Sorry you missed Death Valley. I was in Vegas for the NHRA races a few weeks ago and we did a side trip to Death Valley. It was not what I expected. I thought there would be no moisture and as I descended into the park, I saw many palm trees and a lot of greenery. I stopped at the the gift shop/ranger station and they told me that there 69 springs within a 3 mile radius. The valley bottom is covered with a wet salt making it appear as a wet area, which it is except that part is extremely saltly that hardly anything can live in it. Maybe some brine shrimp?
No road food there but some really interesting areas around it including a date farm.
I agree with the Mayor on the Gallup stop. I have overnighted there several times.
Paul E. Smith
I’m about 90% sure that on my one night in Flagstaff about seven years ago, I too ate at Granny’s Closet — primarily because it was near the hotel, and open. I enjoyed it.
Flagstaff is funny. The next morning it was in the low 30s with flurries, so my friend and I wore our coats as we took the amazing drive to Sedona. Under an hour later, we found ourselves wearing our heavy coats in 80 degree weather!
Because of our low budget, we stayed exclusively at hotels near the trains during that trip. And, yes, I agree that those trains do run unusually often.
JM… Let me tell’ya Son, The trains are music to my ears. Without going into my Cliff Claven presentation on the traffic levels on the former Santa Fe RR (now BNSF) let me just say that the rails carry 90 or more trains a day to and from L A from various connecting points in the East that basically center on Chicago. The is the route of the Silver fleet of Super Chief/ El Capitan and the California Limited. Death Valley Scottie completed his recordmaking Run from L A to Chicago in 1913 in 39 hours over these ribbons of steel.
More recently the meat of the traffic are Containers using the railroad as a "portage" from the Port of L A to the eastern Seaboard, with a full 30% of the boxes using the rails as a bridge between two Ships to get from the Asian Producers to the European markets.
Now to bring Flagstaff into focus. It was and still is a major waypoint on this heavy-duty line. Recently many of the arguments by newly arrived residents for quiet running, no horns or other noises, ete, are growing….but the city needs the income of the jobs attached to the railline so , so far, the crys go unheeded. The line goes right thru the center of town and there are a number of street-grade crossings. There is a movement to "ditch" the line at subsurface levels like the new Alameda Corridor in L A. But so far the money for a major construction project like this hasn’t been allocated.
Like the folks who buy next to an airport, then try to get the planes to take off at 30% power to reduce the noise level, some of these folks need to rethink the priorities of the community. But then what the hell…I am pro-noise anyway.
But to sum up, Your description of the town is ‘Bang On’ I like it in the summer, but it gets quite ‘Brisk’ during the winter months, with an elevation of 7200 feet. Give me the high desert in places like Kingman and Gallup anyday ! Were I to advise you prior to this trip, I would have suggested Williams for the overnight stop. It is much quieter there, and one of the roads to the Canyon begins there.
Keep those reports coming in !!!
I’ll have to agree with Mr. Mayor on that. I think it’ll be easier for everyone to track your whole trip if you keep the segments all on one thread.
I’m really enjoying reading about your travels! [:)] Keep it up!
Mayor Al suggests I tag all these reports together in one thread, which I will happily do henceforth. On to day five of the journey. jm
This will be our first short travel day, as San and I have never seen the Grand Canyon up close. We plan to spend Saturday night in Flagstaff, a city of personal interest for me for some time. When one lives for 30 years in Florida s citrus belt, one hears much trash talk about CA, AZ, and TX over the years. However, I d also hear about how the Arizonians would escape the heat of Phoenix by slipping off to Flagstaff and about how it was considered Arizona s all around best city. So, I m eager to see Flagstaff for the first time.
We arrive at our usual 4 ish schedule and check out the town layout. It s not hard to see that Flagstaff grew as a result of old Route 66, and it seems that every motel ever built there still exists! It also appears that each does enough business to stay afloat, but not enough to keep the properties looking good. For the most part, it s a sad collection of utilitarian places, at least on the east side of town. Not a real good first impression. Given its unique Grand Canyon and I-40 location, Flagstaff serves as a stopover for large numbers of travelers and tourists. However, few towns offer a poorer layout for such support. In a good part of town, and most of the commercial district, I-40, Route 66, and the amazingly busy railroad, lie within a few hundred parallel yards of each other. Trust me; YOU WILL hear those trains all night!
We find a motel and decide to check out the downtown area on foot. It has historical charm, but there are few fellow visitors and customers around for a Saturday. We suspect the common mall flight , to which all too many downtowns have fallen prey. We later drive to the west end of town and find the malls, surrounded by a large collection of high end chain gimmick restaurants , and a bevy of fast food places as well. And we discover the missing downtown customers.
We had hoped to have discovered a dining candidate or two on our ramblings, but we do not. Most places appear geared to the university crowd, which seemed quite alive and well in Flagstaff. Since we had no roadfood.com recommendation either, we shifted to the time-proven method of counting cars in parking lots. But this is not an easy task in Flagstaff if you are discounting all the chains and themes. We finally decide that a place named Granny s Closet (218 West Route 66) looks to have a full parking lot, and seems to have been here for awhile here s where we ll dine tonight.
It s a big, well worn, lodgey kind of place with dinning rooms to the right and left of the foyer, and a noisy bar between. We go to the non-smoking side; a large multi-level room with a big fireplace cold tonight. There s a huge salad bar, well stocked with several unexpected items such as small shelled shrimp. The menu looks similar to the Steak and Ale model, but we learn Granny s and its predecessors has been a local institution since the late 50 s. Prices lean to the high side, and the menu choices are wide. Specials help to make more reasonable possibilities, which all include potato, vegetable, and the salad bar. I choose the New York Strip at $12.99, and it proves a good choice. The salad bar soup is split pea, and it is lovely, with lots of ham throughout. Sandee has the small cut of Prime Rib at about the same price, and it s lovely. We leave with a good feeling about our meal and this place it s not special in any way, but it was satisfactory in many. We d return.
Actually, Granny s is a good fit for our general feel for Flagstaff, that of a well used but still satisfactory kind of place. To be completely fair, we avoided the newer west side of town, which could not have fit this description. The charm of eastside Flagstaff is that it actually retains a good dose of the old Route 66 nostalgia without the constant reminders one f,20,46548.001,1,15223,220.127.116.11
46548,46548,0,2003-11-16 15:38:32,A roadfood.com journey – OR to FL 4″
A roadfood.com journey – OR to FL 4
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