Getting My Kicks With Route 66

Route 66 is due South of Montrose, CO.  You can get to the New Mexico one by just driving south on Highway 550 until you hit Route 66 in Albuquerque.  Or, you can take Highway 491 and catch-up with it in Gallup.  You can also catch it in Arizona – we often drive by Monument Valley to Flagstaff and catch it there.  Of course, you can also catch it in Holbrook at the Petrified Forest.  We have done all of the above plus more. I have always said that it must have been a pretty amazing highway in its day – the road to the Southwest – the ruins and rock structures.

Maizzy, my crazy old chi-hound and I met up with it in Gallup on our first road trip (after a trip to Chaco Canyon and El Malpias). We rode it all the way to Petrified Forest.  Well, we took the sections that we could and were mostly on I-40, a place full of big, fast semi trucks.  We got to Holbrook, where we hung out on Route 66 for a bit. Then, back home through Monument Valley and Canyonlands.   That was 2014.

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Maizzy on Route 66 marker in Holbrook, AZ – 2014

Our road trip is South, so we almost always cross Route 66 – well, always because we have to cross it to get to the other side of the Southwest.  The next year, we traveled from down to Catalina State Park, AZ and back up to the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.  We went out for a night on the town at Route 66 in Flagstaff.

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Maizzy, Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ – 2015

The following year, 2016, we went down to Lost Dutchman State Park, AZ and on the way, we stopped at the Petrified Forest – where we walked in the Crystal Forest and crossed the old Route 66. We headed home through Socorro, NM and up through Farmington, NM.  Good grief, I can barely remember these amazing routes!

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Maizzy hiking in the Crystal Forest at Petrified Forest National Park, AZ – 2016

Where did 2017 take us? From the Four Corners to Flagstaff and down to Gila Bend and  Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  We came back and visited Casa Grande – then back up by Route 66 at the Petrified Forest.  By then, I had acquired dog #2, little once-feral, Kachina.

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On that bench on Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ, again – 2017

Soon enough it was 2018, and a new adventure came when spring warmed the earth.  This year, we left on Friday the 13th and took the Devil’s Highway (once numbered 666 because it was the 6th spur off Route 66) all the way to the AZ/Mexico border. We visited Canyon de Chelly and headed south to Chambers, AZ, which is smack-dab on Route 66. We drove to Clifton on the long, winding road and ended up in Tombstone.  We stopped at the Petrified Forest on the way home.  It was a horrific windstorm that day – but my dogs managed a photo at the Route 66 turnout.  Oh, and another dog joined the family – my little disabled chi rescue, Sazi Ana (think Anasazi).

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Windstorm at the Route 66 turnout at Petrified Forest National Park, AZ – 2018

And, my last road trip in 2019 was super awesome to start.  We went through Shiprock, NM and then down through the badlands to Grants, NM – which is on Route 66.  It is a long story that I forgot to get gas on the way to El Morro National Monument, so I was too tired to stop at any of the Route 66 attractions.  We headed south (I can’t stand I-40 in a Honda Fit with all those semis) after Grants and stopped at Salinas Pueblo Mission Ruins near Albuquerque – then to White Sands.  We did a long sprint to Tucson, Catalina State Park,  then back up to . . . um, drum roll . . . Petrified Forest.  You see, it’s dog friendly so we stop most years.  Except, last year I got Noravirus the day we were suppose to go.  We went – but I was too sick to do anything but pray for a motel bed ASAP.  We cruised (wanting to upchuck) I-40 (the new Route 66) and turned off to get to Window Rock.  The scenery in that part of the State is worth posting, except I was too ill to get pictures.

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El Malpias National Monument Near Grants, NM, off of Route 66 – 2019

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The motel in Window Rock, AZ, a few miles from Route 66 – 2019

Why am I talking about Route 66 on a daylily blog?  Because I am taking a road trip vicariously through my Southwest named daylilies while we wait for COVID-19 to settle down.  (Maybe Noravirus helped me to see how serous it is to catch a virus when you are traveling – all those restrooms, hotels, eateries, gas pumps – not safe yet).  Route 66 is a cultivator that I picked up years ago at the local greenhouse – long before I started collecting daylilies with Southwest names.  Long before I started taking road trips.

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Route 66 Daylily in bloom – 2019

However, now the blooms are more special.  I think of our trips to Gallup and Grants and Chambers and Holbrook and Flagstaff.  I think of the colors that are on the tee shirts – the red and black.  When I see the blooms, I think of my goofy dogs and all of our fun times, getting our kicks on Route 66.

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