So let’s get it out of the way now. Yes, the Eagles wrote a song with mention of the city of Winslow, AZ. And yes, Winslow thinks that is a very big deal.
So that you can suffer momentarily as I did for a full week, here are the lyrics: “Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me”
Jake thought it was great to play that stupid song every time we got in the car. I am so sick of that damned song.
Here we are, standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona. Taking our obligatory ‘we’ve stood on the corner in Winslow, Arizona’ picture. The best part of ‘the corner’ in Winslow, Arizona?
It’s totally fake.
Please note the facade to the left of the photo. For me, the fakeness of the corner in Winslow, AZ made it better than I could have imagined it would be. This town is invested in their corner. There is even music piped through the street lights. It’s the Eagles, clearly. And look at all of those people checking out the corner! They all came off of a tour bus about 3 minutes before this photo. We enjoyed creeping on them while drinking beers in the window seats at the bar across the street.
Winslow is an old Route 66 city, with the additional perk of being a main stop on the Santa Fe railroad line. The city has installed a little park with a paved walk and really hokey poems about Route 66 on signage along the pathway. There are also some trains that you can look at and touch there. And that’s about it for that park.
We decided to drop a few bucks and have a ‘fancy’ dinner at The Turquoise Room in La Posada hotel and train depot. It was a pretty cool place with a lot of history and a list of famous guests like Albert Einstein and Amelia Earhart and John Wayne. That is pretty cool. You can even ride an Amtrak and get dropped off there. We drove the Jeep there. But would have opted for the train if it ran from Homolovi State Park where we parked Dyna.
Homolovi State Park was my favorite part of being in Winslow, AZ. Before rolling in to Homolovi we figured we’d only stay a few days to check out the local tourist offerings. Except we loved Homolovi so much we extended our stay multiple times. The campsites were nicely spaced, and since it was the off-season we pretty much had our run of the place. Plus it was nice to have electric hook-ups because it got below freezing almost every night we stayed. But most days it warmed up into the 50ºs or 60ºs or 70ºs which made for prime outside working weather. And it was quiet. So quiet. And there were a lot of jackrabbits and regular rabbits and I liked that. Also, the running was pretty swell; sparsely trafficked roads that wound about to different Puebloan Ancestral sites where you can still find pottery shards and the bases of buildings and free range cattle and burros. If I was an ancestral Hopi person I think I would have wanted to live at Homolovi.
West down I-40 exists a meteor crater, conveniently named Meteor Crater. I like a name that tells you what you’re getting. We checked it out. It was literally a meteor crater. A big ass one. The privately owned crater is touted as “The world’s best preserved meteorite impact site on Earth”, which I fin a bit redundant. But based on the name, I guess the tagline redundancy is to be expected. I guess they let some NASA astronauts train there. I mean, if astronauts wanted to train in Dyna I would let them, so not surprising. Astronauts are mad cool.
We had heard the story of Meteor Crater (the crater, you know?) a while back, so getting to pay $16/each to go to their meteor exhibit and read the story wasn’t really necessary. But we saw it. So we can’t say we didn’t. It looks like it does in pictures in case you’re wondering. Also, it’s very windy.
If you want to see something free-er and possibly neat-er (opinions and buttholes – that whole saying fits here) I suggest driving one more exit West down I-40 and checking out the ghost town of Two Guns. It is freaking neat. And maybe a little creepy. There is an abandoned KOA (definetely the best and most affordable KOA we’ve ever visited), a gas station, and several building which were once homes and a zoo. Rumor alludes to Russell Crowe being the owner of the abandoned Route 66 town of Two Guns. Apparently, he bought it as a possible filming location for Westworld. Spoiler: if he had filmed there, it would have fit just fine. It currently exists as a host for overnighters looking for a free, slightly spooky place to stay for a night or two and urban explorers – some of whom aren’t overly respectful of the buildings that have been left behind. Bummer on them.
We spent the rest of our time in Winslow doing regular people stuff like working and reading and running and eating corned beef and cabbage and girl scout cookies. Because St. Patty’s day happened, which is a holiday celebrating corned beef and cabbage and beer. So clearly is a very important holiday. Pro tip: NY Maple Syrup was made to smother corned beef. You can thank my dad for that amazing pairing.