Albuquerque to Flagstaff–a mere 323 miles. I woke up early, and although I was told there was a lovely breakfast at the hotel, I wasn’t down to give it a go, considering how horrible the place was. If I could give it negative stars, I would, but, Trip Advisor requires at least one star in order to print a review; so, I begrudgingly give it that.
Of course, I was still worried about turning in the black bag, as I didn’t want to be charged $100.00. Fortunately, the person who was opening the place arrived early, and I was able to give the bag to him.
Next, I went to Bubba, checked water and oil, and then began the journey to Flagstaff, Arizona. Route 66 is an experiment in nostalgia and escapism and the route itself is sprinkled with enough classic cars and memorabilia shops to help keep the fantasy alive.
Albuquerque to Flagstaff is a desert–(although I would soon understand that this was merely a prelude to what a ‘real’ desert is). Some people find the desert to be a barren wasteland, but, they would be mistaken. The desert is gorgeous and teeming with life in the most unexpected places.
I stopped for gas at the Petrified Forest and decided to take a trek through part of the Painted Desert. It was unforgettable and felt like I was in a painting; rocks in every hue, lavender, grays, reds, oranges, and pinks. Many times on this trip, I have been awe-inspired by the sky. When I was a kid growing up, we had no electricity, no lights and the sky was a vast canvas of bruised purples and blues, stars or clouds, depending on the time of day, as far as the eye could see. I spent hours lying in a field, looking up at the sky and making up stories about the figures that appeared there. I am amazed that I haven’t seen the sky for so long; it takes my breath away.
I saw a sign. Could it be? Yes! It was! It was so fabulously campy, I had to stop for a photo. It was ridiculous.
I stopped at a Wal-Mart and picked up a George Strait CD; because you really can’t road-trip without a shot of Strait. Soon I was pulling into Flagstaff, Arizona.
I was surprised at how beautiful Flagstaff is. A quaint town nestled among the Ponderosa pines and surrounded by desert and mountains; cool breeze wafting through. Being on an extreme budget, I Googled cheap hotels and decided on The Travelers Inn. It had terrible reviews and a 2-star rating; but, I knew it couldn’t be worse than where I had stayed the night before…and it wasn’t. It was great–Key Learning: Don’t trust Trip Advisor! My room had everything I desired; a microwave, refrigerator, shower, air-conditioning, bed, TV; and the management was a lovely Indian couple; who was not only accommodating but, brought me a dinner of freshly made curry. I am not complaining.
Tomorrow….Flagstaff to Laughlin…Until then…