All Over the Map in Northern Arizona


We’ve done a lot during our few days in Northern Arizona.  We had to visit “the corner.”


Those of a certain age can sing  “Standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona – Such a fine sight to see.”


“It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me.”


Also in Winslow we saw two pieces of steel from the twin towers and a flag from the Pentagon after 9/11.

Seeing the 9/11 Memorial prompted a search on how these artifacts end up in a small town in northern Arizona.  I found that the Port Authority started a program in 2006 to disperse 9/11 artifacts.  Because they were from a crime scene, each release was approved by a federal judge.  Artifacts were released to over 1500 sites around the world.


Still in Winslow, we visited La Posada Hotel.  It opened in 1930 and was the last grand Fred Harvey – Santa Fe Railway Hotel.  Amtrak still stops there.  Mary Jane Colter considered the La Posada her personal masterpiece – quite a statement considering she was the architect and/or designer at many iconic southwest buildings – think Grand Canyon!


In Flagstaff we drove by the less grand “High Rise” dorm I lived and worked in as a student resident advisor at Northern Arizona University.


Lots has changed at NAU in 38 years but not our married student housing apartment.  It looks the same!


We were able to go in the same engineering building and look around.  Randy found some plaques commemorating familiar professors.


Way back then the president of the computer science club had a key to this back door allowing access to the engineering building during off hours.  The president preceding Randy gave it to him and he in turn passed the key on to his replacement. 


We loved visiting campus and stopped at the bookstore to buy gear. We plan to meet University of Idaho grads Connie and Warren here for the Idaho – NAU football game in November.


As we left the bookstore we saw this guy making a delivery somewhere on campus.  He wasn’t around when we were!


La Fonda Mexican Restaurant, established 1958, was around when we were living in Flagstaff! It was one of our go-to places while we were students from 1977-81.  It was delicious and inexpensive!  


We were delighted when college friends Connie and Nick suggested we meet at La Fonda!  We enjoyed the visit and the food!


Driving around Flagstaff we noticed a 10 – 12 vehicle convoy of black Tahoes.  We assumed it was a government convoy but as we drove by the license plates were from states all across the country and were driven by regular folks, mostly but not exclusively middle aged couples.  I researched Tahoe convoys but found nothing.  Anyone?

Midway between Flagstaff and Winslow we visited Meteor Crater.  We heard someone commenting that it was just a hole in the ground.  It is a hole but he must have missed the excellent movie and museum to come away with such a demeaning attitude!

About 50,000 years ago a meteor sped towards earth at 26,000 miles per hour (think five minutes from New York to northern Arizona).  It is estimated to have been 150 feet across weighing several hundred thousand tons


One of the museum exhibits shows how heavy meteor material is compared to normal earth rocks.


The meteor struck with a force greater than 20 million tons of TNT, devastating the area for miles around.  The resulting circular crater is 700 feet deep and 4000 feet across.


Since the crater is round, early thought was that the meteor came directly from above.  Miner Daniel Berringer believed the meteor would be beneath the crater floor.  He purchased the land in 1902 and started mining for iron.  He tried for 28 years but never found the meteor.

Scientists now believe that the meteor melted or vaporized upon impact with only small fragments remaining.    


They also believe that the meteor hit an angle resulting in uplift on the south side of the crater.

The Berringer family still owns the crater and surrounding lands.  They have allowed NASA to train astronauts in the crater and have let scientific research continue.   Meteor Crater is considered the first proven and best preserved impact site on earth.


After exploring  northern Arizona daily, we returned each night to our trailer at Homolovi State Park. We also explored this park.


Homolovi State Park was approved by the Hopi tribe to preserve two ancestral sites they consider holy.  The land depressions above show areas of past looting.


Ancient Puebloans, thought to be precendents of the Hopi, migrated through and lived in the area in the 1200 and 1300s.   Archeological sites at Homolovi contain an estimated 1200 to 2000 rooms.


Some have been preserved by the park and tribe.


Some of the thousands of pottery sherds are placed on rocks for you to see.


So what is a sherd and why isn’t it a shard?  A sherd is a sharp piece of pottery found in an archaeological site originating from the word potsherd. A shard is a sharp piece of china, glass, ceramic or similar.


From another era, there is also an old Mormon Cemetery on the grounds of Homolovi.   Sent by Brigham Young, Lot Smith established the settlement of Sunset along the Little Colorado River in 1876.  It was abandoned in 1888 due to drought and flooding.  


Posted along the Little Colorado in Homolovi  – We stayed away!


There are even wild burros in Homolovi State Park.  And in case you didn’t know (like me) burros and donkeys are the same animal.

I learned some things writing this blog – I love that!

About Serene

Former full time RVers, transitioned to homeowners and travelers. We've still got a map to finish! Home is the Phoenix area desert and a small cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona.
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8 Responses to All Over the Map in Northern Arizona

  1. Mark P McClelland says:

    I was SURE that sign was a misprint!! Glad that you explained sherd vs. shard. Who knew? It must have been fun to get back to your dorms, married student housing, favorite restaurants, etc.

    I lived next door to a woman who was sure that the moon landings were faked. Maybe they were filmed there in the crater????

    • Serene says:

      Randy questioned sherd when he was proofreading too. I told him to keep reading!

      I read a comment somewhere that NASA was releasing so much stuff on the anniversary to debunk the fake moon landing theory!

  2. Teri McClelland says:

    I can sing along!
    We visited the crater a long time ago, it was very interesting.
    Looks like yall are having fun exploring your own back yard.

  3. Beverly Olson says:

    And I learned by reading it. Thanks. Mom

  4. Thanks so much for sharing N AZ with us. We enjoy reading and learning from each stop along your Serene Wanderings😊

  5. Miller Rosie says:

    You took me on memory lane..again. The last trip Bill and I took together was to Sedona to visit his brother and sister in law in Jan. 2017. Together we went to Winslow and visited several of the places you did. He died of cancer in April and his brother of a sudden heart attack in Dec 2017. Memories of that trip to Winslow are so special. Thank you for sharing pictures I don’T have, except in my mind.

  6. Paul Welker says:

    G (Well, I’m a standin’ on a corner), G (in Winslow, Arizona,), G (such a fine) C (sight to see,) G (it’s a girl my lord), D (in a flat bed Ford, slowin’), C (down to take a look at me.), G (Come on), Em (ba…), D (by, don’t say), C (may…), G (be, I gotta), Am (know if your sweet), C (love is gonna s…), Em (..ave me.)

    Sing and play 🙂

    Loved the post. Hope Randy is doing well.

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