Monday, May 19, 2014

Cashed Out and Caching In The Desert!!

Ok, I'll admit it.  Geocaching is fun!  It's like you are on a treasure hunt all the time!!  Yesterday we set out to find four with our end destination being the National Park Museum in the Petrified Forest.
As we walked through the desert, we were party to some of the most beautiful flowers the soil can create, along with the longest cactus needles!!  You would never see these just standing in the parking lot.  You have to get off the asphalt to see the beauty.   I'm sure people were wondering why we were beating a path to the middle of nowhere ... but we were actually following both the Old Route 66 alignment and the Beale Wagon Trail.  We found the first cache we were looking for, along with an old beer can and bottle on the 66 roadbed. 
These yellow poppies are everywhere, as are cactus needles, so don't wear sandals and watch for wildlife.  I saw several colorful lizards scurrying under the bushes.
We stopped at the museum long enough for me to drop quite a few bucks!!!  First on a baby Navajo taco.  Yes, order the baby ... it's the size of a dinner plate and mighty tasty!!!  
Then a couple of small Acoma pottery pieces for my rig.  
If you have pottery, you should have a book explaining everything about it, so this should do the trick right nicely.  Every different tribe has their own way of making pottery, some even using horsehair in the mix.  Now that's MY kind of pottery!!
The next geocache was at the Desert Inn.  Originally built with petrified wood, it was revamped in the 30's and designed to look more Puebloan.  So many people were stealing pieces of the wood/rock walls, they covered it up.
The inside is just as it was many years ago, including this soda shop, a small restaurant and kitchen, along with a bar downstairs.  Keep an eye on the floor so you don't walk in areas you aren't supposed to while taking pictures!!  My bad!!  It's a beautiful restoration however!!
One of the premier Navajo artists, the same gentleman that painted the inside of the Watchtower in the Grand Canyon, Fred Kabotie, painted the murals here.  He was a school dropout because they wouldn't let him keep his culture.  He was contracted by Mary Colter to complete the murals.
This one depicting Navajo life, is painted on the wall in the dining area.
I wandered through the kitchen to find this gentleman and his wife with a display of jewelry.  This is Teddy Goodluck Sr. actually making a piece of silver jewelry.  He and his wife Rebekah are Navajo, not only making and selling jewelry, but teaching their kids the same craft to keep it going.  One of his sons creates jewelry for Cowboys and Indians magazine.  Even his grandkids are making fun things from the scraps.  I honed in on this table like an eagle on a rabbit!!
In no time, I picked out the ring on the right ... it matches a bracelet I purchased in Quartzsite last year.  I can't explain why, but please, if you purchase something from these extremely nice, talented people, pay them with cash.  They will be VERY appreciative.  After a short trip outside, it took me no time at all to be drawn in again for a picture of Teddy and a pair of earrings to match.  My theory is to PASS IT FORWARD!!  And this is one way I choose to do it, over-paying with cash and not asking for change back in the hopes they continue this beautiful art.  Teddy signs every piece he makes with his initials and a cloverleaf ... since their name is Goodluck!!  By the time I left, I had totally cashed out and borrowed $10 from Barbara!!
Here's the Hippie Duo again ... aren't they a cute couple???  I'm extremely blessed they allowed me to follow them on this Great Adventure and that they are showing me all these special places.
With a few more caches under our belt, thanks to the Rangers here who allow geocaching, we traveled through town on Route 66 looking for the Wigwam Motel and some of the old buildings.  MANY are empty ... and many closed, but after all, it WAS Sunday!!
Dinner was at Mesa Italiana Restaurant in Holbrook.  It was packed the night before when we drove by, so we figured it must be good ... and it WAS.  In fact, it was 5 star!!  Stuffed mushrooms in wine sauce, a calamari appetizer, lasagne and tomato bread were all just wonderful.  The lava cake didn't exactly lava, but the ice cream on top did and it was yummy!!

Today we pack up and point our compass East again to Gallup New Mexico!!


  1. I see you found my car in your last blog. I drove it till the wheels fell off and then I got a job painting the desert. I made enough to get another car and stay at the Wigwam Motel. It's just amazing y'all are following the same route. LoL.

    1. Joe ... it was such a NICE car!!! And you did an amazing paint job ... care to paint my house for me??? Too funny!!

  2. Well now I need to pull out the old photo's my parents took on a trip of route 66 back in the mid 50's. I think they took a picture of the WigWam hotel back then. I would be fun to compare.


    1. A great idea Jim!! They even have 50-something cars parked around the teepees!! Most of the old buildings have been abandoned or torn down, but in Holbrook you can still see quite a few.