This post documents our activities from November 17, 2021 to November 20, 2021.
Another revisit to a favorite place – Winslow, AZ. Since there was no availability at Homolavi State Park, we had a reservation at another place we had stayed before – Meteor Crater RV Park where we were assigned site #24.
I’ve said this often before, sometimes the site you are on can change your overall impression of a park. And that’s exactly what happened here. This time our opinion of the park wasn’t quite as favorable as during previous visits. Why you might ask? Mainly because our site was close to the campground’s water treatment facility with it’s loud, noisy pump and somewhat smelly aroma, making for a less than desirable ambiance. Plus our site was closer to the highway than during previous stays so there was a lot of traffic noise. Would we return to the park in the future? Sure, but we definitely would ask for a site away from the pumping station.
Having been to Meteor Crater back in 2017 (see our post), there was no need for us to see it again. There was also no need to visit Corner Park, the infamous spot that Glenn Frey of the Eagles and Jackson Browne wrote about in the very popular song “Take It Easy”. No need for us to once again “stand on the corner in Winslow, Arizona” with the other 100,000 annual visitors. Yep, been there, done that, but it is always worthy of a drive by though!
Not that we needed justification, but we did have one good reason for visiting the area – to roam the halls and enjoy all of the historic decor and details of the beautiful La Posada Hotel, originally designed by the famous architect, Mary Elizabeth Coulter in 1930 and lovingly restored by Allan and Tina Mion. It reopened in 1997.
Since I wrote an extensive post about the history of the hotel, I won’t regurgitate all that information again. If you wish you can read the original post by clicking here.
Since the1930’s, countless celebrities have stayed at the hotel from Albert Einstein to FDR to Diane Keaton to Senator John Kerry to Jackson Browne and so many more (see the list here – scroll to the bottom of the page). Many of the rooms are named for a particular celebrity.
Learning the history of the hotel is awesome but our real reason for our return visit was food related (of course). Our goal – to enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast in the Turquoise Room. Yum!
The last day of our 3 day stay at Meteor Crater RV Park was a busy one and we revisited several other of our favorite attractions. First on our itinerary for the day was to drive to Walnut Canyon National Monument (see our post from our 2017 visit) in Flagstaff, but when we arrived there, it was very crowded, somewhat surprising since it was a Friday, not the weekend. This is a lesser known National Monument and on prior visits has been relatively empty.
With 273 steps down (easy) required to descend into the canyon and reach the Island Trail, plus the same number of steps back up (not so easy), we decided against making the trek – it was just too crowded and the risk of Covid was too high even though it was outside. Plus my recent hip osteoarthritis diagnosis over the summer made me shudder at the thoughts of the pain that number of steps would most likely cause.
Instead we took an easier, less strenuous trail – the .7 mile paved Rim Trail which meanders through mixed juniper and pinyon pine forests along the rim. Great views of the Island Trail along the way!
Located 21 miles from Walnut Crater is Sunset Crater National Monument, also in Flagstaff. Wonderful having the The Lifetime Senior Pass which allows us to visit all of these National Monuments free of charge! What a surprise, unlike the very crowded Walnut Creek, no one was there!
Having been here before (see this post), we retraced our steps on several of the trails. The .25 mile A’a Trail winds its way through jagged blocks of rough, basaltic a’a lava, formed as the Bonito Lava Flow cooled. A’a is a Hawaiian word meaning “stony rough lava” that flows slowly and cools quickly.
In addition to doing the paved trail, we ventured off down the steps and walked the more extensive unpaved portion of the trail. Beautiful walk, highly recommend taking this detour.
Rob reminisced (again) about the ice cave that he was able to explore (but is now closed) and the smell of bacon that his family experienced when they visited here in the 70’s. Ah, such fond memories!
It was getting late in the afternoon and with a 50 minute drive back to the campground, once we finished the loop, it was time to head back to the coach to prepare for our departure the next morning.
Additional photos from this leg of our journey can be found here.
Stay tuned to find out where we go next!