blogging kp!

some of my travels with random musings & silliness mixed in

Arizona Route 40/66 – Holbrook, AZ January 3, 2011

Pow Wow Trading Post

Once I left Exit 303, I continued on to Holbrook, Arizona. Holbrook is a great little town full of all the old vintage signs I love and the history of Route 66.

What’s crazy is that five days ago on my way to Santa Fe, NM, I drove through Holbrook and I was in the middle of a BLIZZARD. Driving through it today, there is hardly any snow on the ground. Pretty amazing how quickly the weather can change… like “on a dime”!

I have always wanted to go back to Holbrook. I have been through once or twice and have always been in a hurry. I really want to photograph the vintage signs at night… get them in all of their glory. However, I never seem to make it through at night.

I pulled off the 40 onto Navajo Boulevard into Holbrook. Straight down Navajo is the Pow Wow Trading Post. I have always loved that place, but alas, it appears to be closed. There is a large chain link fence all around it. I really hope that somehow new life is breathed into it. I got my camera out anyway and took what photos I could… the chain link fence and electrical wires made it difficult to get some shots but I was out of the car and enjoying myself.

The Plainsman

My next stop is a little further down from the Pow Wow on the opposite side of the road. It is a fairly famous bar called Young’s Corral. I have never been inside but the horse’s ass on the sign always makes me laugh. On the side of Young’s there is a mural the length of the building. The mural is an homage to the desert, motorcycle riding and classic cars. Of course I stopped to photograph the mural. I wonder to myself why residents look at me funny… you would think that being a big city on Route 66 a tourist taking photos wouldn’t be an oddity!

I turned right onto West Hopi Drive and found myself in old motel / restaurant sign HEAVEN. My favorite is the Plainsman… a steakhouse whose sign is in the shape of a rifle with a powder horn! I’d get out snap some photos and then drive to the next place… I was lost in my own little world.

Sadly, the one sign I want to photograph…. is somewhere in Holbrook (I know because I have photographed it before.) but I could not remember where. It is of a large neon Indian Chief… not the motorcycle… I suppose I could have asked but I really needed to get back on the road. sigh. Next time I WILL FIND IT!

Next stop on my photo expedition… The Wigwam Motel!

See more of my photos here: http://wp.me/pyPkl-dM

Young's Corral

 

Arizona Route 40/66 – Exit 303 Stewart’s

I suggest exiting now!

So, after perusing and photographing Route 40’s Exit 303 and all of it’s “attractions”… I crossed over to the other side of Route 40 and found Stewart’s Petrified Wood.

What first caught my eye was the dinosaurs and the tiger… but as I drove closer all the signs and goofy other statues… dilapidated school bus and other crazy things really caught my attention.

All the dinosuars had female mannequins hanging from their mouths… some were bloodied… some were not. One dinosaur (looks like a Brontosaurus) is wrapped in lots and lots of lights… I imagine at night he’s brighter then a half dozen Christmas trees!! Upon closer inspection, I noticed some of the dinos appeared to have mechanical parts, so, maybe they moved at some point in time.

Rumour has it the owner (Mr. Stewart) and the owners of the the trading posts across Route 40 had a disagreement over who owned the rights to a dinosaur. Stewart apparently put his handmade beauties up AFTER the people across the street did. But alas… there are no rights to ownership of a dinosaur and Stewart’s look significantly different.

The dinosaurs are not the only items in / around the parking lot to capture your attention. I would be remiss not to mention the tiger, the ostriches and the old cars. The cars sit in the parking lot to try to fool the passersby into thinking the store is busy.

I would really like to go by at night and see Stewart’s all lit up… it would be even better to see the mechanical monsters moving too!

Click here to see more! (You won’t regret it!) http://wp.me/pyPkl-dq

 

Arizona Route 40/66 – Exit 303 Adamana

He looks hungry!

I have to say that I LOVE the goofy old roadside attractions / stops that America offers along it’s highways and byways! One such area for satisfying my love of all things kooky…  is of course Route 66. Yes, you can get your kicks there… but on Highway 40 there is another place… Exit 303… Adamana.

Petrified wood… rocks… Native American wares… you name it…. but the best part is all the different ways the owners of these establishments have chosen to get your attention from the highway! Giant dinosaurs… teepees… giant Kachinas…

I was on the way to Las Vegas (the Nevada one) from Santa Fe, New Mexico, this past New Year’s and I had to stop… it was the time of day where the sun is directly overhead but I took some photos anyway!

Watching the cars go by.

See more of my photos:   http://wp.me/pyPkl-cU

 

Desert Christ Park, Yucca Valley, CA October 27, 2010

While out researching another ride to Pioneertown, CA, I came across the website for the Desert Christ Park in Yucca Valley.

This is a hillside park adjacent to a church with 35+ statues of Biblical figures… some of which recreate events from the Bible. The statuary also shows various apostles and/or others in what appears to be discussions or taking time out to contemplate. There are even 1 or 2 statues in a lying down position… maybe resting or maybe just enjoying the sun on their alabaster skin.

Back in the 50s, this park was created by sculptor Antone Martin as a his statement of peace. From what I could tell, his cement sculptures appear to be placed facing away from the sun… with the exception of Jesus who always seems to face Yucca Valley.

Unfortunately, a 7.3 earthquake back in 1992, did some damage to a number of the sculptures… removing heads and hands. This left rebar sticking out bare almost as if someone took the sculptures’ skin off.

Martin also built a large wall with the Last Supper in bas relief. (You can go behind the wall and place your head in the window next to Jesus… it’s ok… the wall was built for this!)

More of my photos: http://wp.me/pyPkl-9I

 

Pioneertown, CA October 25, 2010

Saloon, Bank and Barbershop

Back in March 2009, one of my great friends was about to celebrate his birthday. I knew this because he sent a party invitation via Facebook asking his friends to join him at the Rim Rock Ranch in Pioneertown (Yucca Valley) for the weekend.  I did some “googling” and read up on Pioneertown and it sounded both fun and like a great ride. So, I told him I would come up on my bike.

Pioneertown is four miles from Yucca Valley which is very close to 29 Palms and north of Palm Springs. I “mapquested” the route. About 120 miles… 2-3 hours. This would be an easy ride and it was somewhere new!

I took the 15 to the 79 to the 10 to the 62 toward 29 Palms. BE CAREFUL on this road (62). The wind is gnarly! I have been on this road many times and sometimes I felt like I was riding sideways! Once on the 62 it is only about 25 miles to Pioneertown Road… turn left and about 5 miles, some Joshua Trees, boulders and rock formations later I pass one of the best honky tonks around…. Pappy and Harriet’s Palace. Another 5 miles and I arrived at the Rim Rock Ranch.

The Wagon Wheel Saloon

There were about ten of us hanging out at the ranch. It was a great place!  I won’t go into the details of the birthday party but we rocked the high desert!

Somehow, I managed to miss Pioneertown itself on that trip. When I look back, I have no idea how this happened! I just rode right on by it. So, when I heard my favorite band The Farmers were playing at Pappy’s, I had to go! Once again, I loaded my bike for camping and met the band at Pappy’s on Saturday. I brought some friends with me this time. They stayed in the Pioneertown Hotel and I pitched my tent out back.

Pioneertown Bowl

Let me tell you about Pioneertown. Pi-Town started as a living motion picture movie set in the old west style. From what I understand it was built in the 1940s sometime. The concept was the actors would live in the set while they were filming. If you have seen Judge Roy Bean, Annie Oakley or The Cisco Kid, you have seen Pioneertown. Roy Rogers, Barbara Billingsley and Gene Autry were a few of the actors you could find on set. Also, to be found is the Pioneertown Bowling Alley. Gene Autry would tape his show there and he rolled the first ball in the late 1940s. Check out the murals!

During the summer months, old west re-enactments take place on Saturday right on Mane Street. Also, behind Pi-Town, there are corrals that can be rented for your horse(s).

(The hotel is under new management and no longer allows tent camping, but the owner of the corrals does. There is a giant fire ring and it has plenty of room by the fence to set up.)

More of my photos: http://wp.me/pyPkl-a6