On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog


beautiful drive in the park

Wupatki National Monument

Ball court

Drive to Sunset Crater




A survivor in extreme conditions



Galaxy Diner on old Route 66

I never heard from the Hopi tour guide . I learned that the "self drive" portion to the small museum did not go to the places that I wanted to see which were the old settlements and the Blue Canyon. The old settlements have dirt roads, no electricity or running water. They are empty now - the last full time residents moved out last year but they return for monthly ceremonial events. I am sure the native guide would have been very interesting - too bad I wasn't able to experience Hopilands.

I got an early start on my drive to Flagstaff. Nineteen miles north of Flagstaff is a 37 mile scenic drive to Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater National Monument.

Wupatki is an 800 year old pueblo. Two very interesting things : 1) during the 1930's two park rangers lived in the pueblo. They had a ladder to get up to their "rooms". They hauled water from a spring and cooked with propane .. They had to pay the government $10 a month to live in such primitive quarters! 2) it is believed that the southern Arizona tribes borrowed the ball court idea from Indian cultures of Mexico. Two hundred ball courts have been found in Arizona. Sounds like ball games were as popular back then as they are today!

Sunset Crater erupted 900 years ago. The rumbling earth got more intense over a period of time so the Indian population knew enough to leave. Approximately 1 billion tons of ashfall covered 800 square miles. Tom and I brought the kids here in 1978 - boy has it changed! Not as primitive but still very enjoyable.

I had a very late lunch at the Galaxy Diner on old route 66. This place was a different restaurant during the "heyday" of historic 66 but the owner has done a great job of recreating what it would have been like back then. Lots of authentic memorabilia inside. My omelet was delicious and it came with crispy thin sliced potatoes with onions - heaven!

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