Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Winslow, AZ

Holbrook/Petrified Forest KOA
October 30 - November 8, 2019
Holbrook, AZ

We arrived in Holbrook a couple of days early for a 9 night stay at the KOA.  

We chose Holbrook as it is pretty much in the center of two places we wanted to visit...Winslow, AZ and the Petrified Forest National Park. 

Winslow is about 30 miles away and was our first adventure while in the area...mainly because we were waiting for the weather to warm up and we really needed a stop at Walmart. There were three POIs here we wanted to see...   
1. Standin on the Corner Park (November 1)
The Eagles just happen to be my all time favorite band and I have been waiting a long time to stand on the corner in Winslow, AZ.  Their first song "Take it Easy" became a huge hit in 1977. 

"Take it Easy", co-written by Jackson Browne and Glen Frey, put Winslow on the map.
"The Corner", which opened as a park in 1999, is located on Route 66 in historic downtown Winslow and features a life size bronze statue of a balladeer known as Easy which resembles Browne.  Frey said in an interview that Browne came up with the line after getting stranded in Winslow and was stumped on how to finish the verse.  Frey and Browne were neighbors at the time.  It was Frey who added the flatbed Ford line and the rest is history !

A mural that depicts the lyrics of the song is painted on a brick facade    

and in 2016, a statue of Glen Frey was added to the corner.  

"Such a fine sight to see"...

2. La Posada Hotel (November 1)
La Posada embodies the visions of Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, the hotel's renowned architect and Allan Affeldt, the current owner.  But the real story begins with Fred Harvey who "civilized the west" by introducing linen, silverware, crystal, and impeccable service to railroad travel.  Harvey developed and ran all the hotels and restaurants of the Santa Fe Railroad. 
Colter worked for the Fred Harvey Co from 1905 until she retired in the 1950s.  She became famous for her buildings at the Grand Canyon, but considers La Posada her masterpiece.  She was given the freedom to design everything from the structures to the landscape, the furniture, the maids uniforms, and even the dinner china.

For 27 years, the hotel remained open for business.  It was closed in 1957 and all the furnishings were auctioned off in 1959.  In the early 1960s much of the building was gutted and transformed into offices for the railroad.  As recently as 1994, the building was nearly demolished when the railroad made plans to move out for good.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation found out about the La Posada's perils and added it to their endangered list where it came to to the attention of Allan Affeldt.  He purchased the hotel and after three long years of negotiating legal, environmental and financial obstacles he took on the enormous risk and complexity of the estimated $12,000,000 restoration.  

Not only is this a beautiful building, I find it's history interesting.  In 1997, Allan (who oversees the design, architecture, financing and planning)  and his wife Tina Mion (a renowned artist who paints in her studio upstairs and whose art is on display throughout the hotel), made La Posada their home.  

Oh if these walls could talk...such famous folks as Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Howard Hughes, Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable and many more have walked through these doors and stayed at La Posada Hotel. 

3. Homolovi State Park (November 7)
Homolovi SP was established as an Arizona State Park in 1986 to prevent illegal collecting of artifacts and destruction being caused to structures, burial grounds and kivas that were left behind as far back as 620 AD.

If you want to meander in peace and quiet, enjoy endless  desert vistas and come away with a small sense of what living in this environment may have been like, Homolovi (Hopi for "place of the little hills) is a must stop. The day Joe and I visited, we saw one other person at the Visitor Center and not another person the rest of the day.  

On our way to the Homolovi II site, we stopped to hike the Tsu'vo Trail (Hopi for "Path of the Rattlesnakes") to look for petroglyphs and milling stones.  We wandered on a path between the fallen boulders and two small buttes and found neither.

We extended our walk and joined the Dine Trail to a gorgeous overlook.  The sun felt warm on our backs, the sky was so blue and the clouds were low on the horizon.  
If you squint, you will see a bench on the mound just right of center in the photo.
 Homolovi II is the bigger of the two archeological sites containing an estimated 1200 to 2000 rooms.  Today the pueblos are covered with dirt with only a small block of five rooms excavated.    

Kivas typically had roofs, fire pits, ventilation tunnels and sipapus...holes or indentions in the ground that represent emergence: how people originally entered the world.

The kiva on this site was quite large.

Homolovi II and Homolovi I are at opposite ends of the park.
It's short drive with wide-open vistas and the day we were there, we had our very own personal guides.

Homolovi I is adjacent to the Little Colorado River (signs warn about the river bed being unstable and may have quicksand so we didn't go there). The site is much smaller with only a wall excavated.

There are pottery pieces...lots and lots of pottery pieces at both sites.  We found a few and added them to the others.  We also found some beautiful flint rock, but don't know if it was used in trade or if it was indigenous to the area.

We stopped at the Visitor Center on our way in to pay the entrance fee ($7 per car) and see a small collection of artifacts.  

Since we had a couple of extra days, we decided to make an appointment with Freightliner in Flagstaff (November 4-5)  for service and maintenance.  

So glad we did as they found a couple of things that needed done.  We spent the night in their parking lot and Belle was ready to go by 2:00 pm the following day.  Joe was pleased with the service writer and the parts and service department.  If you are in the area, we do recommend them.

Up next...Petrified Forest National Park

Until then,



  1. Surprising all the interesting and different things to do in the Winslow area. Fran was familiar with the 'Harvey Girls' and mentioned La Posada is the last of the Harvey Hotels. She wanted to see the hotel, I wanted to stand on the corner. We both wanted to go to Rock Art Ranch, but ran out of time. Lack of time is the curse of being a traveler ...

  2. This is a great area with so much to see and lots of variety. Homolovi is a unique ruin. Homolovi I has seen a lot of excavating with all the plastic showing through by the various sites. Must have been an quite place once upon a time. I loved seeing so many beautiful pottery pieces.

    1. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the bulldozed holes where the illegal destruction and collecting had taken place. It really did upset both of us Pam. We did just sit for awhile and ponder...what a beautiful, peaceful place to call home they had!

  3. Love all the photos but especially that beautiful hotel--what a great story--that the hotel was brought back to life!

    1. I don’t usually go on and on about buildings, but the La Posada is gorgeous. Just imagine if it had all been demolished...

  4. We keep whizzing right by that park without stopping...always somewhere to go! Next time we'll stop and wander around, it looks like a wonderful place, thanks for taking us there with you Gay.

    1. You and Dave would love Homol’ovi State Park! I can’t imagine it is ever very crowded although there were a few MHs in the campground which is also very well laid out and spacious.

  5. A great place to spend time. It has been a long them for us since we were there:(

    1. Definitely a few hidden gems in the area. And what a great time to be there.

  6. So lucky you got to see the little burros!!! Wonderful pics of this area we love so much. La Posada is such a gem - I love that people take the train there for the weekend - what fun that would be :-) Homolovi is such a peaceful and special place. Thanks for taking me back!

    1. Our pleasure Jodee! I didn’t know about the train rides there...that would be so much fun! Wish we had known about the eggs and green chili for time for sure! And yes, I loved Homol’ovi. We were the only people there, not sure if it is always like that or we just got lucky!

  7. We enjoyed our stay at Homolovi State Park, and visiting Winslow AZ also a few years ago. Loved the train station and even bought some coffee mugs that were designed for the rail line. We of course "Stood on the Corner in Winslow Arizona too.