Blue rocks, Baby Einstein & Jerry Carson
Trip Start Mar 13, 2013
18Trip End Apr 13, 2013
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Where I stayed
Thunderbird Lodge, Grand Canyon
What I did
Petrified Forest National Park
The Painted Desert
The Blue Mesa
The Visitors' Centre is an interesting building; in the 50's it was bought by Dr Sophie Aberle and her husband; she was an anthropologist who studied Puebloan women and improved medical practices for them as a result of her studies. She lived to be over 100 years old.
It is shameful (for want of a better word - maybe criminal?) that the wheels of the gravy-train are entwined with those of politics, ensuring that the integrity of sacred sites such as this is unfortunately never to be taken for granted
We found the Road again and headed for Los Lunas. On the outskirts of Albuquerque on Isleta Blvd - pre '37 66 - we spotted the Road Runner and The Blue Castle, both 66 icons. Lots of old motels and other wrecked buildings line the road on our way from Los Lunas to Laguna. Passing through a pueblo I spotted a Post Office and we stopped to post postcards to home. There are signs at the entry to pueblo's asking people to be respectful and not take photographs, so of course I left my camera in the car.
After posting the cards I started chatting to a couple in a car out front of the Post Office who had a cute little dog with them called Drew. We had a conversation about Australia, birds and feathers - Fred asked me if I had any - then Fred and Mary Martinez asked me if we'd like to come to a fiesta in September. Would I! They pointed out the direction of their house, just in case I made it back to The States at fiesta time. Their description of the festivities and food sounded wonderful.
On we went though, towards Arizona through Acoma, Grants (where Viv and I stayed after getting lost at Chaco Canyon in 2011) and Gallup, loving the Road and the many sections of Old Route to drive
So in we went, parking near the building that looked like a shop. We got out of the car just as the other car that had been there left without anyone having gotten out.
The giant cave-like hollow was fenced off and lots of old and interesting-looking stuff were scattered around the ground. A ways over to the right was a small shed with a faded and peeling painted Route 66 sign on the front and an old pick-up parked nearby. As I started walking down the track for a look, the pick-up began trundling slowly towards me before stopping near the fence. Trotting alongside the truck was a gorgeous golden tan dog. His name was Baby Einstein, and in the pick-up were two cats; Bear and Tiger. Their human introduced himself as Jerry, and offered to give us a tour for $3 each. By then another person had pulled up and we talked her into coming with us - why are some folk so resistant?
Even before we knew his name there was a sense we were about to have an experience and maybe hear some stories
It's the unexpected things that happen when one's travelling that I really love....
Our next stop was of course, The Petrified Forest National Park, where there were several drives and different sites
We drove into Winslow in the dark, and lo and behold - there was a flatbed Ford parked near the corner! We all got out and laughed with delight, Shell and I got up onto the Ford and we took lots of pics of the statue on the corner and the giant Route 66 shield painted on the road.
On, to the Grand Canyon! We didn't get there until 11pm and we were all pretty knackered, but the room was lovely. When Shell asked the guy on the desk how close we were to the rim he said: " 27 paces, and if you walk 28, see ya later"