As our primary motivation for a road trip is to slow the pace and relax, it is not our custom to rush the morning even though we are often on the road at first light or shortly after. Added incentive for our slow pace on Monday morning in Holbrook was the fact that this was to be the last day of our grand adventure to the International Route 66 Festival in Amarillo. So, we made a bit of instant oatmeal using the coffee maker for hot water, chased it down with yogurt, grapes, and some chilled Starbucks purchased the night before at Safeway, and after I scratched the grey stubble from my chin, loaded the Jeep for the final leg of our journey. By 7:30 we were ready to roll.As traffic at that hour was light, we decided to cruise dusty old Holbrook from one end to the other and take some photos before topping off the tank. For those who are unfamiliar with this once wild and woolly railroad town, and who have a fascination for a bit of urban http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0738579424&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrarcheology, I can’t suggest a cruise through Holbrook with strong enough emphasis. To enhance the experience and add a bit of context to the roadside landscape use Joe Sonderman’s wonderful book, Route 66 in Arizona as a guide.We had resigned ourselves to the fact we would have to endure I-40 for most of this leg of the trip as the old road in the eastern half of Arizona is cut up worse than a rattlesnake that crossed paths with a paranoid speed freak with a shovel and as a result of our pending schedule, the clock was now ticking quite audibly. Still, we refused to surrender the Route 66 frame of mind. So, we wandered through Joseph City, past the Jack Rabbit Trading Post, along the streets of Winslow, stopped at Meteor City but it was closed, and made a detour along the pre 1949 alignment to the towering ruins of the Meteor Crater Observatory. We respectively obeyed the “No Trespassing” sign and took our pictures from a distance. By the time we made Winona the stomach was starting to rumble and my dearest friend was ready for the mid day coffee so we skipped Flagstaff, made a quick stop at the Harley Davidson shop in Bellmont, and made a bee line for the Pine Country Restaurant in Williams, one of our favorite stops.
As always, the food was excellent, the coffee superb, the atmosphere invigorating, and the staff friendly. Still, there was a bit of a shadow over our delightful lunch as we reflected on the end of another trip and the fact I would soon be back at the daily grind which meant missing my dearest friend for lunch. Before saddling up for another stint at automotive jousting on the interstate, we took some time to wander the streets. On more than one occasion we have given thought to pulling stakes in Kingman and opening a small book/Route 66 store in Williams but these dreams never seem to last beyond our annual winter breakfast run and seeing piles of dirty snow as tall as I am. The drive down the hill was uneventful and we made Seligman without a hitch. In light of the numerous attractions, and old friends, in Seligman it is never fair when the schedule forces you to choose just one stop. On this excursion we selected Seligman Sundries. The current incarnation of this business may be a new comer in Seligman compared to Angel’s barbershop or the Snow Cap, but this place predates both by almost a half century. Frank and Lynne Kocevar have created an excellent recreation of the old fashioned general store with soda fountain when travelers on Route 66, rather than area ranchers, were the bread and butter. When you stop, don’t leave without sampling a real old fashioned chocolate milkshake. Well, we arrived home safe and sound just a bit worn around the edges late that afternoon. With a deep sigh we set to unloading the Jeep, taking care of business, and, reluctantly, taking our position in the hamster wheel. But there in the back of our mind, lurking just behind the memories and the looming schedules, were the plans for the next grand adventure on legendary Route 66.