Back to Travel Back to Grand Canyon Home Back to Home
Entering The Grand Canyon State
Entering Arizona, the Grand Canyon state.
And so it starts; the Teepee Trading post will be the first of a score of commercial Indian establishments attempting to lure the tourist. These places are quite a bit of fun, but they are not called tourist traps for nothing. We are exactly at the border.
Another tourist stop, this one featuring blankets, jewelry, gas, dolls, and pottery. The spirit of old Route 66 lives.
Huge rock formations rear up above us. They are common on the border, but diminish after a number of miles. We will not see their like again until Zion in Utah.
Looking like a giant's front yard collection of lawn ornaments, this little diorama seeks to draw tourists to yet another Indian trading post. 
The welcome center, and rest stop on the Arizona border. Tourism is a big deal and a big draw for this state, and is taken very seriously.
Looking past the tourist center to the rock formations and big sky of Arizona.
Welcome to Arizona. The road seems to call to us. There are places to go and things to see. First though, we need rest, comfort, shade, maps, and air conditioning, after which we will be able to explore the wonders of Arizona a bit more evenly matched. 
Everybody stops here.
A look down the other way shows parking and lounging areas, with the ever present rock cliffs in the background.
The little structures near the rock face are kiosks, which offer shade, and feature pictorial descriptions and explanations of the geology of the area.
In the shade of the main structure. Shade is a precious commodity here in these nearly treeless climate.

Just inside of the Arizona border. A pair of friends ask to have their photo taken. They have recently graduated high school, and are spending the summer traveling around the country, saying good-bye to their childhood before starting work or college. 



A view of the inside of the little shaded shelters. The open air exhibits are very pleasant and informative, just what the traveler needs when first entering the state.
Scorpions, and insects, and snakes (oh my). Something tells me we aren't in Wisconsin any more. 
The entrance to the tourist center.
A look across the freeway, at the rock formations. We are still not officially in any desert, but the area is clearly dry and has desert forms of life. 
Looking back towards New Mexico. 
One last look at the welcome center/rest stop.
Back on the road again, and are there ever the sights to see. 
More of the classic red rock, cliffs, and mesas of the southwest.
Some scrubby "sagebrush" climbs up a hill.
A look out onto a hazy landscape. Fires are burning all around us. The area we passed through, just a day ago, is now closed to travelers.
The Petrified Forest National Park. This adjoins the Painted Desert, and for all practical purposes, the two are one park. I took a large number of photographs, and since this was a side trip, not really part of the direct journey to the Grand Canyon, nor on Route 66, it has it's own series of pages. 

Click Here for a Visit

This is a cloud of smoke from a series of huge fires which are raging across the southwest. At least two of these fires were determined to have been intentionally set. The ignorant conservation policies of the clinton administration  predisposed the area to become a tinder box.
Sleep in a wigwam anyone? 
Yet another Indian shop, and tourist trap. 
Well, this must be the place. The towering column in the background is not a storm cloud. It is a pall of smoke from the huge fires raging across New Mexico and Arizona.
After all is said and done, this is what all of the hype, road signs, and tourist guides have pointed us to. Actually, this is kind of a neat little place, offering a bit of everything. I will be forever grateful for the delicious cherry cider, which was so good, that I had my doubts as to it's legality.
There is a great deal of weapons research, nuclear testing, and other  high level government projects out here. Sometimes there are strange and unpredictable consequences of these activities. 
One of a number of water bombers flying back and forth to the huge fires plaguing the Southwest during this summer.
A rather desolate street in Winslow, Arizona commemorates it's past glory as part of Route 66. 
Standin' on the Corner Park, in Winslow Arizona.

My brother standin' on the corner in Winslow Arizona,
next to the sculpture of the nomad guitarist. 
A Sonic drive in, one of the night spots in Tucumcari. This whole area has a nostalgic, unreal quality to it. I can well imagine giant spiders, or aliens from a movie plot of the fifties, appearing here. 

Back To New Mexico Forward To Western Arizona