Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The End is Near But Still Things to See

Almost glad to be leaving Gallup behind.  

Not that there is anything wrong with Gallup but the ordeal of getting there from the VLA is something I’d rather forget about. 

Crossing into Arizona was holding lots of hope.  A number of small towns or at least their remnants was looking promising.  Lupton was first on the list and hope quickly started to fade.  To put it mildly it mostly consisted of those tourist traps that are set up for the local natives to sell their wares.  You know the ones, where to many items had the "made in China" look. The parking lot was full of cars with license plates from many different states.  Glad mine was so mud covered that you could not tell where it was from.  As "PT Barnum" said “there’s a sucker born every minute” and the enterprising Navajo sure embraced PT's philosophy.

Trying to be incognito

Further along, I came to Allantown and discovered an old section of Route 66 that no one travelled anymore.  These types of sections of R66 are what I would call "broken links".   

This section of the road got severed from the rest about a mile east of Allentown, so in fact, it only runs from Allentown eastward and then dead ends.  It’s accessible, though hidden, from behind the “Trading Post" in Allentown.  Very narrow, and I mean NARROW, say 9 feet wide. Along this very narrow road it I discovered a delightful old house and met Chaney a 90-year-old Navajo.  She lived at the end of the road and walks into Allantown daily.  Though she was delightful to talk to she didn’t want her picture taken.  I know what you’re thinking, why not just take it anyway when she wasn't looking.  One of my rules is "ask permission" of the person, most will say "yes" but those who say "no" then respect their wishes.  Even without Chaney's photo, I have a vivid memory of her.
Chaney's road. About 9 ft wide.

Old House near Allentown. 

Leaving Allantown, Route 66 was flooded out so I had to loop back to I-40.  Left I-40 at Chambers and got back onto R-66.  Isn’t much in Chambers with the exception of a post office and a few deserted buildings.

Old House with Dead Tree at Chambers

Chambers Gas Station. Lives up to the first part of it's name.

Next stop was Holbrook where I met Joseph of the Santo Domingo tribe.  Quite a character. He didn’t mind my taking his photo; in fact, he was downright excited.  

Came to Joseph City, no relation to Joseph of Holbrook. 

Now why they call it a city beats me, more a hamlet.  Still several deserted buildings on Main Street. There is really only one street in Holbrook so I guess it makes sense to call it “Main”.
Adobe style in Joseph City

Then I came" Two Guns".  Yes, this really is its name. Now this place made my day.  The exact date of Two Guns fame and glory is somewhat in dispute but circa 1881 would be a good guess.  The town was built on and around Canyon Diablo.  When I drove in there actually was a customer waiting at the gas station.  I was going to say that the place was closed but figured it would fall on deaf ears.

Should someone tell it the garage is closed

Where have all the people gone?

The Wild Animals were kept here on display. Not kidding, they actually had wild critters on view.
My final stop of the day was at Seligman just off of I-40 about an hour west of Flagstaff.  Now, this is one R-66 town that has kept itself buzzing.  

Not all Route 66 towns dried up and died.  Seligman sure didn't

The drive from Seligman to Kingman was lovely.  As you pass by Hackberry you will find a one-of-a-kind and off-the-wall place called “Hackberry General Store”.  A collection of everything from bleached cows heads to Model T era cars.  A must stop, even if the place was not actually open.
Road to Kingman
Hackberry Geneal Store

Tomorrow is my final push to LA

More to come...

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