Monday, July 6, 2009

Rt. 66- into ARIZONA

We left Sante Fe and went south on 66 to Albuquerque. The time was right to stop for lunch at El Pinto. You feel like you are invited into a hacienda with all the garden dining and fountains. The price was very right and food delicious. This seems to be a great place for friends or families to gather. City center was in very good shape for 66. The buildings are occupied and traffic good. As we drifted west, we saw more motels and hotels closed.
We entered Gallup N.M. after driving through Reservations, scrub brush, and bluffs starting to rise on both sides of the road. Gallup is vibrant and it seems alot of effort has been spent on the 66 portion. I saw the El Morro theatre and was disappointed to find it still being worked on. The front is restored, but the interior as far as I could see was not finished.
What was a pleasant surprise was the El Rancho Hotel. Pictured below. The hotel is in good shape and the lobby is fantastic if you are an old movie nut. Everybody stayed here when filming in the area. Wayne, Taylor, Douglas, Stewart, Tracy, and Hepburn are just some of the stars to have stayed. The lobby is a rugged old west style reception area. The sign as you leave says it all, "all our guests are stars".

We drove on into Holbrook Arizona.


The terrain changed again and became more extreme. The time zone changes again giving you another hour. We entered the Painted Dessert/ Petrified Forrest National Park.

The sun was starting to go down and forced the rocks to yield some great colors. A few seconds could make all the difference.

Route 66 wind its way through this area until the realignment for the interstate. We kept on moving west.
We wanted to make Flagstaff before night. We had a big side trip planned and needed to lay up and rest before getting off rt. 66 for a few days.
Things were getting a little blurry.

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