Not much exciting to report today. We woke up this morning in order to hit the road by 9am as we had an 8 hour drive ahead of us. The plan: cross over into Arizona and proceed to National Park #3: Petrified Forest. We were excited when the navigation system started dropping time off of our expected arrival; it looked like it would just be a 7 hour trip after all.
The “Road Food” book that Lisa gifted Wm showed 2 recommended restaurants to eat at – both off of Route 66. We arrived in the town of Williams for lunch, excited to try “Ol’ Smokies” restaurant, where the book promised all kinds of fun bread like banana chocolate chip and citrus cranberry. Our hopes were quickly dashed when right next to the “open all day” sign was a “closed” sign?? We ended-up eating at the overpriced but cute “Route 66 Cafe”.
We hit the road again, relieved to only have 2.5 hours left of driving. This meant we would reach the Petrified Forest National Park Visitor Center prior to closing at 5pm, which would allow us to better plan for the following day. Oh, if this were only true!
Sadly, 30 miles after lunch the I-40 was closed due to high wind and dust causing hundreds of cars to sit and wait. After sitting in our car for an hour – we decided to put the Subie (our fond name for Wm’s car) to work and brave the deep median to turn around. Even though we had seen several cars do this over the past hour, our timing appeared to be poor. An angry state patrol officer with way too much testosterone decided to wave about 20 cars over to the side, only to give each of us a tongue lashing before letting us go. He should definitely switch to decaf. Geez!!
We leveraged various forms of maps (old school and new school) to determine a 2 hour detour that was not all bad as it took us through the Coconino National Forest. We passed several lakes and were surprised to see the beautiful pine trees still surrounded by snow (not exactly what you picture when you think of Arizona).
We finally arrived in Holbrook 3 hours later than expected. After checking into a very reasonably priced motel, we proceeded to dine at Joe & Aggie’s Cafe, another recommendation from the book. This one did not disappoint! Great Mexican food and the price was extremely reasonable. They also served us Sopaipilla with honey, a tradition of the restaurant since they opened in the 40’s.
Here’s hoping tomorrow is a better day, we have been warned the park will be quite windy.