We started the morning of Day 12 off right with breakfast at Cracker Barrel. How do they get their pancakes with perfectly crispy edges? After breakfast, we took off and I immediately started snapping some motel signs as we headed out of Gallup.You know you’re in New Mexico when you start seeing trading posts along the side of the road.But some the trading posts don’t make it and have been abandoned.The Pancake House obviously didn’t have crispy pancakes like the Cracker Barrel.Also, this place was strange. It’s just down the road from the abandoned, yet still inhabited Indian Trading Market. The sign reads: Little Post Office Sanctuary, Holy Spirit Mail Sun 10am. We passed a bunch of other random roadside weirdness and roadside ruins and signs.And then we visited the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. Wow. What a spectacular landscape. If you’re driving by, I definitely recommend a stop. And definitely stop by the Harvey House which has been restored and is gorgeous.
However, here are my two tips: 1. Drive The Speed Limit! and 2. Don’t Drink Too Much Water!
Here’s why: We were pulled over by a stupid National Park Ranger cop who asked us “Is everyone in the car ok? What’s the emergency?” I hate douchebags like that. Ken was probably going 5 miles over the speed limit, but she wasn’t radaring and it wasn’t unsafe. I think she mostly wanted to ask the question, “Do you have any petrified wood in your car?” She let him off with a warning. And don’t drink too much water because the ONLY bathroom in the middle of the park is closed for Winter. What the fuck? This is not Game of Thrones! It was 80+ degrees out. It was hot, we’re walking around outside, and drinking water. So bad.The park has some ancient ruins and petroglyphs which are pretty awesome. It was also neat to read about the people who inhabited the area from A.D. 1215-1380 and then abandoned it due to climate change, much like many of the businesses of Route 66 which were abandoned when Interstate 40 was built. Didn’t see enough petrified wood inside the park? That’s because Jim Gray stole it all for his Petrified Wood Co. Honestly, I don’t know how he got so much, or if it was legally procured or not. But there is more in his shop than there is in the National Park.And then we got into Holbrook which has a ton of rock shops, awesome signs (of course!), and neat shit.We stopped for dinner at Mesa which doesn’t look like much, but it is THE restaurant in town. If you’re staying the night in Holbrook, eat at Mesa.And then we checked into the Wigwam Motel. Have you done it in a teepee?
STAY: Wigwam Motel, 811 W Hopi Dr, Holbrook, AZ 86025, (928) 524-3048