On the Road With the Griswolds

Well, I’m a-standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
Such a fine sight to see.
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flat-bed Ford
Slowin’ down to take a look at me.
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe.
I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me.
We may lose and we may win, though we will never be here again
So open up I’m climbin’ in, so take it easy. – The Eagles

After a big day of festivities with my family in Flagstaff, Bill and I took off early Sunday morning for the second leg of the trip. I’m pretty sure we are the only people who could stretch out a drive from Phoenix to Denver into three days. Hey! We’re retired and have time to take it easy.

And speaking of Take It Easy, since we weren’t in a particular hurry, we decided to actually visit some of the things that lie between Phoenix and Denver that we always say we’re going to visit but never actually do. This, despite the fact that we have driven past them in the neighborhood of 800 times.  And the reason I referred to Take It Easy is because one of those areas was Winslow, Arizona – such a fine sight to see. And one simply can’t visit Winslow without getting one’s picture taken beside its one and only tourist attraction – a statue of a man with a guitar standing on the corner of Winslow, Arizona.

My mother used to say that Holbrook, Arizona,  a bit east of Winslow on I-40, looks like a town that had been hit by a nuclear bomb. I think she was a bit harsh. I’ve eaten a number of road meals in Holbrook, and while it isn’t Aspen, it certainly isn’t post-Apocalyptic.

Instead, I believe Winslow, Arizona, holds that honor. Unless there is some part of town that isn’t visible to the casual traveler, it looks like Dodge City, Kansas, during the era of Gunsmoke (non-baby-boomers, look it up) but not that nice. Boarded up windows. KFC is the nicest restaurant in town. It is simply beyond me to know why Jackson Brown and Glenn Frey chose that particular town in which to be standing on the corner.

Nevertheless, one must await one’s turn to be photographed. The flowers are apparently in honor of Frey, who passed away this past January…..

kris standing on corner

It wasn’t the only tourist attraction we saw that day. Our first stop, in fact, not too kris lunar space modelfar out of Flagstaff, was to Meteor Crater – the location of an actual meteor impact some 50,000 years ago. Bill saw the crater site some time ago when he rode Route 66 on his motorcycle. He has been adamant that it is something I should see. I wasn’t particularly excited about it, but, as always, he was right.

The crater is one mile in diameter, and is actually quite astounding. There is a fairly new visitors’ center that provides all sorts of information about meteors. Meteor Crater in Arizona was used in preparation for the initial moon landing back in 1969. You remember: One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind – a quote that’s always bothered me because it sort of doesn’t make sense.  Anyhoo, here  some photos of Bill and I being tourists….

kris meteor crater

bill simulated meteorite

Our last stop in our so-called largest ball of twine tour of Arizona and New Mexico was to Glorieta Pass. Glorieta Pass was the location of a decisive battle in the Civil War in which the Confederate Army attempted to capture much of the Rocky Mountain west. Fortunately, the 1st Colorado Infantry stepped in, and, using a tricky maneuver that involved sneaking into the Confederates’ camp and stealing all of their food and killing all of their horses, managing to secure a defeat that ended in growling stomachs and sore feet from walking. To be perfectly honest, we were unable to find the historical marker honoring the battle, but at the end of the day, our car was sitting someplace very close to where the battle took place, and the Sangre de Cristo mountains are beautiful. It counted, my friends. It counted.

I am determined to not simply drive past some of these interesting historical markers in the future, as we will be undertaking an I-80 trip this summer. I-80 has more than its share of balls of twine.

6 thoughts on “On the Road With the Griswolds

  1. Does Bill remember what he was doing that day when he heard a meteor had just crashed in AZ? 😗 Oh, never mind!

  2. Maybe the words (Winslow Arizona) just fit – they were probably writing the lyrics while lying on the beach in Hawaii! Good to know that there is actually a man “standing on the corner” that you can take a picture with if you pass though. Kinda like the Rocky statue in Philly. Both are fictional but loads of fun. And, I have to admit – I have watched Gunsmoke (although it may have been with my grandfather) – so I can envision the town without having to google it. Oh well.

  3. Oh, Kris, that is SO funny! My husband Dave and I love road trips and did those very same stops a number of years ago and have very similar pictures. I’m sure you’ll be busy visiting family & friends, but I’d love to reconnect with you once you’re back in Denver.
    Cori

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