Monday, July 22, 2013

Kingman Arizona to Holbrook Arizona

We were awake at 5:30 and Sherm had the coffee on by 6:00. He made breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast plus a large fruit smoothie for each of us made from the leftover fruit from Cat's breakfast. That was an awesome way to start another road trip.

We have to thank Pat for the hospitality both times. She made us feel right at home. And traveling with Sherm has been awesome, as usual. We're looking forward to sharing again in Eureka Springs in September. After tallying the books, he will have a $19.17 head start on the cost sharing there.

Sherm trimming some weeds

Sherm and Pat bidding us farewell

It rained again overnight in Kingman and the streets were wet as we left about 7:15 and drove through town to I-40. There was little wind this morning as we started east, making the truck a lot happier than it was yesterday. It hummed along as we climbed and descended the long grades. The monsoon wetness translated into a green hue to the desert.

What appear to be dark lava flows on the mountain

Typical summit along I-40

Damp pavement

Some day, a geologist will tell me how these form

A greenish tinge to the yellow

Another grade

We stopped for a bathroom break at the General Store in Seligman, a significant town on the Mother Road (Route 66). I got a coffee to go and talked a bit to the nice lady at the cash. It was still only 66 F here. We drove through town and remembered having breakfast at Westside Lilo's Cafe with Sherm a couple of years ago.

We didn't need fuel in Seligman, which was good because the price was $3.999. It didn't hit me right away because I have been used to California prices, but I suddenly realized this was Arizona. Yikes!!

At the General Store in Seligman Arizona

Can't take a chance the buffalo might be rabid

I hope they have a newer one

The famous Roadkill Cafe in Seligman

We've eaten here - good food

The girls look ready for work

Continuing east, we kept climbing. The terrain changed at 5,000 feet and looked more like high plains. At Williams, we passed through 7,000 feet. Near Flagstaff, we crossed the Arizona Divide at 7,335 feet. I really missed Sherm's Gasbuddy app when I got off in Flag and followed a convoluted series of streets looking for a Circle K when the Petro truckstop outside town was cheaper.

The lowest octane here was 87. I always assumed the lower 85 octane in Colorado and some other states was due to altitude but this place is higher than most of those spots, so I just don't know. Something else too be investigated when I find the time.

More an more closed rest areas

East out of Flagstaff, the highway was pretty good with some really ugly patches. We eventually left the mountains in favour of the high flat land of the Colorado Plateau. We skipped the Meteor Crater because we saw it the last trip out here, but right around the Crater Road we started to see the first signs of the red rock formations. The winds were out of the north and the grades were gradual so the driving was relatively pleasant.

Been here before

The only trees around at an RV park

Interesting rock formations

The wind sock adds a very useful touch

 Cholla Powerplant - Joseph City Arizona

 Water carves interesting shapes

Approaching Holbrook Arizona

Clouds tinged red from the reflected colour of the rocks below


We arrive in Holbrook

When Jack emailed me that he could do something with the scratches in the trailer, Sandy and I both heaved a sigh of relief.. I Emailed him yesterday and said we should be in Holbrook around noon. We actually arrived at 11:52. Jack and Barb were at the body shop and took us to lunch at the restaurant down the street. Apparently they have good Mexican food but Sandy and I will never know because we had very good BLT sandwiches.

Our favourite Holbrook landmark

Barb and Sandy, two ladies who never change

Barb and Sandy decided to go shopping rather than watch the trailer remediation. Before they left, barb asked if we would like to spend the night. I had two days built into the return schedule for just such and occasion and we happily accepted.

Jack set to work on the trailer. he was surprised to find it wasn't clear coated. he was further surprised how deep the scratches went. But he proceeded undaunted, using his regular compound, then something more aggressive and finally, for the deepest, some 2000 sandpaper. In the end, you would hardly know how dumb I was. Thank you, Jack.

After the trailer was renewed, we spent some time in the office touring Holbrook and Sudbury areas via Google Earth. I also never realized what an airplane junkie Jack was and we talked about that for a while. We both have a desire to see the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB near Dayton Ohio.

Jack polishing away the scratches

A truck he is rebuilding for a customer

Sandy and Barb came back with groceries and I followed them back to the house in the truck, while Jack went back to work on the Chevy truck. After the groceries were put away, she offered to show us around the historic district. And Holbrook really does have some history.

Going way back, there are replica dinosaurs paying tribute to the local fauna in the Triassic Period. One fossilized skeleton located in 1984, nicknamed Gertie, caused a major debate as to what it actually was. Then there was the nearby Petrified Forest.

In more recent times, Holbrook was established as a trailhead when the railroad reached this far about 1882. As wild west towns went, it was wilder than most.  The Aztec Cattle Company, known as the Hashknife because of the shape of its brand, imported drought stricken Texas cattle to graze on land they purchased from the railway. The Hashknife Cowboys were a rough bunch and, in 1886, there were 26 shooting deaths in Holbrook (a town of about 300 at the time). The Bucket of Blood Saloon got its name when Grat Dalton of the infamous gang shot two men he had a disagreement with over a game of poker. The name carried over to the street. 

The Navajo County Courthouse has been transformed into a museum and Barb has been volunteering there, constructing exhibits. Her latest work involved Commodore Perry Owens, sheriff, and his shootout at the Blevins House (still standing) where he killed four men for resisting arrest. Owens was every bit as dashing as Wyatt Earp, the Pleasant Valley War rivaled Lincoln County and the shootout had all the controversy of the Gunfight at the OK Corral.

In addition, the courthouse has been featured on several paranormal shows due to unexplained happenings and supposed spirits.

Combine all this with the cemetery, the Hashknife Pony Express and Wild West Days and I don't know why this place isn't as famous as Tombstone, Deadwood or Dodge City. I guess they need to make an HBO series about the life of Commodore Owens to get people excited. I know I will be studying this for some time to come.

Hasknife Pony Express rider

Barb and Sandy

My idea of fun, vintage office equipment

A petrified slab of wood

Look for the bullet holes from the Bucket of Blood Saloon

Post Office for our friend Eve

All this and haunted too

Navajo County Courthouse - Holbrook Arizona

Relatively new

Back at the house, Jack had ridden his bicycle up from the shop. Barb combined some Sangria, sparkling water, fruit and other goodies in a jug and we had drinks as they prepared Sonora dogs (all beef hot dogs wrapped in bacon and grilled). Soon Karl (aka the Guzmeister) and his better half Bev showed up. Bev brought a fruit salad/pudding concoction that proved to be very tasty. As the rest of us continued drinking sangria, Karl took over the grilling of the dogs.

Barb and Jack, a gastronomic team

Jack, Sandy and someone who might be Bev

The dogs, salads and sides were excellent. We enjoyed them as we sat on the patio swapping tales. We haven't spent much time with these folks in quite a while and need to do it more often. After the others left or went to bed, Jack and I talked riding, movies, history, airplanes, firearms and other things for quite some time.

I turned in after 10:00 PM reflecting that this had been a great day. Thanks again, Jack, for the work on the trailer. Thanks Barb for the tour. And thanks to both of you for the wonderful hospitality. We can't let it go so long next time.

Today's Route (239 Avalanche/trailer):

1 comment:

Cranky VROC 16804 said...

Outstanding!!! Thanks! They are great folks! Cranky