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 Corner":

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        And sitting on the corner!       In Winslow, Arizona       "Standing on THE CORNER in Winslow, Arizona" - this is it!

Petrified forest - the big logs       Closeup of the logs       And some more petrified wood       Petrified Forest: what you see is wood, not natural stone!

Painted Desert        Look at the colors!        Isn't it a beauty?!        Hills look soft like cushions        Painted Desert with its pastel palette.