exactly match the story told by our Acoma tour guide.  Who really knows ?

It has remained the same for generations

Except that lower doors have been added, entry used to be 
through the roof only

I think the tour guide called it the Acoma National Forest,
it's the only tree on the mesa top

The San Esteban del Rey Mission completed in 1641

Around the corner from the campground is a very interesting section of original route 66 through the old towns and Indian Pueblos of Grants, McCarty's Pueblo, San Fidel, Ville de Cubero, Budville, Paraje and Laquna Pueblo.  This has to be one of the most interesting and unchanged roadsides along route 66 route and is is on the National Register of Historic Places.  You pass several Indian Pueblos, a mix of old adobe ruins and new construction, backyards filled with old cars, old trading Posts, old signs, it’s a travel back in time.

Kings Cafe and Bar is still open

There are many old stone houses like this on private
property. It appears that the Indians don't tear anything 

down or maintain these buildings from their ancestors ? 

In Budville where H.N. "Bud" Rice operated a wrecker service
and a Trading Post.  He also served as Justice of the peace. 

Another old route 66 roadhouse

The Villa de Cubero Trading Post is a fully stocked
General Store

All that remains of the Witing Brothers Service station near Grants, NM.
The Whiting Brothers started this chain of service stations in 1926
and at their peak had 100 stations

Old White Arrow Garage in San Fidel 

Old buildings slowly crumbling away are the norm here

St. Joseph Church built in 1920 in San Fidel

The Santa Maria de Acoma Church in McCarty's which is
an Acoma reservation town off route 66  

They refer to this curve as "Dead Mans Curve"

Route 66 sign painted on scenic section of roadway

Indian Arts Center at Laguna Pueblo

The Sky City Casino Hotel appears to be a prosperous enterprise  for the Acoma Pueblo, it’s always crowded, seems to be the busiest truck stop from I-40 and even has a 24 hour McDonalds.  We join the Casino players club that gets us a players card with a $5 credit, which did not last long, we donated our share to the Acoma Tribe

Another major geologic attraction in this area is the El Malpais National Momument, The Badlands in Spanish, created by volcanic activity about 115,000 years ago.  There are vast areas of lava flows, lava tubes, caves and cinder cones.  We took about a 5 mile loop hike in the El Caldera Trail Area. The wind was gusting which was good, or otherwise it would have been very hot.  These lava flows emirate from the Zuni-Bandera Volcanic Field.

A collapsed lava tube and cave which you can enter with a permit

The trail takes you to the top of the lava cone

It was a steep stairway climb to the top

A nicely forested area intersperched with lava flows 

Our next stop is Holbrook, Arizona;

Twinkles and Slick