The irresistible pull of visiting with long-time friends, Sheryle and Charlie Kaluza of Cornville (you read it right, though the name itself is “wrong” as the application for town limits in 1882 was made with the name “Coneswell”) was the reason for jumping off Route 66 and heading south from Flagstaff. They are a small town in the same valley as Sedona, with lots of neat things to see and do.
The confluence of the Verde River and Oak Creek is just a couple of miles from their home. There are some fascinating rock formations relatively rare in this part of the country as they are limestone formations interspersed with cavities created by rising mud. This pic is of the Verde river which was in full, raging flood a couple of weeks ago due to the snow and flooding all the way north to Flagstaff. The other side of this promontory is the many miles long Oak Creek, which comes off the mesa and is primarily clear water all year. The 40’s we had left in Flagstaff were replaced by warmer, but still chilly 50s.
An unanticipated BIG HIT at the Kaluza house was the discovery of their Three Wheel Bikes that the kids could NOT get enough of! We had to lock up the machines at dark as they were totally reluctant to call it quits. Note to both parents, they DID put their helmets ON after getting accustomed to the operation of the machines.
Having Sedona this close made it impossible to resist a return visit here. We had made the same excursion on the Southern Tier ride in 2017. It had been a totally grey and overcast day from sunup all day, but this very brief break in the clouds perfectly spotlighted Bell Rock and Courthouse Rock just as we approached town! It was gorgeous! Charlie provided all of us transportation there and we took a late afternoon hike up on to the lower elevations of Bell Rock. Izzy was eager to discover the “Vortex” that inhabits this extremely popular rock destination. To make it more believable as to her experience, Charlie didn’t tell her it’s exact location. 🙂
A wonderful meal out together at eclectic “Country Club Lounge”, and then a short drive out of town to park Bridget in the wonderfully pristine desert environment of Kaibab National Forest Land totally alone under incredibly clear skies. I actually had to unlatch an old-school “wire gap” barbed wire gate to gain entrance as the land has BLM grazing on it. It gave us a great opportunity to stand outside in some of Arizona’s “Class One Dark Skys” (well wrapped up in warm coats!) to do some “sky gazing” and Constellation searching. It was one of the very few nights camping that we were out of ear-shot of those constant BNSF freight trains.
Mass this morning in beautiful Plaza of the Immaculate Conception Church at Cottonwood. Fr David had a professional quality singing voice and sang many of the Mass parts. We rejoined Sheryle and Charlie for our first ever “Barbecue Breakfast” at the Colt BBQ in Old Cottonwood. It was spectacular! The helpings were big enough to satisfy the teenagers. Enough said.
A heartfelt “Farewell” to the Kaluza’s, and then back north to rejoin the always waiting Route 66. That route is precisely the same as Interstate 40 from here to the New Mexico border, so mounting up just past the I17 and I40 junction, I donned as many clothes as I’ve ever ridden in for the low 40s temps and brisk winds and joined the fast moving traffic as far to the right on the shoulder as I could get for the planned ride to Winslow, AZ.
Charlie had promised me a full day of ALL DOWNHILL AND TAILWIND, and it was close to being just that. There was indeed about a four mile stretch that was a nice downgrade and a perfect Ten Rated Tail Wind (guessing 25 mph! and directly at the stern!) That may never be duplicated again. The asphalt roadway is very smooth almost everywhere here, and the segments of red-gravel asphalt make me wax poetic in their smooth surface perfection 🙂 🙂 🙂
I’m almost positive this scene was used to inspire one of the scenes from the great kid’s movie, Cars. The irony with all the teepees is, of course, there were no Native American’s using teepees in this part of the country. You can see the “old road” directly in front of these structures. The short distance between the Interstate and the structures now may as well be a hundred miles when it came to drawing customers off their high speed traveling.
“Standing on the Corner in Winslow, Arizona” was a big hit, musically in 1972, and was a big hit with all the Route 66 travelers moving along the route today. It came as a shock to Cathy and I that The Eagles came out with it (Taking it Easy, actually song title) so long ago!
The kids got into the spirit as well, especially after spending a significant amount of time in the “Taking It Easy” paraphernalia store directly across the street.
My own “Good Looking Girl in her Flat Bed Ford coming round to take another look at me.” Sweet!!!
From Winslow, more wind aided miles to Holbrook, and our KOA for tonight, and a good night to all. Predicted morning temp, 32 crisp degrees. Looks like another day of bundled-up riding!
Send Warm Thoughts!!
Thanks for coming along.