It's a two-for-one National Park deal! One entry fee got me into both the Painted Desert National Park and the Petrified Forest National Park. After paying my admission, the ranger asked me if I had any petrified wood in my car. I said yes, that I had bought some at the Rainbow Rock Shop in Holbrook. She asked if I had a receipt and yes, I did. I noticed a sign later when I left the park that vehicles can be subject to search, as they don’t want anyone poaching petrified wood from the forest.Read More
The Mojave Desert
The Mojave is a desert of wind, temperature extremes, Joshua Trees and solitude. When most people hear the word ‘desert,’ images of tumbleweeds, rattlesnakes and bleak desolation typically come to mind. In reality, the Mojave is anything but a wasteland. Amongst the sand and sagebrush lie many places of beauty and wonder, and of historic importance. Some are the result of time and the elements, some are the result of man and his efforts to live in the Mojave, both in recent and prehistoric times. Let’s go see what we can find.
One of the coolest things about my epic "Adios, I’m going to Texas” roadtrip was that I never knew what I was going to find when I turned off the interstate and explored the small towns along old Route 66. Holbrook was no exception. Born during the early 1880s as a railroad town and named after the first engineer of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, Holbrook was a true wild west town for many years (Pleasant Valley War). It was also a busy place during the heyday of Route 66 and I saw a lot of history from that time period when I visited: Teepees/Wigwams, vintage cars, dinosaurs, petrified wood, old and quirky with new and modern, abandoned buildings/restored buildings and always interesting people. Had time permitted, I could have probably spent an entire day, rather than only an hour or two, in most of the places I visited along the way.Read More
The town of Valentine dates back to 1898 and it’s probably most famous for the heart-shaped postmark the small contract post office would stamp on outgoing mail every Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, that came to an end in 1990, when the post office was robbed and the lady working there was shot and killed. Shortly afterwards, her husband bulldozed the building and left the area.Read More
After surviving some great hairpin turns and the descent from Sitgreaves pass and through the Black Mountains, the valley opened up and the driving was easy. It was still early morning on Day Two of my “Goodbye God, I’m going to Texas” roadtrip. I had left Oatman and the burros behind and driven through Goldroad, which is once again an active mining area. There were some spectacular views from Sitgreaves Pass but the view before me was pretty cool as well, with one of those Arizona-type of pokey mountains up ahead. My next stop would be Cool Springs, AZ.Read More