Friday, February 26, 2010

Catching Up From New Mexico

It's been a busy couple of days and nothing has been constant, especially the weather. You name it, that's what the weather has been, except tropical. It's rained, snowed, hailed, been sunny, windy, semi-warm and any combination of those. On the whole though the weather has been colder and darker than sunny and warmer. The Bride and I adapted howeve,r and managed to "go with the flow". We used the nicer morning times to visit outdoor attractions and when the the weather became less pleasant we did indoor stuff like museums and shopping.Some of the highlights were Montezuma's Castle and Montezuma Well. I especially liked Montezuma Well which is much lesser known than the castle but is equally fascinating. This huge 470 foot in diamter limestone sink hole contains a lake that maintains a constant 76 degrees. Ancient peoples have inhabited the area for well over 1000 years and numerous ruins line the cliffs and rim of the sink hole. There were at least five or six other ancient ruin sites that we didn't have the time to get to so darn it I guess we'll have to come back sometime.

On the indoor front a highlight was lunch at The Cowboy Club. This is an historic dining venue right in the middle of Sedona. It claims a history which includes being the "go to" place for numerous Hollywood stars who visited while working on movies in the area. While eating buffalo chili on a cold afternoon I could see in my minds eye The Duke, Randolph Scott and numerous other western stars "bellying up" to the bar. By the way, the buffalo chili was excellent.

Five days passed entirely too quickly but Wednesday morning did arrive and I had to take The Bride to the Flagstaff airport for her trip back home. I still marvel at the weather change in just 30 miles. As we climbed in altitude what was a tiny patch of snow here and there became a full two feet or more of snow everywhere. The Flagstaff area looked like they got at least eight inches of new snow since I picked The Bride up on Friday morning. In spite of the additional snow in Flagstaff I was still able to bring Bivouac into the airport parking lot, park for free and see The Bride off before heading east.

I ended up in Holbrook, AZ. Wednesday night. I had originally planned to stay at the Elks Lodge in Winslow but there was a lot of road construction in the block around the lodge and it was just impossible to get in with the trailer. Holbrook is a classic Route 66 town with lots of great old businesses and 50s-60s era signs. It's also the gateway city to the Petrified Forest so rock shops and petrified wood shops abound. I've been to Holbrook once before this trip but on both occasions I was pressed for time and couldn't explore like I really wanted to. I promised myself this time that I would be back to give the town the time it deserves.

While researching last night, possible stopping places for tonight, I stumbled upon a winter special at the Acoma, Sky City Casino/Hotel and RV park. The special offered a "buy one get one free" deal for full hookup RV spots for....$15.00....with tax $16.42. That included electricity, water, cable TV, internet connection and sewer. That's $8.22 a night for full hookups! It that wasn't enough, one of my intended stops was the Acoma Pueblo which is only 12 miles south of the RV park. Done deal, sold, I'm staying here for two nights.

I rolled in here just about 1 pm and after a late lunch drove to the Acoma Pueblo and was just in time for the next to last tour of the day. This place, what can I say, if your are interested or intrigued in the history of ancient people in the Southwest, it's a must see. Ancient people and the Spaniards met each other here in 1540. That's almost 500 years ago!! The pueblo is still very much alive with numerous full time residents and even more part time residents. People who live here do so without any of the modern conveniences. There is no electricity, water, gas or even sewer system. People that live here have to have a special reason to endure the primitive conditions. If I have learned anything from my time in this part of the country is that Native Americans really do dance to the beat of a different drummer. They have a philosophical view different from most European people and it is very interesting to see the difference first hand.

Tomorrow I'm off to see two other geographical attractions, El Malpais and El Morro. Hopefully there will be some blue sky to enjoy it by.

Thanks for visiting.

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