Winding Down

I was restless last night thinking about the trip winding down.  I’m not sure why but the western United States always makes me want to stay.  We’re not moving here right now so thoughts of home are already creeping in.

Breakfast at the motel was not really calling my name so the challenge to find something else started.  The choices were limited and Denny’s was right down the street so that’s where we went.  It was pretty uneventful but filling.  There were a couple of things in Winslow that needed to be checked out before moving on.

The first stop was “The Whispering Giant”.  I had never heard of this before but an artist by the name of Peter Toth created a giant wooden carving in each state.  Many of them didn’t survive but the one in Winslow is still standing.  (I need to research the one in Indiana.)  It was certainly an intricate carving for as large as it is.  The picture below doesn’t do it justice.

While we admired the Giant the third cup of coffee forced me to find the closest facilities.  It turned out to be the visitor’s information center.  The attendant was a wealth of information.  He told us that he moved to Winslow in 1991 and it was a town of 4,000 people.  The town went to work to rebuild using he Eagles famous tune and today boasts a population over 11,000.  That’s great growth and I wish my hometown could take some notes and find a similar success story.

One of the many things to see in Winslow is a salute to America that includes beams from the 9-11 Twin Towers collapse.  I was grateful for the opportunity to touch the steel but it fired up a lot of emotions.  There was also a flag that flew over the Pentagon in the days preceding 9-11.

We left Winslow via AZ-87.  It looked like a good northerly route that avoided retracing scenery from previous days ramblings.  It turned out to be 62 miles of Arizona high desert.  After 57 miles there was a left hand curve in the road.  It was one of the longest straight line drives I’ve ever made.  In the distance there were glimpses of the painted desert but mostly just occasional hills of various shapes.  I included a representative picture below.

It got to be lunch time and we were back in Tuba City.  The choices were limited so we opted for a snack in the parking lot of the local convenience store – gas station.  Not a fine dining experience but served the purpose.  We agreed to find someplace along the way to get a nice salad.  Another unfulfilled promise.  The miles between Tuba City and Page, AZ were absolutely desolate.  There were a few locations that had houses clustered together and the map called them towns.  There were no services, no gas, no food, and no restrooms.  Suffice it to say that one area of the Arizona desert received a little bit of moisture as a result of coffee #4.  If you visit this area be prepared.

We finally cruised into Page, AZ the home of Lake Powell.  The room reservations for tonight were at the Best Western Lake View.  I thought that would be nice.  We pulled into the lot of the hotel and noticed a bus had just unloaded several tourists.  Ugh!  We stood in line with credit cards, ID, and confirmation number in hand.  After waiting 20 minutes or so I was finally at the head of the line.  I walked proudly to the desk clerk and presented my info.  She informed me that there are 2 Best Western’s in Page and I was at the wrong one.  The other one is literally across the street.  Unbelievable!  Back in QME we went. We drove across the street and stood in line again.  I wasn’t as certain this time as I had been previously.

I received keys, Wi-Fi password, and advice that their Wi-Fi wasn’t very good.  At this point that seemed to be a small inconvenience (and not true anyway).  We toted all of our luggage to the room only to find that the flush handle on the toilet was broken off leaving no way to flush.  At my age this would be way more critical than weak Wi-Fi.  The front desk was called and shortly appeared with keys to an adjacent room that was “fully functional flush wise”.  I appreciated that we didn’t have to move the luggage too far.

The final challenge of the day was to find a place for dinner that would have the football game on.  I asked the front desk clerk for her recommendation and she said to go to the damn bar.  I was surprised.  I looked around for signs that this hotel even had a lounge.  I guess I should have studied the story of Lake Powell.  She was directing us to the “Dam Bar” which is in the “Dam Plaza” both named in honor of the Glen Canyon Dam here in Page.  Who would have thought.

After winding down the final miles to Page, we are spending our next-to-last night watching the Broncos struggle against the Chiefs.  It’s a lot like being at home,  Tomorrow we are headed back to Mesquite, NV where we stayed on night #2 of this trip.  From there it will be time to return the QME to her home port as we abandon this ship for the last time.

Whispering Giant.

Whispering Giant.

Remembering the victims of 9-11.

Remembering the victims of 9-11.

Northern Arizona landscape.

Northern Arizona landscape.

Winding our way down to Page, Arizona.

Winding our way down to Page, Arizona.

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