Tag: Winslow

Las Vegas to Las Vegas

Anytime I get to drive east from Las Vegas and don’t have to dip down into Phoenix, it’s going to be a good drive. I don’t know how half of one state can be so gorgeous while the other half is basically hell on earth. Of course anywhere in New Mexico is sure to be awesome. If you are ever taking the twelve hour Las Vegas, Nevada to Las Vegas, New Mexico drive, make sure you stop a lot along the way.

It used to be that you’d get 40 minutes out of Vegas and you’d find yourself in a two hour Hoover Dam traffic jam. Not anymore, as the new bridge whisks you over the top. Of course, you are missing driving across the New Deal Monument (sorry…teaching American history now – we are just getting past the Depression), but if you’ve seen it a million times, be happy for the bridge. Before you get to the Arizona-Nevada state line, be sure to pull over and check out Lake Mead. It’s not much to swim in, but the surrounding mountains always look cool. There is plenty of space to pull over, read plaques, and take pictures. The Lake Mead Visitors Center is closed for some pretty major renovations, so snap your picture and move onward.

Flagstaff is a next good stop. This pine-tree and university town is lucky enough to get great weather in the summer and enough snow for skiing in the winter. Drive down the historic Route 66 and do some shopping and/or drinking in the streets just east of N Humphreys and north of E Santa Fe. If it’s summer and you are doing things leisurely (which I hope you are!), dip down highway 89A and check out Slide Rock State Park and Sedona.

Forty five minutes down I-40 is Winslow, Arizona. Pull out your “Hell Freezes Over” CD and drive down to E. 2nd street to check out the Standin’ on the Corner Park. If you are in the mood for gourmet southwestern cuisine, The Turquoise Room at La Posada Hotel is a rare shining spot in this depressed little town.

I crossed the Arizona-New Mexico border at nighttime, which is sad. The slabs of red rock are an appropriate welcome to the state, even though they are decorated with statues of Native warriors and teepees. The whole scene is about as authentic as a dreamcatcher (um, that would be not very), but the scenery is so striking, I usually don’t care.

When you hit Gallup stop at Blake’s Lotaburger for a green chile cheeseburger. Or anywhere really, they are deliciously addicting. If you will be in this corner of New Mexico for more than a day or two, give The Blue Desert Guide Company a call for an authentic New Mexico experience. Amanda and Vino (former Navajo Reservation teachers) LOVE to show off their favorite part of the world. If you are only here for a few hours, make sure the sun is either going up or down. Southwest sunsets and rises are the best here.

Albuquerque gets a bad rap, which is good for cheap hotel rooms (usually less than $50 by the airport. I mean “Sunport”), but the Sandia Mountains are nice, as is the area around the University. Luckily, Santa Fe is on the way to Las Vegas. Santa Fe is not as cool as most people say it is, but the central plaza is pretty cute. Do some window shopping, (but if you are serious about buying Native goods, head back to Gallup where they are half the price), take a picture of the missions and the adobde buildings. Just don’t lose you pictures when your computer crashes (it’s been a fun week).

The quick drive between Santa Fe and Las Vegas, NM is really nice. I did it when the sun was rising in the morning, which I highly recommend. The Santa Fe National Forest, the low mountain passes, the mountian homes in the hills and the tiny little towns make for a nice drive.

As you coast off the exit and head down into Las Vegas, you won’t find any half-naked dancers, Elvi, or screaming blackjack tables. This Las Vegas is a great place to spend a couple hours though. Grab some posole and poke around the parks, shops, and museum on Grand Ave. Revel in the quiet and be glad you aren’t down $500.    



Standin’ on the Corner 10K

This post may sound a little weird unless you are intimately acquainted with the words to The Eagles song “Take it Easy.” You can read them here. Alternatively, you can attend the Standin’ on the Corner 10K which begins and ends at the Standin’ on the Corner Park, next to the Standin’ on the Corner store, during the Standin’ on the Corner annual festival. The Eagles are pretty much played non-stop here.

Take it Easy lyrics that I AM embracing:

  • “Running down the road”: I was all about running down the road. And up the road. The 10K course took us from the famed corner, down the new sidewalks along the railroad tracks, through the festival site, and down 3rd Street. It was an out-and-back course, which I love because it allows me to size up the competition at they run past me (or I run past them) on the way back to the finish.
  • “Trying to loosen my load”: Although any calories obliterated by my 6.2 mile jaunt were quickly replaced by the free cookies distributed at the finish line.
  • “Just find a place to make your stand”: I guess that’s what this whole quitting-my-job-and-traveling is all about.  

Take it Easy lyrics that I AM NOT embodying:

    • “Standing on a corner”: Although I suppose at some point I might have stood still on a corner, most of my trip to Winslow was of an active, non-standing-around nature.   
    • “I’ve got seven women on my mind”: At the ½ way point, I only had three women on my mind: The three females in front of me. As a small town race, I figured that this was my best shot at winning. By mile five I had only two women on my mind. At mile six, I had just one. As I turned that final corner the only thing on my mind was keeping that lead.
    • “Take it Ea-e-e-easy”: Obviously I was not doing this. My initial goal of running at a 9:10 pace went out the window when I was still feeling good after three miles at 8:30 pace. I opted to speed it up instead of taking it easy.
    • “Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy:” So this doesn’t have to do with the race, but my tire situation is getting dire. I had to get new ones in Las Vegas AGAIN. My new-tire count is currently six. I’m really hoping I don’t blow out another tire on the New Jersey Turnpike or some other god-awful place on the East Coast next month.  
    • “It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at me”: Nobody (girl or boy) slowed down to take any looks at me. I don’t look good running. If you don’t believe me, check out this post-race picture:


  • “We will never be here again”: Of course I’ll be in Winslow again! I’ve already been here twice this month.
  • “Looking for a lover who won’t blow my cover:” What was Don Henley even talking about? I don’t think I have a cover, and the last thing I need is a lover, whether he will blow my non-existent cover or not. Unless, of course, his “sweet love is gonna save me-e-e-e.” Then I might reconsider.   

But for now, I’ll just keep driving and running. This race was a pretty good one. It was the first of its kind, organized by Kim Henling and her sister Larissa. You can read Larissa’s blog about the race here. Kim and her husband always traveled to other cities to race and lamented the fact that their hometown didn’t have a race of its own.

Pretty soon she was mapping out race routes, meeting with the police department, and shelling out her own money to make this 10K/2 mile race a reality. Hopefully it will become an annual event. The race took place at 8:00am during the Standin’ on the Corner festival in Winslow, which is held during the last weekend of September. The race was $15, which is very cheap. Proceeds (if there are any) will go towards future Winslow races. Check out the Standin’ on the Corner facebook page here.