Day 13: August 6, 2012
More Arizona
Previous Day
Next Day
Site Home
Trip Home

La Posada was designed and built as a track-side hotel. The tracks are still there and active. In terms of passenger traffic, they aren't nearly as active as they once were but a couple of Amtrak trains pass through each day. In recent times, a building next to La Posada has served as the Amtrak depot and waiting room. That building is about to be turned into a museum and La Posada's lobby has become the waiting room. This morning a tour group that had arrived last night by bus, were waiting to leave by train. The train was to arrive at 5:00 AM and they had all crawled from bed (rather noisily I later learned) around 4:00 AM to meet Amtrak's unaccommodating schedule. It was right at 8:00 AM when the train really did arrive. It is well known that this is no way to run a railroad. But, Amtrak's problems aside, it is nice to see folks arriving (there were a few) and departing La Posada by the means for which it was built.

I took my luggage to the car then finally took a picture of the hotel from the auto entrance side. The blue double doors at the upper right open on my room. Since breakfast prices here are pretty normal and the offerings extraordinary, I visited the Turquoise Room for the second time on this stay. One of the available specials was "The Harvey Girls small and thin Orange pancakes". Wow!

When I returned to my room to retrieve my laptop, I stepped out on the balcony to take a couple more pictures. Two women, both familiar looking, were walking around below me. One I recognized as artist Tina Mion who owns La Posada with her husband Allan Affeldt. She was walking her dogs but turned and disappeared as soon as she saw me. I'm sure she thought I stepped outside specifically to photograph her. The other was photographer Shellee Graham. I wasn't entirely sure of that so, when I saw her still outside when I exited the hotel, I cleverly announced "You look familiar". She replied that I did too then gave a yes to my "Shellee?" In a few moments, pal & pardner Jim Ross appeared and we all had a nice chat. From here we would leap frog each other as we drove west.

Two Guns and Twin Arrows continue to fade -- mostly. The exception is the actual arrows at Twin Arrows which were replaced a few years ago. Evidence that talk of a casino at Twin Arrows is more than just talk exists in a number of billboards sprinkled along the roadside. If something that looks like the billboard picture is going to exist before the summer of 2013 ends, somebody better get busy.

The San Francisco Peaks always look good from the two-lane road and through the old bridge at Winona. The first time I stopped at Elden Pueblo there were several active digs with piles of dirt beside them and tarps covering some key spots. Now both the holes and some gaps in knowledge have been filled.

Some Flagstaff, Arizona, signs that were very visible from US-66 for motels that were not quite at roadside.

Today's side trip was to Lowell Observatory. The observatory isn't named for Percival Lowell because he was famous, it's named for him because he built it in 1894 then used it to look for life on Mars. That wasn't entirely successful but Pluto was discovered here as well as the first evidence of an expanding universe. When I arrived, sun viewing was in progress and I got to look directly at a highly magnified sun through a special telescope. A sunspot was clearly visible along with a large number of flares around the edge. This is a particularly active period, I learned. One flare on the face of the sun was so large that it was very visible even against the bright orange surface. Percival Lowell is buried here under his own dome. Some improvements have been made over the years but things remain much as they were in Lowell's day. A few thing, like the somewhat fragile chair, are roped off for safety and preservation.

Some Route 66 landmarks in Parks, Williams, and Ash Fork respectively.

I strolled the length of Seligman's main street then topped it off with a cone from the Snow Cap and a photo with Angel Delgadillo. This was my first time sitting in the chair and Angel's eight zillionth time standing beside it. Much like the whole town of Tombstone makes its living off of three dead cowboys, Seligman is pretty much making its living off of one dead road and Angel is largely responsible for that. He is also very likely the happiest and most content man alive. "Everyone who comes in has a smile", he says. "There isn't a doctor in the world that can do that for you." Yes, the folks that visit Angel are very happy but Angel is happier.

A couple shots of the scenery between Seligman and the Hackberry General Store. That's John Pritchard behind the register. This was once the domain of Route 66 legend Bob Waldmire and there is some confusion and controversy over the relationship of the current operation and what came before. I'm as confused as anyone but try to keep my distance from the controversy. I know Giganticus Headicus has been here for a long time but this was my first stop. In addition to the head itself, I grabbed a picture of the whatsit standing next to it.

Tonight's bed is in another recently reopened motel, El Trovatore, in Kingman, Arizona. The tall sign was lit this summer for the first time in fifty-one years. The motel walls are being covered by murals for the first time ever. The murals are the work of Dan & and Vicky. Sam, Monica, and Taco are the owners responsible for arranging for all of the work and the reopening of the place as a motel. A year ago it was all "apartments" and slated for demolition. The motel has come a long way quickly but still has a ways to go. The room was clean, the bed was comfortable, and Sam & Monica have the right attitude. This place could become a regular Route 66 stop off.

[Prev] [Site Home] [Trip Home] [Contact] [Next]