Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vacation day 4: Holbrook, Winslow, Meteor Crater & Flagstaff.

After our day at Petrified Forest National Park, we spent the night in Holbrook, Arizona.

Unfortunately, we did NOT sleep in a wigwam! (Actually, since we did get to peek inside an open door and saw the cramped quarters, I think we're fortunate that we slept in a "luxurious" Econolodge!)
Still, it was fun to see this Route 66 landmark.
The owners have strategically placed some old cars in front of a couple of the rooms for effect. Pretty nifty!

Before leaving Holbrook, we stopped by a store so Katie could get her free half-pound of petrified wood. While there, she found a book about haunted places along Route 66. That really got her attention, so it was quickly added to our library. One of the locales included was the Navajo County Courthouse in Holbrook, which just happened to be right in our path. Voila! Our itinerary was altered! And what a bargain it was!
Free stagecoach rides!
Free babysitting!
Free tour! (With restrooms even!)

It actually was a neat little stop. The historical society for that county has placed some artifacts there in the old courthouse. We perused the old jail and saw an old parlor,

and an old drugstore set up, plus a mock-up of the sheriff's office. We didn't have a sighting of the ghost mentioned in Katie's book, but she had fun looking for him and reading the story of his hanging.

From Holbrook we drove west to Winslow. And what do you do in Winslow, Arizona? Well, you stand on a corner and take it easy, of course!

For 10 years this town has taken advantage of its mention in the Eagles' song. There are two souvenir shops on this same corner, one of which is playing Eagles music. Fun stuff.

Love it. The kids got a little sick of us playing "Take It Easy" over and over (on the way to and from Winslow), but hey, you had to, right?

From there we drove on to the famous METEOR CRATER! It's a natural monument (as opposed to a national one), and it's a definite tourist trap (with the prices to prove it). Still, it's a sight to behold.

With the near-hurricane force winds, we had to HOLD ON to behold the sight!

Seriously, it was insanely windy! The wind was around 30-40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph while we were there. The guided rim tours were cancelled for the day, and the upper deck overlooks were closed. Bummer.

Ryan had to hold his shirt down to keep it from blowing over his head, and he took off his glasses to make sure they wouldn't blow off.

In spite of the wind, we're glad we stopped to see the crater, watch the film about the meteor that created it, and admire the surrounding desert.

From there we drove into Flagstaff. We had planned to go up to Arizona Snowbowl and take the skilifts up the mountain there, but because of the wind, those plans were shot. Instead, we looked to Katie's ghost book for Plan B. The book told about a "haunted house": the Riordan mansion.
This house is actually a duplex. Two families lived here beginning in the early 1900s, and their homes are beautiful examples of the craftsman style of architecture. Two brothers married two sisters, so they built two nearly identical homes connected by a common billiards/game room.

We were fascinated by the creative use of space and the aesthetic details that made the spaces flow so well.
The architect who designed the home also designed the El Tovar lodge at the Grand Canyon.

The tour guide never mentioned the ghost stories Katie had read about (unexplained lights going on and off or moving billiard balls)!

It was a fun, unplanned stop during our stay in Flag! Katie also completed the Junior Ranger program on this tour, earning a badge and poster here, too!

After a drive through Flag's "crunchy" downtown and a visit to an odd Wal-mart, we had a leisurely dinner at Red Lobster.

A good meal was just what we needed before embarking on our journey to the Grand Canyon the next morning. Just four days into our vacation, we were already a little road-weary, but we were only just beginning...

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