My apologies to Jackson Brown, Glenn Frey, & The Eagles for the use of the lyrics from their famous song "Take It Easy."  Yes, we got our kicks, on Route 66!  After leaving the Vegas area we decided to travel the Arizona portion of RT 66.  Arizona has the longest remaining continuous stretch of this legendary highway.  RT 66 was largely a desolate drive but their were a few really cool things.
     Oatman, AZ was our first RT 66 stop.  On the drive into town we stopped to photograph a wild burro standing on the side of the road.  To our shock, the burro walked up to the car and stuck its head into Nancy's window.  Holy cow!  Nancy squirmed out of her seat to almost onto my lap to avoid this uncomfortably close face-to-ass encounter.  I decided to drive off, slowly, with burro's head still in the car as it became clear that it had no intention of leaving.  In fact, this burro was so intent on climbing into the car that, as we slowly moved forward, it left its head firmly pressed toward the car to the point were its nose wiped along the rear passenger window leaving a nice booger trail.
     Once we successfully escaped Nancy's burro friend we entered the town of Oatman.  Oatman is a 1/10 of a mile long gift shop created from the buildings of a former western ghost town.  And it was full of semi-wild burros.  It was a very cool place to visit, but I quickly grew tired of all the RT 66 paraphernalia stuff for sale.
Oatman, AZ
     Further down RT 66 is Seligman, AZ, another gift shop paradise with a 1940's/1950's vibe.  It turns out that this town is a major stop for bus tours and was packed with people while we visited.
     Perhaps one of the most interesting things along former RT 66 was the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, AZ.  The motel still rents rooms in concrete wigwams.

Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, AZ
     After leaving RT 66 we headed to Sedona, AZ.  Sedona has to be in the top 10 most beautiful towns in America.  It is surrounded by red and white mountains with tons of different and interesting places to visit.  There is an element of weirdness in Sedona as there was an undercurrent regarding "the power of rocks" and "vortexes."  Apparently, Sedona has designated certain special locations around town as a "vortex" and has declared that these areas have some sort of spiritual power.  I stood in the middle of one of these things and, well, nada.  Maybe I'm just too dense to be vortexable (sorry, I think I made up this word).
Sedona, AZ
Tuzigoot National Monument,  Cottonwood, AZ
near Sedona
Montazuma's Castle National Monument, Camp Verde, AZ
near Sedona
Sedona, AZ

Sedona, AZ
     We were treated to an extra special "open mic" in Cottonwood, AZ at "My Dobro," a local bar not far from Sedona.  The "open mic" was a country/western themed event and featured local talent as well as some not so talented.  (Todd may recall "Lester Roadhog Morran and The Cadillac Cowboys.")  We joined in with the locals and had a great time.
One of the best local bands at My Dobro.
     It turned out that we had a slightly extended stay in Winslow, AZ, but more about that later.  Winslow has nothing to see or do but stand on corners, so we did a little traveling.  In our travels we discovered a gem, Little Painted Desert County Park, and we bagged another national park-Petrified Forest.  Petrified Forest has thousands of hunks of petrified wood just lying around.  The petrified wood displays an amazing array of colors.
Little Painted Desert County Park, Winslow, AZ
Petrified Forest National Park

The colors of the petrified wood. 
     Now for the disasters and, yes, all NANCY'S FAULT!  On Sunday 10/26 we left Sedona and headed to Santa Fe, NM.  Just as we were leaving Nancy decided to boast that we hadn't had a problem  with the rig for months.  Well, you guessed it, within 24 hours all of the following occurred: the starter in our motor home died; our generator's fuel pump failed; both tires on my mountain bike went flat; the refrigerator's roof vent cover on the motor home was ripped off leaving a 7" x 23" hole; the motor home's radio stopped working, but remained locked in the "on" position so the batteries would continue to drain; and the automatic exterior stairs on the motor home fell off!
     This series of misfortunes resulted in our discovery that "road angels" exist.  Since we left Sedona on a Sunday, we decided to pull over in an isolated back-road rest area to eat lunch and watch the Patriot's game.  Once the game ended we got ready to go and I tried to turn on the ignition.  Nothing happened.  The rig was totally dead.  At that moment a truck hauling a travel trailer happened to stop to check the tires on the travel trailer.  There were 3 men with the truck and travel trailer.  They looked over and saw my forlorn expression and asked if I needed help.  It turned out that one of the guys, Roy, owned an car repair shop in Phoenix, AZ.  He was quickly able to determine that the starter was dead and the rig was not going anywhere.  As a last resort he decided to tap on the starter while I cranked the engine and, magically, the rig started!  We were able to drive the rig to the Walmart in Winslow which fortuitously was 100' from a Ford dealer.  What a great save--we sure were lucky and very, very thankful to Roy, our "road angel."
     It wasn't until we got to Santa Fe that all the problems were resolved.  Some problems I was able to repair, some of the problems were covered by warranty, but the automatic stairs were expensive-ouch!  Interestingly, it turned out that my mountain bike tires had a bad case of the "goatheads."  Goatheads are an invasive plant species which grows a nasty burr capable of puncturing tires on mountain bikes.  I had heaps of goatheads stuck throughout my tire treads.  I now have self-sealing inner tubes in my tires in order to continue biking in the west.
     The only good news from this plague of misfortunes is that I found another new use for duct tape.  Simply apply the tape over Nancy's mouth prior to her declarations regarding our good fortunes and there will be no further disasters.  Yay!
     Finally, I updated our travel map.  Here is the link:


  1. The goatheads in your title caught my eye as I had that word in the title of my latest post as well for the same reason, two flat tires! I too now have self sealing tubes, lets hope that does the trick!


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