There's more to standin' on the corner in Winslow. You betcha. Winslow is Home to Peter Wolf Toth's Arizona rendition of his famous series of Native American sculptures. Even though Route 66 will always be the headliner click bait for passing tourists, Wolf's sculpture OUGHT to be one of the main attractions in this thoroughly railroad city.
Ever since we moved to Idaho Falls in 2007, we've been totally smitten with Wolf's work. His Idaho sculture is smack dab on our daily travel route. We get to see it in all phases of light and shadow. No matter how many hundreds of times we've gazed upon that Indian, our Love just grows deeper.
Toth's Story is one of the Greatest Untold Epics of Public Art in America. We have a first edition of his book and will draw heavily from it when we fully document and describe The Winslow Indian.
Suffice to say it is spellbinding. Seriously.
Winslow is kind of like a "mixed metaphor" in a kinda, sorta Van Gogh way. It has some truly first class artifacts like the La Posada. It has some of the bestest Route 66 schtick stuff you're gonna find on that Get-Your-Kicks-Route.
But is has a dark side, too. When we parked to see the Toth Sculpture there was a homeless campsite right across the street. All the detritus of a homeless person was spread wide for the world to see.
Meanwhile, a wandering band of Navajo Kids playfully engaged Winslow's Railroad Park, climbing atop a caboose and skateboarding around the behemoth remainders of Old Railroad Daze.
There's a penitentiary practically snugged right outside Winslow. It was sited here when Arizona's Legislators thought building a pen from convicted criminals would become a new form of Rural Economic Development.
We're camped at the Navajo County McHood Park on river left of Clear Creek. We had some misgivings about camping here but our doubts were allayed when we arrived.
Alcohol is BANNED in this park so it's never going to be the Bubba Boy Party Spot we feared it would be.
Meanwhile, we think the park would qualify as a Tie Hack Graveyard. No, not the MEN who hewed the railroad ties but the ties that they hewed. We're quite dialed into the history of Tie Hacks and their handiwork. It's easily one of the great mostly unknown stories of the spread of railroad technology throughout The Western United States.
Of course, the railroads ruthlessly took advantage of those innocent, hand-working men, paying them pennies per hand hewn tie. It's somewhat embarrassing to even read about what they were paid and how hard their jobs were.
There's a Tie Hack Memorial outside of Dubois, Wyoming (Where REAL Cowboys Work and Play!). It's one of those classic ginormous retro sculptures that reaches for The Sky.
Being here in McHood looking at all these whitewashed remnants of The Tie Hack Days kinda reminds me of visiting a Boot Hill graveyard. It's errie in a Halloween sorta way.
Today's drive from Sand Island to Winslow calc'd to 266 miles but it really wasn't that far. HUH? Well, we took a wrong turn that added at least 40 miles to the day's driving total. Blame it on a truly stupid driver.
The drive through The Rez was mostly about visualizing Georgia O'Keefe watercolors. Man, that's an evocative landscape out there! And, yes, it's TRULY OUT THERE!
Hopi Land was much more fun and endearing to traverse. We could actually see the ancient pueblos perched atop their mesas. SO exciting! Meanwhile at Road Level, one of the Hopi communities was getting a brand new water system and we geeked out on that aspect of our day's journey.
We're going back into Winslow Monday morning for "make up" stuff. The light was all wrong on Toth's sculpture this afternoon. Tomorrow morning it will be perfect.
Plus, we're hoping to get a Special Blessing to see a special exhibit in the La Posada. (Good Luck With THAT!)
And then we're trying to buy an Old Trails Museum 2021 Calendar. How esoteric is that agenda?
But whatever. We're having FUN and that's really all that matters to Old Road Trippers.
Thanks for reading!