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Cross Country Blog...

Saturday, April 15

New Mexico, Arizona

and today's added attraction:

This is a wonderful five star hotel that is part of a small exclusive chain.

Indian black pottery is new to me, It is very difficult to create.


Indian dwellings along one wall of Walnut Canyon
Later in the day we stopped at Walnut Canyon National Park near Flagstaff to learn about another tribe, the Sinagua, that lived in the canyon from approximately 1100 to 1250. They apparently came to the area when a volcano erupted in the nearby mountains. The tribe built rooms into the side of the canyon, a few hundred feet up from the bottom.

On the Mother Road

"If you ever plan to motor west,
Travel my way, take the highway that is best.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.

We saw the first reference to Rt. 66 in St. Louis. Their museum was doing a photographic show on the road's history. The sign on the left is in Santa Fe. For most of this day, we followed its path, sometimes turning off the main Interstate (I-40) to journey along the old road. It's a long drive, but through very interesting country. And although the sun was very warm through the windows, the outside temperature barely hit 70.
  • States along Rt. 66 -- Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California
  • Date it was dedicated -- 1926
  • Date it was "deactivated" -- 1984

A late start this morning in Santa Fe. The Inn of the Ansazi is simply too nice to leave. This inn was named for a long-extinct tribe of Indians that lived in the area. We suspected that today there must be lots of tribes in New Mexico, for no other reason than there are lots of casinos throughout the state, but why so many? This morning we visited a museum that explains the history of 19 different pueblo Indian tribes in the Albuquerque area that have formed a loose confederation. Pueblos were communal living centers, like villages, built of adobe. Today, although there are still 19 tribes, some have only a few hundred members. They work collectively through a council when needed.

The pueblo tribes were responsible for the first revolution in the Americas. It happened on August 8, 1680 when the tribes collectively rose up and killed perhaps 400 of the approximately 25,000 Spanish settlers that had been stealing their land, forcing them into Christianity, etc. The Spaniards headed south after the massacre.


Below -- Shirley Jones (the other one), at the
Flagstaff visitor center,next to the train station.

Today, the park offers paths that allow visitors to tour the old living areas. Constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the depression, the paths are a great way to get down to the Indian dwellings. Just bring hiking boots, since coming back up means 300+ steps... I found it interesting that the Visitor Center is the most "handi-capped accessible" place we have visited, although the attraction itself is clearly not.

At 5 PM we pulled into Flagstaff, where we stopped in at the tourist Information office. It was a bit too late to see anything else, but we enjoyed the old town, and had a very good dinner before turning in for the night.

Weird time! As the Flagstaff site reminds us, Arizona travels a different path for measuring time -- " The Navajo Nation observes daylight-saving time. The remainder of the state stays on Mountain Standard Time year-round. "

Last Updated: Sunday, April 16, 2006 6:01 AM