Tuesday, March 22, 2016

More Than a Corner

All the years I lived in Lodi, CA, I never thought about opening a "Stuck in Lodi" tourist destination. Certainly the 1969 Credence Clearwater Revival song was every bit as popular as the one memorialized in the little town of Winslow, AZ. Dang, probably too late now.

Winslow has certainly capitalized on the Jackson Browne/Glenn Frey song, "Take It Easy", made famous by The Eagles, with the building of a small park - you guessed it - on the corner.  As part of the revitalization of the downtown area started in 1997, the park was funded by donations and opened in September 1999. It includes a bronze statue of Browne, a mural of the flatbed Ford, and the old hotel front.

Being Eagles' fans ourselves, and staying less than 30 miles up the road, we aren't going to miss it!

Jackson and Bill discussing music with mementos left in memory of Glenn Frey
What else would you park here?  And there's only one dealership in Winslow - yep, Ford.
Donor bricks partially funded the project
Detailed mural
Yes, I bought t-shirts (to help the local economy of course). The clerk says she sees up to 100 people a day across the street getting their pics taken.
That was fun!

Now we're off to yet another place we've never heard of - Homolovi State Park. Whenever we get to a new area we make a point of finding natural and historic points of interest. This little park sounds interesting, and is only 3 miles from Winslow.

In the 14th century the Hisat'sinom (Hopi ancestors) built pueblos in the high grasslands along the Little Colorado River. With the support of the Hopi people, the state park was established in 1986 in an effort to protect the sites that remained. The visitors center has the most incredible view.

The ranger says he never tires of this view - painted rock in the distance

Beautiful red rock wall at visitors center
Lighted mural of surrounding hills. In the women's restroom :-)
There are four areas of pueblo ruins, although two of them are currently closed. Homolovi I is near the small campground and has been re-buried by the park. After un-earthing the ruins along the river, they sustained substantial damage from the elements and it was determined that covering them again is best for preservation. We don't stop in that area, but the ranger explains that what you see of these ruins is the tops of the walls, rather than the foundations as you normally do. 

We spend our time here at Homolovi II. A very nice paved trail takes us into the ruins where we are encouraged to walk among the ruins, to pick up artifacts, to take photos, and then to leave everything where we found it. Fortunately it looks like the majority of visitors respect this. There are hundreds of pottery shards along the path, among the rocks and brush, and saved on flat stones for others to enjoy.

Early engineering included the use of small hillsides for building walls
More than 300 archaeological sites have been found within the park, including evidence of over 1200 rooms
The Hopi tell us that the broken pottery and stones are now part of the land, and are the trail Bahana will follow when he returns.  
Many patterned shards
Puzzle pieces in all sizes...
......most of them quite small.
The sad reality of history is still history. The holes were dug prior to the establishment of the park - and for me it means we've come a long way toward respecting sacred space.
Bill makes the blue ribbon find of the day - ancient fossil
I accept second place with the only critter we saw all day
Beautifully preserved kiva with stone seating. The spirit of this place draws you in.
The day before, the quiet added to the magic of what we were seeing. Today, the wind blowing through the tall grasses gives the place a feeling of authenticity. A few others pass through quickly, but mostly we are fortunate to have the place to ourselves. I could lose myself in the surrounding vistas.

The grass speaks in hushed tones
Tuutukwi, or Hopi Buttes are in the distance. Some Hopi clans still use them as eagle gathering areas today.

The Painted Desert is 300 miles from east to west. At the western boundary, Little Painted Desert is a county park. It is 13 miles north of Homolovi, and our next destination.

Park is a stretch. But there is a road of crumbling asphalt that takes us to the canyon rim. The light cloud cover blanches the colors, but it is still a spectacular sight. At the edge of the grasslands, we are once again in awe of Nature's majesty.

More blues
and reds
Looking like large ships all docked together
And this!
What a fun day, enjoying an iconic music destination, discovering another historical sacred site, and viewing more natural beauty. Life is most definitely good!


  1. WOW...you guys are on a roll. Thank you so much for sharing destinations I would love and can add to our "must see" places. I never thought about Wilslow being a "real" place"...the Eagles are one of my all time favorite bands!

    I love they way you described the wind and grasses...and so totally agree. Can't wait to see what is next!

    1. So fun to have you guys along - hoping to catch up with you all in Moab. Apparently Frey and Browne were never in Winslow, but they sure made the place famous :-))))

  2. You have found some great places. Looks like you two are having a good time.

    1. We are indeed having a most wonderful time!!!

  3. Wow what a day! Love the "corner"!! Looks like those boys had a nice chat. Now I'll be singing that song all day. Really beautiful pictures of the grasses and the striking landscape with the rock colors surrounding this sacred place. 1200 rooms. Don't you wonder what they did with them all? So happy to hear that people are respectful.

    1. Both of the stores I went in had the song playing - not sure how the employees don't lose their minds! I was really pleased to see so many shards still there, and although you are allowed to walk among the ruins here, there was no visible sign other than footprints.

  4. It's really great you're able to discover so many new places to see and check out. You have a whole country and many years of fun ahead of you.

    1. I continue to be in awe of how many state and national parks there are. We're so lucky to be able to take our time and not just drive by most of them!

  5. We love Homolovi and have stayed there several times in our cross-country journeys. Glad you found it -- I'm always surprised more people don't know about it. We enjoy walking as you did amongst the ruins and seeing all of the beautiful pottery sherds. We couldn't resist "standing on the corner" in Winslow either. Now that song is again in my head. Good thing I like it. :-)) You would enjoy visiting the grand 1920's La Posada Hotel in Winslow if you head back that way.

    1. How wonderful that you stay there! It is such a peaceful place. Went by the hotel, but it didn't look open, maybe just not busy that day. Will definitely catch it next time!

  6. Hard to believe I've never been to Winslow. And now I have Homolovi to add to my list. I'm surprised the park is so open to people walking 'in' the ruins and picking up the artifacts. Sure is nice to see them though.

    1. Yes! You'll like Homolovi I think. There is a very strong "presence" in those ruins. May contribute to why so many artifacts remain :)

  7. I'm with Gay...you guys are on a roll!! Don't you just love how one place leads to another than another:) How very neat wandering among the pottery shards. Makes it all come alive. I've never seen painted shards before. How pretty!

    The blue than red, then orange hills are spectacular!! Keep it coming, Jodee!!

    1. This whole area has such amazing culture. We're finding Flagstaff's crazy traffic to be a bit much, but there's a lot to see here!

  8. Winslow-gotta stop there one day :-) So many new and exciting places you three are visiting. It's good that you have this blog, both to share with us and to remember for yourselves in the future.

    1. I could never remember half of what we're seeing without this journal of our adventures. You'll enjoy Winslow, cute little town.