On The Road to Rt. 66 Albuquerque NM to Flagstaff AZ

Another 370-plus miles on the odometer today, as we bid farewell to Albuquerque - destination, Flagstaff AZ.  The morning started out in a GRAND way, crossing the Rio Grande!

We passed plenty of Rt. 66 signage - some new, many vintage ,as the scenery became less and less residential.

A stop near the town of Thoreau was a must to snap a pic at the Continental Divide marker - wouldn’t you know it?! There was a HUGE souvenir shop across the road to mark the occasion!

By now we were ready for lunch and decided to stop in Gallup.  We’ve been using this incredible app, “Road Trip 66” to help guide us - one recommendation was Earl’s Family Restaurant.  As we pulled up, the place was packed - a very good sign! 


Native American artisans sell handmade crafts, both inside and out.  Sara found something special, for someone special!  We even had a friendly chat with owner Ralph Richards, giving us some helpful tips for our continuing journey.  

As we crossed the border into Arizona, the scenery changed again - we saw wild horses taking shelter from the heat in a tunnel under I-40.  We saw “Fort Courage” in the form of yet another souvenir shop, modeled after the ‘60s sit-com “F-Troop!”

The highpoint of the day was a two-fer, courtesy of Mother Nature. Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert.  I have never seen anything like this and will hold on to these incredibly beautiful images for as long as humanly possible.

About half-way between the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest you’ll find “Newspaper Rock,” so named because of the thousands of petroglyphs, images scratched on stone, that were made by the native peoples hundreds, even thousands of years ago.

Appropriately enough, there is a spot dedicated to where Rt. 66 cut through the park ,with an old model car - to the left, you can see the line of old telephone poles that still mark the road bed of Historic Rt. 66.

I could have spent days, rather than hours capturing the magnificent structures and vibrant hues, but with the storms looming and the temperature dropping, we knew we were on borrowed time!

When the rain hit, we’d made it to Winslow and were still able to snap a shot of the giant wooden indian, guiding people to the Sweetland FurnitureCompany!  

The rains became heavy - even blinding for a stretch, but we were not going to let that stop us from visiting the “Take It Easy” corner, made famous by the Eagles 1972 hit song!  I just love pop culture!

We finally rolled in to Flagstaff - tomorrow we hit the road again - and prepare for a ride through the desert!