In part five of the Route 66 journey, my dad and I were kicking up dust out of Texas and gobbling up Americana in the New Mexico desert like it was a Golden Corral.  Now we are in Winslow, Arizona, which you might have heard of if you’ve ever heard music on the radio.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2520“Well I’m standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see,” begins the Eagles hit “Take It Easy”.  So the town of Winslow went ahead and built something never seen before: a full scale replica of a song.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2528The Standing On The Corner Park was built in 1999 and is part of Winslow’s effort to bring tourism back to the area.  The story of how the I-40 interstate bypassed these towns and left them for dead is one we are hearing at nearly every stop.  Winslow has a nice little restored downtown area with some gift shops.  And damn, it was hot.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2509Elsewhere in Winslow, the effects of interstate I-40 are clear.  The town is absolutely full of abandoned relics.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2510 puppyknuckles-5-route66-2511

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2516This bright Ford hot rod coupe stuck out against Winslow’s relics like a piece of turquoise in the sand.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2536Just down the street from the downtown tourist trap in Winslow is a stunning oasis in the desert.  The La Posada hotel is one of the last great Fred Harvey railroad hotels.  This place was incredible.  I tried to book us a room here the day before, but sadly (and once we saw it, unsurprisingly) it was fully booked.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2541La Posada, considered one of architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter’s masterpieces, was gutted decades ago and used intermittently for railroad offices.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2547In the 1990s it was purchased by Alan Affeldt for next to nothing.  It was a huge, derelict shithole, yet he and his wife turned it back into the stunner it is today.  I would drive Route 66 again just for the chance to spend the night here.  Or, you can take the train directly to the hotel: La Posada is still an Amtrak stop.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2563Back on the I-40, we were on the lookout for Route 66 landmarks on the side of the road.  We found the now closed Meteor City Trading Post.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2569This was the moment my dad learned what a dreamcatcher was.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2571The Trading Post is housed in this amazing Native American (helmet?) and we read that efforts are being made to restore and reopen the place.  It was super cool, hope it happens.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2587Just outside the Meteor City Trading Post.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2594So our next stop on the road took us to the actual Meteor Crater, which is the world’s largest known crater caused by, you guessed it, a meteor.  But wait a second, who the fuck cares about that, the motherfucking FAMILY TRUCKSTER IS IN THE PARKING LOT.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2596Yes, it’s real.  This is a perfect replica of the Family Truckster station wagon made famous in the movie National Lampoon’s Vacation starring Chevy Chase.  I was singing “Holiday Road” out loud taking pictures.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2600The best part is, it’s owned and being used by a family for a cross country road trip, kids and everything.  My hero.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2602After having my mind blown in the parking lot, it was like oh cool a crater.  No, seriously, this crater was amazing.  I forgot to pop on the 14mm lens, but even still, it’s impossible to show in a photo how huge it was.  The impact that created it must have been ridiculous.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2610We read about the area called Two Guns in the guide book.  It’s got a long history, but these days it’s an abandoned campgrounds.  Glad we didn’t read the part about rattlesnakes until after we left.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2627Here’s a classic Route 66 image: the Twin Arrows in Arizona.  Unfortunately the name and imagery of this old icon has been reused for the casino up the street, but the wooden arrows still stand.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2685We started heading towards Flagstaff.  I had always heard about the beauty of Sedona, and so we decided to make a Route 66 detour and head down there.  Highway 89A, which you can take between Flagstaff and Sedona, is reputed to be silly beautiful.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2652But I fucked up, and we accidentally took the freeway down there.  It was a blessing in disguise though.  We ended up approaching Sedona from the south, which was incredible, and still drove 89A back to Flagstaff.  One of the most beautiful drives ever.  The landscape around here was supernatural.  And 89A is a fun little twisty jaunt up the side of the mountain.

puppyknuckles-5-route66-2736After days of eating tacos and burgers, we found a nice place in Flagstaff and had a good restorative healthy meal.  We’re getting close to the end, but the Route is densely packed now and there’s still much to see.  Stay tuned for part six: Seligman and beyond.


From New York To LA, And Back Again: A Mustang Road Trip

This July, I am going to drive from my home in Brooklyn, New York, to Los Angeles and back again.  It's just something I've always wanted to do.  It's a…

Mustang USA Part One: Into The Land Of Lincoln

It has begun.  The drive from the east coast (Brooklyn, to be exact) to the west coast (California, then up to the top of Idaho) and back again, in this…

Mustang USA Part Two: In Search Of Levi

In part one of the Mustang USA road trip, I drove straight from Brooklyn to Chicago to pick up papa Burnett and we headed down Route 66 in search of fun and/or…

Mustang USA Part Three: Crossing The Midpoint

After my dad and I took a detour into Kansas and found the gravesite of our civil war fightin’ ancestors, we again cracked open our Route 66 guidebook and realized we had a…

Mustang USA Part Four: Getting High In Albuquerque

The Route 66 journey has hit high gear as my dad and I cruise into New Mexico.  After crossing the midpoint in Adrian, Texas it’s getting hotter, weirder and better…

Mustang USA Part Six: Rust, Dust, And Spectacular Route 66

Following an incredible drive from Sedona into Flagstaff the previous evening, I feared that we had perhaps had reached the zenith of our trip.  Can it get better than a spectacular winding…

Mustang USA Part Seven: Finishing Off Route 66

My dad and I have been on the road together for eight days and well over 2,000 miles.  We have had such a good time that we wish that Route 66…

Mustang USA Part 8: Cruising The Pacific Coast Highway

Hey, here’s a fact for ya: California is really far away from New York City.  It’s easy to forget this.   Anyone can chug a margarita (or four) at Sammy Hagar’s restaurant in JFK, pass…

Mustang USA Part Nine: Wine Country To Mendocino

If you’ve been following the Mustang USA narrative, you’ll know that I wrapped up the Route 66 drive with my Dad and now a whole new Puppyknuckles crew has assembled…

Mustang USA Part Ten: From The Redwoods To Crater Lake

It might be borderline offensive to reveal this to those of you who are reading this at work, or facing the prospect of work, or aren’t near a bed, but upon…

Mustang USA Part Eleven: Rattlesnake Grade, Heading For Zootown

Part eleven?  Yes, friends, we are up to part eleven on the coast to coast Mustang USA road trip and Margo and I are still trying to get our asses…

Mustang USA Part Twelve: Yellowstone And Bluegrass

Welcome back to the absolute best dang road trip blog featuring a Ford Mustang you’re going to read all day, I presume.  Time to get into some real cowboy country, and that means…

Mustang USA Part 13: The Badlands And Beyond

Driving with my mom through Wyoming in part 12 of Mustang USA was pure entertainment.  It was like watching a prize fight between Yellowstone and the rest of the cowboy state for the title of…

Mustang USA Part 14: Racing Back To Brooklyn

Welcome to the final chapter of Mustang USA.  If you’ve been reading all 13 entries prior to this (get a job), you’ll know that nearly all of the 8,000+ miles…


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