Day 9 Gallup to Needles

This was a day of a lot of Route 66 stops.

Yellow Horse Trading Post. Very very kitsch. Another classic Route 66 stop. No one was wearing masks (covid times) so we left quickly. Did get my kid one of the pressed pennies by the door though.

The Petrified Forest” is a bit deceptive as a description. What you have is a really weird alien landscape with a bunch of trees laying on the ground that have been sawed up. Still- they are beautiful and the landscape throughout the park is stunning.. There is a gift shop and information center at each side of the park with a museum of the West side where you can see the not-exactly-dinosaurs and we visited both. A lot of nice things in the gift shops.

There are several accessible viewpoints and trails. The Crystal Forest Trail is where you see all the petrified trees and it is fully accessible. Puerco Pueblo trail is also fully accessible and you can see both pueblo ruins and petroglyphs there. Newspaper Rock is an accessible overlook with little binocular things to see the petroglyphs on the rocks in the distance. There’s also some Route 66 history in the park itself too- like an old Studebaker by the side of the road where Route 66 crossed through the park.

Rainbow Rock Shop in Holbrook was a stop I wanted to make but it was closed when we were there- probably due to the giant rock megastore that had opened nearby and covid.

Wigwam Motel in Holbrook (along with others in its chain) is the inspiration for the Cozy Cones in Disney’s Cars Land/Cars Movie. They have a collection of classic cars parked outside the concrete structures and they still operate as a motel. A culturally problematic (to be generous) legacy of another time… but with great old cars!

Jack Rabbit Trading Post is also featured in Cars Land in the form of a billboard where the rabbit is a car. The quintessential classic Route 66 kitsch souvenir shop/trading post. The store was a little cramped, but accessible except for a back room.

Bearizonia is where we met our path and completed a loop. It is a drive through wildlife park. We were warned to keep the car moving and doors locked, windows shut because the bears climb cars. Also to remove some of the caps on the rv because the wolves like to pull them off and play with them. When we went though (4PM) it was clearly nap time. There is also a more traditional walk through zoo part that is accessible.

Oatman was where we had planned to end our day but we just ran out of time. It is an old west “ghost town” that is still very much alive, with wild burros (like donkeys) in the streets. We may go back to the Grand Canyon, and if we do we’ll see it then. I was sorry to miss it.

We stopped for dinner and couldn’t decide whether to go to the Roadkill Cafe or Westside Lilo’s (across the Route 66 from each other). Both had Route 66 shops. Both had enough space for th RV to park and were wheelchair accessible. Lilo’s seemed slightly less greasy and had a nice outdoor seating area so we went with that. Food was fine, fried onion flower thing was dangerous- great sauce.

Then back to the road and into the RV park late.

Desert View RV park was quite nice. Each spot had flowering bushes on the sides for privacy. The only downside to this was that the morning doves were roosting in them and decided to have a party at 5AM on our roof. With the bushes getting the wheelchair in and out would be hard. We didn’t even try. There is a KOA next door that would probably work better for getting a wheelchair in and out.

Published by Mary Corey March

I am a contemporary artist living and working in San Francisco. The root of my work is exploring both the individual person and humanity through identity, relationships, diversity, and commonality. How do we define ourselves and each other? Where do we draw the lines and what happens _on_ those lines? How to we frame our experiences? How much of our humanity can come through in a data format? Through our symbolic images? Our words? Our definitions? Our bodies? These are the questions I delve into again and again. In May of 2017 I became disabled with ME/CFS. I have since continued my artwork with the help of assistants. I am in a wheelchair outside of the home.

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