Some open road is what I needed today and that’s exactly what I got. I woke up and left Kayenta anxious to see what’s next. I zigzagged some secondary highways South and Southeast until I came out at the Hopi Travel Center at the junction of highway 77 and Interstate 40. First thing I did was pull in and see if the travel center had showers, BINGO! They weren’t the nicest I’ve experienced but they were clean.
After a long hot shower I was feeling a million times better and cruising down the Interstate into Winslow. I felt the need to visit here after working for The Eagles this summer as I was a runner for them in Vancouver where they had a couple of shows. The strange thing and something I totally didn’t realize is that the businesses in the older downtown part of Winslow are milking this for everything it’s worth. There’s a statue of a guy holding a guitar on a corner, they’ve dedicated the corner lot to a new park and there’s a store across the street that sells everything from reprinted Eagles tour posters to Route 66 collectibles. The shop on the other corner plays Eagle tunes constantly and well, the tourists love it. This area of Winslow has seen better days. Despite the cool vibe and the city’s attempt at renovating all the empty store fronts (some are quite nice) the area shows the sign of these financial times with a lot of empty shops and an old theater for sale. I had a nice chat with Jim in his coffee shop The Seattle Grind and he assured me it’s been very slow since the start of the recession. A few years back he had 7 employees and was only in the shop about 10 hours a week for managerial duties. Now he’s in most days and has a couple employees to fill in the gaps. Like the vibe I sensed in most of this part of historic Winslow, Jim seems optimistic and is taking the downturn in stride. There seems to be a sense that they’ll be okay in due time. While walking around this area I felt good. It somehow has a good energy about it, a positive, calm vibe with strength to outlast this dark time.
I got some shots of the corner and as it got dark some of Earl’s Auto Court glowing in it’s neon Route 66 nostalgia. I’ll post these soon.
I wandered a little to see what else Winslow had to offer. Of course I found the standard chain fast food outlets, chain gas stations etc but I have to admit when I came across the Super Walmart I was slightly elated. As much as I chew on Walmart for being that big box giant that crushes the mom and pop shops there’s something comforting about seeing the lined up trucks and RVs. All under the blue and yellow security camera monitored glow.
Anyway, I’m going to hit either or both the library and Jim’s coffee shop tomorrow for some editing and work search. It’s time I start thinking about the future of this trip and in that I have to start landing some remote web/graphics work. If any of you reading need a website etc you can see my portfolio here. I’d be happy to chat with you about any new project.
So from Winslow Arizona “Take It Easy”.