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Published: August 19th 2015
Today just wasn’t aligned –
El Morro keeps bankers hours and we are on camping time. Up at dawn and packed, ready for another day by 7. El Morro doesn’t open until 9. No, we don’t want to wait.
Head on down the road, there’s a wolf sanctuary up ahead. We traverse 10 miles or so of dirt road and find the best and cleanest café ever for some breakfast and caffeine. The wolf sanctuary – it doesn’t open until 10. We wait and finally it opens, only we can’t go see the wolves without a guide and no guides until 11 (or so). We don’t want to wait, so we briefly visit the courtyard and catch a glimpse of the wolves. Really this is a sanctuary for wolf=dogs. Beautiful 4-legged creatures that idiot humans breed and sell to unsuspecting idiot humans who have no concept of the wolf behavior. This sanctuary takes in these poor creatures that are only being their true nature – a nature that needs thousands of acres to roam and whose idea of protecting other creatures is by having them inside their belly. We decide to leave this worthy endeavor and head on to the Zuni Pueblo.
The visitors center – always the place to begin on the Pueblo because it is here you obtain photo permits and the rules of engagement. The visitors center is closed with a cryptic note of we’ll be back shortly on the door. There is a beautiful, covered area where 2 local artists are set up to sell their wares. We wander over to peruse the goods and try to figure out when the office will open. No one seems to know. We spend the next hour or so chatting with the locals about the horno ovens – unique style of the Zuni and how the design figures in their cuisine and this leads to some spirit talk. All lovely, but still no visitor center.
We leave satisfied with our brief sojourn, but somehow this day is not going according to any plan.
We wander through the pueblo as much as we can without permission. It’s sad and economically not doing well. So sad it leaves a bit of dampening on the day. We move on, only to get to the Navajo reservation that is adjacent to I-40. It’s just depressing.
One of the goals of this trip was to spend as little time on interstates as possible. The interstates we are avoiding – I-10, I-25 and I-40. We’ve been pretty successful and when we do find ourselves on a stretch of interstate, the travel gets gloomy. How much we’ve lost for speed. The By-ways we have travelled have been rich with people, beautiful places, regional food served with care and pride, and wonderful sites to set up camp. I think that the interstates are a self-imposed kind of reservation – the ugliest possible landscapes carved in the ugliest possible way.
We meander through Holbrook looking for Route 66, we find it along with the creepiest historical museum ever. We stop for some tourist shots of the WigWam Hotel and move on to Winslow. In Winslow we cannot resist another stay at the La Posada. A magnificent Fred Harvey hotel designed by Mary Colter. If you have the chance, stay here for a night or two. Lovingly restored by a wonderful man and his artist partner. We owe them our thanks for restoring this national treasure. Inside and outside, in the middle of Winslow it is a destination worth having.
By the way, from my balcony door I can barely see the corner in Winslow, Arizona with a girl, my lord in a flatbed Ford…
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