Driving Arizona (7/19/03)
Last updated 7/25/03
Russian translation here
Arizona is an awesome place to drive through! The roads are nicely
paved, the speed limits are what they should be (75MPH all throughout
on I40), and the people there actually know how to drive. There's not
too much to courteous driving: stay in the right lane, and only use the
left to pass... if you're in the left and holding someone up, then move
to the right to let them pass, there that wasn't too bad, was it?
Arizona has some of the best stretches of Route 66, which we hit on the
way to the Grand Canyon. After Williams, we went mostly on I-40 to make
good time, but we had to stop off at Winslow along route 66 so that we
could try "Standin' on the corner" for ourselves. For those not
familiar, there's a passage from an Eagles (love 'em) song entitled
"Take it easy" that goes:
Standin' in the corner in Winslow, Arizona
what a fine sight to see...
it's a girl my lord,
in a flat-bed Ford,
slowin' down to take a look at me...
So, after reading RoadTrip America, we found out that "The Corner" had
been identified and you could visit it, so we decided to do just that
(we both love the Eagles --> believe me, The Dude got what he
deserved from that cabbie! A couple of interesting things about "The
1. There are various gift shops at the 4 different corners all trying
to capitalize on being "The Corner" and at least one of them was
playing Eagles tunes full-time creating a very surreal experience.
2. There was a pretty mural of a building on one of the walls at "The
Corner". In one of the "windows" that had been painted, they had a
blond woman sitting in a flat-bed Ford pickup truck... went well with
the whole Eagles theme -- I guess the town's pretty grateful to them
for putting Winslow on the map.
After Winslow, we visited the Petrified Forest National Monument (our
National Parks pass has been getting a lot of use, and we've already
made back the money spent on it, and we haven't even visited
Yellowstone yet!). Lots of pretty wood that looks like crystal rocks
(look at the pictures), but certainly doesn't weigh as much as wood
should. They had some exhibits in the visitor center of petrified wood
that you could lift and it was certainly as heavy as a rock (the wood
acquires sediment from what I recall, so this makes sense). A
final stop along the way was the Painted Desert, so named because the
dunes have this beautiful red and grey hue to them and the whole area
appears like it's painted these colors (I think that's where it got the
name, but I could be mistaken).
"Standing on THE CORNER in Winslow, Arizona" - this is it!
Petrified Forest: what you see is wood, not natural stone!
Painted Desert with its pastel palette.