Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Painted Desert

This is part two of our trip last week through the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert.  We continued north from the southern entrance to the Petrified Forest National Park not far from Holbrook, Arizona.  We had a number of stops along the way and ended up back in Holbrook, where we started the day which ended up being about an 80 mile day trip.

As we proceeded from Puerto Pueblo in the Petrified Forest and continued north, we crossed over I-40 and saw a display commemorating the old Route 66.  The roadside information included a map showing the towns Route 66 went through from Chicago to Los Angeles.
The series of old telephone poles still stands next to the raised ground which was the highway for many years.  It is now over run with sage brush and weeds and has been replaced in part by I-40.

Then on to some more spectacular views of the painted desert.

Fred Harvey was a entrepreneur who build a series of lunch rooms and restaurants along the railroad system out West.  He is credited with establishing the first national restaurant chain.  Among the locations that became part of the Fred Harvey Hotel chains along the Santa Fe Railroad were the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, the Desert Inn here in the Painted Desert and the La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona.
The Desert Inn was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during 1937-1940 on the site of an earlier construction called the Stone Tree House and taken over by the Fred Harvey company from 1946 to 1963.   Hopie artist Fred Kabotie painted the unique murals on the walls.

Outside, there were trails and markers near scenic stops.
More sweeping views overlooking colorful canyons.
Near the northern end of our route, we stopped at the Visitor Center.  The National Park Service always does a good job of explaining the history and significance of the area.
One last shot of some beautiful rocks on display.

Next, we went to Jim Gray's Petrified Wood store near Holbrook.  It was a souvenir and gift shop mixed with huge display that was also a museum.
We also took a drive through the historic part of downtown Holbrook and passed the Wig Wam Motel.  It was fantastic!  During the early days of Route 66, the motel came up with this unique idea.  Now it is a stopping spot for tourists and photographers like me.  There was a great collection of antique cars parked in front of the motel rooms.
Our stop in Holbrook turned into one of our favorite days seeing the sights.  We got to see a lot of amazing scenes and learned about the recent and distant past history of the region.  If you ever have the chance to stop in the area, I don't think you will be disappointed.

Thanks again for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Until next time...


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  2. Really like Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, etc. Have photo of a very young Josh in front of the Teepees

  3. The photos bring back memories of our few trips out west. Just love that area.

  4. Where did you stay in Holbrook? We'll be going through there in a couple of months.

  5. Thanks for the great tour narrative and beautiful pictures of the Painted Desert. It sure looks like a fantastic place to visit.

  6. Hang around a week and a half. The Grace church guys will be in Arizona on a golf outing. See you there?

  7. Beautiful vistas of the Painted Desert ... thanks for sharing.