Friends and obligations
Winslow Travel Blog› entry 4 of 59 › view all entries
We left Barstow mostly on time (in other words: late by less than an hour!) for an uneventful drive to Flagstaff, AZ. The drive across the desert is fascinating. Yes, it seems barren and almost lifeless. But, in fact, it is neither. The creosote bushes are spaced as evenly as if humans planted them. They create a zone around themselves to insure their roots get enough water on those rare occasions when rain falls. The mountains seem dessicated by the heat and glaring sun. There are a lot of ancient lava flows along I-40 between Barstow and Needles. The shapes of the hills, mesas and distant mountains are incredible.
We arrived in Flagstaff just in time for a quick hug from dear friend, Karen Underhill, the head of the Special Collections Department of the Cline Library at Northern Arizona University (note: when accessing the link for Special Collections, you might find it interesting to see some of the photographs of my former boss, including some that I took while working for her. Type in the name below (not the link I have included - that one will lead to an entry in Wikipedia); that will lead you to the large collection of photographs.) Since she was in the middle of a conference with the college dean, I was very grateful to have even a moment of Karen's time. I met with another friend in Special Collections, Richard Quartaroli, a very fine historian and a great professional boatman in Grand Canyon. I had some items to give them from my late river pal, Phyllis Wilken. Her daughter sent me Phyl's scrapbook, tee shirts and books. Most of the books were not needed, so I gave them to one of the new historians there, a young fellow named Peter. We spent a delightful half hour chatting about Georgie White Clark, my former boss in Grand Canyon. All of these items are going into Georgie's special collection. My obligation to see that Phyllis's memories will remain available, even though she is now gone, has been fulfilled.
Jag and I decided to travel on another 50 miles or so to overnight in the small town of Winslow. There is a gorgeous hotel here: the La Posada, built in the early 1930's by Mary Jane Coulter, architect for Fred Harvey, including the wonderful buildings of Grand Canyon's South Rim. These include the Bright Angel Lodge, Hermit's Rest, the Hopi Watchtower, Hopi House, etc. I have great admiration for this amazing woman. She was way ahead of her time. Almost no women were architects at the turn of the 20th century. Heck, they could not even vote! We decided to have dinner at this remarkable place. It is huge. The restaurant, The Turquoise Room, is owned by the chef, John Sharpe, as a separate entity. Dinner was marvelous, most likely the best we will have on this entire trip. It was very expensive, but worth every penny. We shared the main course of carnitas. They were the most tender I have ever eaten. They were, apparently, slow-cooked for over 6 hours. Absolutely everything was super, including the service. We will return to the hotel in the morning, before taking off for Albuquerque. I want to photograph what I can. If you are ever in or near Winslow, make it a point to visit this historic building. Unfortunately, because of the cost of a room at La Posada, we decided to stay at the Motel 6. What a come-down. But it is more comfortable than most 6's. Some day we will suck it up and pay the big bucks for La Posada.