day 3 | route 66 – sedona & dinosaurs, az

Day 3   ||   Flagstaff, AZ  ➵  Sedona, AZ  ➵  Holbrook, AZ  ➵  Albuquerque, NM

The Grand Canyon International Hostel was my second hostel experience and it has completely redeemed my first one. Moving forward I know to request an all female room. I learned that I prefer the hostel price with the kitchen, communal amenities, yet still having some sort of private space. This hostel has two individual restrooms with a shower and a toilet – which I totally didn’t expect! I instantly felt my body relax. There’s something about private space that can really do that  for us physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally!

Breakfast was served with toast, strawberry jam, and butter. Of course there was coffee and my favoritea basket of fresh fruit! But let’s get back to the toast situation with strawberry jam and butter.. and no peanut butter? My brain couldn’t wrap around the fact that there was jam without peanut butter! I spoke with the other travelers from Brazil and London, and peanut butter and jelly seemed to them an entirely new concept. Come on, peanut butter jelly time anyone? Good thing I packed almond butter for the road. I don’t know what I would’ve done with jam and no almond butter.

I’m so thankful for this opportunity and proud of myself on making the decision to visit Sedona. There is no ounce of regret here. My new friend Guido from Brazil joined me for my little excursion. Initially Sedona wasn’t part of the plan since I was so focused on getting to Michigan – and technically it was not part of “Route 66.” However, I decided to go because it was a mere 45 minutes off route, and a short video I watched a few years ago convinced me I had to go if I ever visited Arizona. Cheers to some breakthrough!

The drive to Sedona was quite beautiful with leaves changing colors and red-orange rocks appearing in the distance. When we arrived in downtown Sedona, a helpful gentleman gave us his recommendations for our 2-3 hour exploration. People are kind here!

FIRST STOP: Chapel of the Holy Cross

A lady by the name Marguerite Brunswig Staude received an aha! moment while she gazed on the newly completed Empire State Building. She saw a cross laid over the building and thought, “What an idea for a church!”

Here are a few things she believed:

God can be worshiped as a contemporary – bringing him closer to earth and every one of us.

Staude considered the Chapel of the Holy Cross as her “greatest artistic achievement and the fulfillment of her life’s mission.” She believed that the arts should be both in service of spirit and in deed, and she accomplished this belief through her architectural masterpiece.

That the church may come to life in the souls of men and be a living reality – herein lies the whole message of this chapel.

The Grand Canyon is purely majestic in all of its grandness and blues, purples, and pink/oranges.

Sedona is absolutely stunning with all of its saturated reds and oranges and the bluest skies as the backdrop.

It might have been different had I had more days for hikes and views, but my experience for each location was entirely different. The temperature in Sedona was significantly warmer allowing me to relax and take my time to enjoy the sights. How vibrant and close the mountains of rock were and oh how they moved me! Getting up close and personal makes a huge difference in how I experience things. All the angles, all the times of day, just ALL OF IT.

There’s something about Sedona that truly felt like an open heaven. My mind was clearer; the air was clearer; the wind was cooler. There was a calm about the area. I knew I needed to pray but wasn’t sure what to pray.

I simply prayed for greater intimacy with God and if I could have that, I would be the happiest girl on the planet. ♥

Let’s sit here for a minute, shall we? 🙂

SECOND STOP: the Airport Overlook. Here we get a wide look north and east from here. I have no idea what landmarks we were looking at as we were in the midst of great conversation. We met an amazing couple here. The husband was a senior pilot for UPS and his wife doesn’t get traveling perks, but since he’s a senior pilot, they have enough money to fly and vacation anywhere they want anyway.

This is my new friend and myself! I learned to trust him with directions as I kept asking, “Are we turning yet? What’s the next street?” I felt so weirdly out of control without a working GPS and map in front of me. Trust, trust, trust.

THIRD (AND LAST) STOP: Midgley Bridge. Guido told me to pull over when we passed the first time, but it was too late. I’m glad we got another chance!

Welcome to the inspiration behind Cozy Cone Motel in Cars the Wigam Motel in Holbrook, AZ.

As of 2002, the Wigwam Village was listed on the National Register of Historic Places!

I spy.. a little green dinosaur!

I finally made it to my Wigwam stay for the night! Isn’t it darling? Just kidding, I wish. I hope to stay in a wigwam and/or a yurt one day.

Here is a little look at petrified wood without having to visit the Petrified Wood Forest.

I rushed to find a restroom after the Wigwam Motel. I ran into the nearest grocery store and of course, the women’s restroom wouldn’t open. I probably waited 15 minutes to use the men’s restroom. Then I ran over to the deli to grab a fork and a napkin for my last packed salad. No forks, no spoons (I was willing to work it out), no napkins. The deli employee didn’t know where the extra forks were. As I looked around the deli, I quickly noticed the lack of care and upkeep of utensils, cups, food, etc. Whatever happened to customer service? I finally received my fork and unclear directions to find my dinosaur friends. The locals didn’t seem to care about the Route 66 roadside attractions or touristy things one bit. Honestly, it saddened me a bit. Why so gloomy and apathetic? I said thank you and goodbye, and off I went to look for my friends.


Dinosaurs? Yup, dinosaurs. When the International Petrified Forest closed down in 2007, the dinosaurs and petrified wood on display were forced to relocate all over town. They made themselves at home at the Hopi Travel Plaza, Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co., Painted Desert Indian Center, and wherever else Google and the locals tell you!

The famous Twin Arrows Trading Post is located in a rather interesting and random spot. Driving off the exit, you make a right as if making a U-turn. There’s a barrier between the road and the arrows. The only way to take a good photo is to leave the car on the street (hazard lights on), jump the barrier, run fairly far from the arrows, and angle it just right. If I had someone with me, I would have them take a photo of me jumping and launching the arrow to the ground. There was also a really cool but gas station in ruins I thought would be a cool photo project.. but decided against it.

The arrows were restored in a two-week cooperative blitz between the Hopi tribe and Route 66 buffs. Each group had its own motives. To the Hopi, according to an article in the Arizona Daily Sun, the arrows “symbolize warrior pride.” To the 66ers, they embody “an entrepreneurial spirit.”

Roadside America

After taking my time in Sedona and Holbrook,  I knew a gas station would be my only stop until my destination. By the time I got to Days Inn in Albuquerque, NM, it was dark and everything seemed sketchy. I parked my car somewhere safe and locked myself in my room until morning. “HELLO, SUNSHINE” reminded me that everything was going to be okay.

See you in the morning for day 4   ||  Albuquerque, NM ➵  Amarillo, TX ⥇  Oklahoma City, OK!

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