We caught a small glimpse of Winslow in 2016 when we traveled on Route 66 on our Trek North to Alaska. However, we missed getting my pic at the famous corner, so I insisted we return.
We traveled along 180, A.K.A. The San Francisco Peaks Scenic Byway, spotting a coyote in the brush. We hopped onto I-40, then onto the Mother Road of Route 66. Each day I marvel at how many miles of undeveloped land exist in Arizona. After Flagstaff, there was no other town until we arrived at Winslow an hour later. We did pass Meteor City in between, but it is not now nor ever has been a city. It was once, however, a bustling trading post on Route 66. Sadly, it is now a dilapidated eyesore. We considered visiting Meteor Crater, but I vetoed the idea. Why spend $20 of my cheese allowance to see a hole in the ground?
Instead, we continued on and visited the iconic La Posada Hotel. Mom’s feminist idol, Mary Coulter, designed and decorated the original hotel in 1929 while working for the Fred Harvey Company, concessionaire for the Santa Fe Railway. While her architectural and design talents are evident in the Grand Canyon, Mary considered La Posada her masterpiece. She attended to every detail, from structural to landscaping design, from service personnel uniforms to china platter patterns. Unfortunately, the stock market crash did not bode well for this magnificent resort, and the hotel closed down after 27 years of serving the public. By the early 1960s, The Santa Fe Railway gutted the hotel, sold off all the furnishings, and turned it into office space. In 1994 the Railway abandoned the property entirely. Thankfully, the current owner, Allan Affeldt, with the help of locals, saved the building from demolition and transformed it back to an impressive resort. The eclectic motifs combine traditional Southwest decors with a contemporary flair for style, art, and culture. A warm, inviting, and comfortable sentiment embraced me as I explored. Tina Mion, wife of Allan Affeldt, is a very creative artist whose unusual subjects and thought-provoking works adorn the hotel hallways and lounge areas. Really unique stuff, to say the least! At the same time, many of the hotel’s original design features have been lovingly and painstakingly restored, transporting you back in time. I felt I was visiting a museum, an art gallery, and a authentic Spanish Hacienda—all at the same time! I was fascinated, mesmerized, and honored to be among the renowned guests of La Posada through the years like John Wayne, Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein, and Clark Gable, just to name a few.
Tina Mion's mural entitled, "New Year's Party in Purgatory with Suicides, with Guest Appearance by Liberace". Ms. Mion equates fatal drug overdose with suicide. Can you spot Jimi Hendrix and Judy Garland among the guests?
The grounds are lovely as well, with butterfly gardens, ponds, cottonwood trees, desert flora, and my personal favorite, the simplistically beautiful daisy. We relished the serenity and tranquility that the gardens exuded.
We ate lunch at The Turquoise Room within La Posada Hotel, named for the private dining car Mary Coulter designed in 1936 for the Santa Fe Railway’s Super Chief train running between Chicago and Los Angeles. The menu consisted of authentic Southwest dishes, a variety of salads made with fresh, crisp, local vegetables, as well as dishes offered by the original Harvey House restaurants, like the Fred Harvey French Dip (which Mom ordered). The food was delicious, beautifully arranged, and very reasonably priced! And their homemade cornbread, drizzled with maple syrup was to die for! We watched the trains go by as we savored our lunch. What a splendid, wonderfully relaxing experience!
After several hours of unique stimulation at La Posada Hotel otel (and with our bellies full), we walked around the town of Winslow and nostalgic Route 66. I joined Glenn Frey and Don Henley and the flat bed Ford for a photo shoot (not sure where the girl was, though).
The day was topped off with yet another gorgeous setting of the sun!
Speaking of the sun, I hope you all enjoyed Solar Eclipse Day 2017! We were expecting 73% totality here in Grand Canyon. We were NOT expecting the huge clouds that rolled in. Hence, we saw a very small glimpse of a partial eclipse, as you can see from the following photos. I sincerely enjoyed viewing and hearing about all YOUR solar experiences, though!
Me and Dad watching the eclipse
Time to say good-bye. Talk to you again soon!
We would like to thank some amazing organizations for all they do for the RVing community: