Road trip to Arizona with Jennifer and I on our Triumphs

Well, time to get away on your two wheeled machines is always great, and even more so is when your partner in crime rides motorcycles too, so every now and again, Jennifer picks an area of the California or Arizona state and we go explore for a few days.

Jenn mentioned to me that she would like to go and camp out in Arizona, and as we have a transit van thats kitted out with an RV out put, that means we can load the bikes up and all our camping gear, then take turns driving to a destination, then we simply park in the RV park, pull the bikes out, hook up the electric to the van, put the Blow up bed in the van, assemble the fold up table and put the Kurig Coffee maker on, as well as plug in the crock pot, of which Jennifer has made a stew all ready to start etc.

Then what we do is have a route of places we shall visit, allowing 200 miles a day, jump on our bike and take in some of the united States great old route 66 Roads and discover cool places from the past.

Usually by the time we get back, the crock pot is ready and we have hot food and drink and enjoy each others company after a long days ride, and this weekend was no different.

It took us about 7 hours to drive to Sedona in Arizona, but at least we didn’t have to deal with LA traffic on Motorcycles, get covered in fly’s and road grime and be too tired to ride once we get to the camp ground etc.  The campground was easy to find and we were glad when we unloaded the Motorcycles and made the Van camping ready.

The good thing about us using these RV parks is that they have Bathrooms and Hot showers all ready, so that really is a bonus and also, its way cheaper to camp out in the van than spend all that money on a Hotel, plus its more fun anyway and always have a fun weekend, we usually go for a long weekend of 4 days and it works out really well for us.

Sedona Arizona in an awesome place, with Tree’s everywhere and a creek and river that runs though it, the mountains are Red in Color and the roads smooth, and I would recommend this to anyone wanted to visit the area as great roads, food, shops and of course National parks to visit.

Jenn had a map for us to follow as we wanted to do some more exploring of route 66, as we always enjoy the History and you are never sure what you may find along the way of the what was called the Mother Road.

Well, the first port of call was to get onto Route 66 and check out Walnut Canyon national park and we chose a great day for this as it was warm but not hot and just what we need for riding the Triumphs and the nice thing was there was still a little Snow left in the mountains.

We rode out and filled up with gas, it was at least a Dollar Cheaper than California, so once we gassed up, we hit the Tarmac and began our adventure into the Arizona State.

I noticed so many trains going by at many locations with hundreds of containers loaded on them, and in this picture alone where I stopped, you will see there is Five Freight trains pulling, that goes to show how much they are pulling, also the demise of the Route 66 was due to New freeways and New Rail systems.

I loved riding Route 66 and we have now traveled all of the Route in Arizona and boy did we have fun for sure, the weather was pretty good on the way out and we stopped off outside this original Bridge that ran through 66 and I wonder how many cool tales this bridge could indeed tell us over the years and years of traffic that crossed the Iron construction.

We love all the History and at some places, you really can feel something different that you cant quite put your finger on, but this trip is a fun one and we always seem to smile and enjoy the sights and adventures that we take together on our Motorcycles, clocking miles up in different states is fun and in different weather too.

How I love riding with my girlfriend Jennifer, we stop at anything that we think is intersting and take it all in and this trip was really cool as hardly any traffic at all on the 66 and we spent many a time checking the area out.

Along the way we came across the old run down Trading posts and I have always wanted to see the twin arrows, Jenn and I pulled in and noticed that this well known watering hole had all been closed off, so Jenn parked up by the row of concrete armco’s that blocked the entrance and me having a Scrambler, decided to check it out closer, by going over a few dirt mounds and getting in between the old giant wooden arrows.

These Arrows have been in Movies, Commercials, on posters and all sorts over the years, but slowly, mother Nature is taking over and I shall be sad when these get too dilapidated to stand up any more, hope some one resurrects these great places.

As it is today, shame really as i wish they would be turned into Cafe bars or gift shops to keep the History of the Mother Road alive, I hate to see it graffiti-ed up like this. Like many an icon of Route 66, the Twin Arrows Trading Post has certainly seen better days. Situated on the side of I-40 in Arizona, the giant, yellow twin arrows still remain, standing out as a beacon to bored drivers, but the store and diner have fallen into disrepair.

Built in the late 1940s as Canyon Padre Trading Post, the store soon changed its name to Twin Arrows, seemingly inspired by nearby town of Two Guns. It was then that the iconic wooden arrows were built, planted in the parking lot to guide motorists to the trading post’s doors. The post included a gas station, gift shop, and a Valentine diner.

Unfortunately the creation of a nearby interstate led to swift decrease in road traffic, and combined with the changing cultural tastes that were moving away from kitschy roadside attractions, the trading post fell into decline. Twin Arrows operated under different owners as best it could until 1995, when it was finally abandoned.

Currently the land is owned by the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino, nestled off an exit across the interstate. In 2009, the casino cleaned up the wooden arrows, but has not made any other efforts toward restoration of the trading post or diner. Barriers have since been erected around the abandoned buildings, though that doesn’t appear to have stopped many folks from checking out this highway ruin.  The abandoned buildings have become a canvas for graffiti artists, adding to the site’s eerie charm.
Below is a blurry ish video I took with my old phone but it was 50 mph winds and was hard at times to even hold onto the phone, but wanted to share this with you.

Well, we headed further up the interstate and got off at the a Meteorite crater in between Flagstaff and Winslow .
A mile across and half a mile deep, this was hit at 26,000 miles an hour many moons ago.
Not many people realize it’s here but it’s bloody huge. its sure fun riding the Triumphs but it was windy as all hell there.
I would of had a food booth there selling Crater Tators!

This Place is Bloody Massive, I had no idea at all that there was a Meteor Crater  anywhere in the USA and even if there was, I had no clue at all it was a big hole on the ground like this, its just ginormous, the guides were too afraid to take us out for a tour, but it was fine with them if we braved the 50 mph plus winds ourselves, but we did have fun and the road there is such fun to ride.

It’s well worth a visit for sure as I doubt there are anything as crazy as this for Meteors and Glad that Jenn had found this place and put it on our list of places to check out in Arizona.The Movie Starman ended there.

I remember watching that film with my brother, never would I think I would actually be right here at the spot that movie was filmed here at Winslow Arizona.


So I am glad that we took the little road up to the meteor Museum in Winslow area, if ya wear a hat, hold onto it as it was blowing a Hoolie out there.

This Road was awesome, so long and really out there in the elements, I felt that i truly was in another state and enjoying my time with My girl on our Triumphs.

The Romans would of been proud of this Road thats for sure, we had an excellent time riding this part and something that we shall never forget, nobody about and just the two of us exploring part of the Mother Road.

Lots of Red Rock everywhere, so different to California and Glad that Jenn picked this place to come and visit on our adventure on two wheels.

Awesome Big sky and had plenty of Clouds that reminded me of the opening sequence of the Simpsons TV show.

See what I mean? We have fun on our trips and there was so many Miles of Smiles that we shared on Route 66.

Another cool stop in was the Meteor City Trading Post, long Closed too but at least we were able to stop and stretch our legs after fighting the cross winds for about 30 miles and it was nice to check this Historic area out.

Today, The Meteor City Trading Post may not look much like the once popular roadside attraction that pulled visitors off of Route 66, entertaining scores of folk from far and wide, but change is in the air. Over the past 5 years the Post has been sitting in the middle of the Arizona desert, abandoned and desolate, sun bleached by the unforgiving desert sun. But there’s a new sheriff in town and there is a renewed hope circling the attraction.

Named in honor of the nearby Meteor Barringer Crater, the Post first opened in 1938 as a Texaco gas station under the ownership of Joe Sharber. In 1941, Jack Newsum bought the property and added a store component so that tourists, on their way to see the giant meteor crater in the desert, could stop and buy souvenirs and groceries. “Lonesome Jack,” a nickname that Newsum seemed to embrace wholeheartedly – he had a city limits sign for the Meteor City Trading Post that read “Population: 1” – ran the trading post alone until he married his wife Goldie and updated the city limits sign to a population of 2. There’s a black and white picture of the couple standing on either side of the city limits sign with nothing but desert behind them. Jack looks off at something to the side that we can’t see, while Goldie looks straight into the camera. The loneliness and isolation of the place is palpable in the photo. After Jack died, Goldie lived with her mother and erased the number 2 on the city limits sign, in fear of what people would do if they knew there were two women, living alone.

However, it was only in 1979 that the original rectangular building housing the trading post was replaced with the eye catching geodesic dome with the yellow Mohawk down the center. This could be considered the heyday of the Meteor City Trading Post, when tourists came in by the droves to buy their souvenirs – Baja jackets, tumbled stones and samples of petrified rocks and Native American goods – and grab a soda pop while children played in the concrete teepees. This was the time when tourists could view the nation’s largest dream catcher and the 100-foot map of Route 66 painted by Bob Waldmire, American Route 66 artist and cartographer. This was the time when the 1984 movie Starman, starring Jeff Bridges and co-star Karen Allen, featured the dome in one scene, as a restaurant, where they are seen having cherry pie and peach cobbler.

But the trading post has also had its fair share of hard times. In 1990, the original dome burned down and was replaced by the structure that stands today. It was then briefly shut down in 2001, reopening later that year with new owners, Richard and Ermila Benton. Because the 100-foot map of Route 66 had fallen into disrepair, the new owners painted over the original around 2002-2003. Despite their efforts, the Bentons put the trading post up for sale with an asking price of $150,000. By 2012, when no buyers came forward, the doors to the trading post shut, seemingly for good. The property sat in the desert, ignored, deteriorated, all but forgotten.


In true desert fashion, the entire property was effectively being slowly erased, disappearing into the past. Its decay accelerated by the sun and wind and perhaps by its sheer loneliness; just as the population number had been erased on the city limits sign by owner Goldie Newsum decades earlier. The once vibrant artwork painted on the buildings became faded and defaced. Inside the dome, the windows and doors and display cases were all smashed. Glass covered the floor. Graffiti marked the walls inside the abandoned dome. One read, “Go vegan.” Another depicted an inverted pentagram and 666. Debris littered the floors of the buildings and the trading post grounds. The dream catcher netting became tattered. The wall featuring the Route 66 map had collapsed. The Meteor City Trading Post was then put on a ‘to-be-demolished’ list. And all hope looked lost.

But the Meteor City Trading Post had an unexpected saviour – a couple from Jeffersonville, Indiana, who were keen to bring life back to the trading post appeared on the scene.

Joann and Michael Brown spent most of their childhoods in sunny California and regularly traveled Route 66 to visit friends and family. They had always loved the lore of the southwest and had been thinking of moving back for some time. They began looking for property in Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas.

Considering a few businesses along Route 66, like the Jade Restaurant in Kingman, Arizona, the couple ultimately settled with the Meteor City Trading Post in March of 2016, when they saw that it was set to be demolished. “We loved the wide-open spaces and the hospitality of the people of Arizona. We have a deep love for Route 66, and when we toured [the] Meteor City Trading Post, we knew we had to make an offer for the property as soon as possible.”

The couple has worked tirelessly clearing the debris and clutter from the once bustling business and now hope to complete the interior of the dome in the spring of 2018, before starting to work on the living quarters. They will devote a small portion of the dome to presenting visitors with the history of the Meteor City Trading Post from 1938 to the present day. They are also considering dedicating one section of the store to the film Starman. Another priority is to restore the original Justice of the Peace building for Coconino County on the property. They’d like to restore the 100-foot map of Route 66, but it’s proven difficult to find complete photos of the original.

The new owners have big plans for this piece of history. Perhaps more than anything else, the Browns want the Meteor City Trading Post to act as a time capsule that offers tribute to when the original dome was first constructed, for visitors in the present to experience. Although there is a lot of work ahead of them, Joann and Michael Brown aim to open the Meteor City Trading Post in the summer/fall of 2018.

Thanks to the efforts of the Browns, a solid piece of vintage Americana now has a new lease on life.

If you are interested in helping fund the restoration of the Meteor City Trading Post, you can go to the Meteor City Trading Post Facebook Page and purchase t-shirts and stickers. All proceeds go to the restoration.

So now we headed up the highway for another 20-30 miles and on the back roads we headed to the Main town of Winslow, it was Easter Sunday so it was dead quiet everywhere.

On the way there we were told of a place called

Super people and we were pretty Hot from the rise in the wind and head on Sun, this was perfect to stop by, watch the Trains Thunder by and take in this great piece of Route 66 History.

We walked around and Jennifer purchased a Locally made bracelet one of the tribes brings in to sell, so that helps support more families etc, had a drink and headed back out into the Sun and Wind heading to Winslow.

When classic rock fans worldwide hear the name “Winslow, Arizona,” the next words out of their mouths are probably, “Well, I’m a standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…” From the iconic song “Take it Easy” by the Eagles, those lines put Winslow on the map, and when you visit Winslow, you can see the corner in person.

On the corner of Route 66 and North Kinsley Avenue is a tribute to the Eagles song, a statue of a 1970’s man, garbed in jeans, boots and a vest, with a guitar propped on his toe. Thousands of visitors each year stop at the park to pose with the statue and pay tribute to the song that revitalized Winslow. Winslow is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, in the United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 9,655. It is approximately 75 miles SE of Flagstaff, 320 miles W of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 329 miles SE of Las Vegas.

Jenn and I ride through the streets of Winslow on Easter Sunday in the afternoon, the whole town was dead, the speed limit was 25 mph and I struggled to bimble along at that speed but we abided the law as I am sure the Old Bill were waiting for us, but of course the Eagles Song was going through my mind, I was finding it quite surreal that I am actually in that town the eagles sang about, and as I approached that famous section, I could hear the words loud and clear, then louder, and louder, but I realized it was on speakers outside some of the shops and I wasn’t going mad.

So another cool town we discovered on the Mother Road, we stayed for about an hour I guess and bought some souvenirs as you do and then got back in the saddle again, as we were heading to Holbrook.

But will always remember this town in the Song when ever it comes over the radio, thats for certain and glad that Jennifer planned this route as I may of missed the opportunity.

Jennifer on her Bonneville, setting the co-ordinates for our next stop before it gets dark, we are heading to Holbrook to stay at the famous Wig – Wam Hotel, something I have always wanted to do for many years.

Hotel details

Located a mile off Interstate 40, this quirky 1937 motel with lodging in 15 concrete-and-steel freestanding teepees is 13 miles from Petrified Forest National Park. 

The 28-foot red-and-white teepees provide en suite bathrooms and original, handmade hickory furniture, as well as heat, air-conditioning and cable TV.

Vintage cars are displayed throughout the property, and there’s also a museum.

What a great experience and as it was Easter weekend, the place was even quieter, I couldn’t believe I was here to be honest, a place that I have always wanted to see and there was quite a few of these across the states back in the day, dating back to the 1930’s too, I often saw these in books like National Geographic when I was a teenager and wondered what it would be like to stay in one and now I am actually here, pinch me.

The place is like a Time Capsule and even the old Classic big finned machines were parked outside, just like it was 1959, I was actually in my element to be honest, the roads were quite with the odd car coming by every few minutes, Yes- minutes, and the only noise was the wind or the long freight trains that continued through this town day and night 7 days a week.  But for me, that made it even more real as this truly was route 66 and has never changed, I mean how original can you get?

We parked our Triumphs up right outside our Wig Wam and I was intrigued to see what it would be like inside, I was expecting to have to crawl in there as its so small.

The place was such fun to stay, we only have one night as tomorrow we head to the National Park to check out the petrified Forrest, so we are making the most of our stay here.

So Much History here and I wonder how many Millions of cool cars and Motorcycles came past or stopped at this great place since the 1930’s?

Our Own Wig Wam for the night , right on Route 66 in Holbrook Arizona. So awesome- a real piece of History, been here since the 30’s.
Holbrook’s Wigwam Motel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its vintage charm and rich history. There are a series of these surviving distinctive roadside landmarks from Kentucky to California (meaning you could technically do a wigwam road trip) and Arizona has the Lewis family to thank for its own set along Route 66. Built in the 1930s and 1950s, the rooms are pretty modest — but who else can say that they stayed a night in a historic wigwam? Be sure to marvel at the vintage cars lined up outside the wigwams, adding some extra mid-century flavor.

We loved it here and the time of year was perfect for us, I recommend this trip to anybody out there as this is the real America right here.

Above, Jennifer looking at what looks like a big chunk of rock, but its actually a section of a petrified tree, the bloody things was like Granite and god knows how many Ton it weighed in at.

Also, if you are into Nostalgia, there is so much cool old Iron here, it really is one of the most unique places to stay where it really has not changed since the 50’s, I loved it here and hope to stay at the other Wig Wam location in California next time.

I would sure like this Ford Station Wagon as a grocery getter, such a cool array of vehicles that are just parked up at the Wig Wam motel here in Holbrook.

The Gum Ball red 57 was all set to just turn the key and go, nice to be able to see these Iconic machines still around and having people enjoy this period of Americana.

All of us call them Wig Wams , but in all honesty they are actually Tee Pee’s!

Above sits a neat step side, America’s Working Pick up and even though the paints had a hard life in the Arizona elements, the bodywork is pretty darn straight still.

This four door 1950 Hudson would of been great to cruise the Mother Road in, you can load it to the roof and it will still ride like a hovercraft a truly Iconic piece of American Automotive coolness.

This 2 Door Nash built by AMC would of also been a hoot to ride in, nice to see a few different rides parked up and show what would of been around at the height of the Route 66 time.

This Two Tone 6 cylinder 2 door Bow tie looks great with all the original trim, as well as Rare Fender skirts parked outside on of the Tee pee’s.

These 1959 Chevrolet Impala’s are now starting to get hard to get hold of, even 4 doors, this was pretty straight too and another ride I would love to cruise the 66 on.

If it wasn’t for Jennifer, I wouldn’t of been here, so stoked we made this trip and something that I will always cherish and sure hope some of you can make the trip out here.

We had a Buick outside our place, a couple of my mates back home in England had these and so glad to see one where we were sleeping, there is so much cool stuff to see here.

Just a couple of Hundred feet away from our place was this great Steak House, the Butterfield Stage Co Steakhouse, it sure was great inside, all old Timber and the food and service was brilliant to say the least.

You must go in here and try their steaks, they are superb, we loved it in this place and only 2 other people in it when we were there, a great feeling of Yesteryear and recommend to all, we really slept well after eating our fill here.

The place was loaded with informative photos on the walls, from Cowboys to Bank Robbers and the Music was great too.

Such a cool way for us to spend Easter, quite Romantic here with my Girlfriend and this place has not changed in so many years, its a good thing and am so glad that we decided to go and have a steak on the 66.

Where ever we go and visited, Jenn and I always grab an ornament for the Christmas Tree, it showcases our lives and we can reminisce when we put the tree up every year.

We packed up our things in the wig wam hotel and got ready for our next road trip, this will be 200 mile a day trip so we were up early and ready to rock once more on the Triumph.

Jennifer astride her British Steed, with Luggage bags packed and GPS set and now its time to head on out and explore some more on the mother Road once More.

I have always had a fascination with old Road signs, be it Diner’s to gas stations, Neon or Enamel, they all have character.

Check this neat old Gas Station, if only the walls could talk, I so love the 1930’s architecture and stoked to see this still standing in deficiency of the elements.

How can you not love this Motel 66 sign, it was great to see, i had only seen these places in Books when I lived in the UK and to see them in real life is such a Buzz for me.

We saw this little building and I wanted to take a photo of the bike stood proudly next to it, I am not sure how many states will will see of Route 66 but we have conquered Arizona and California now.

Whats More American than this, I pulled over right away when I saw this sign on the Mother Road, love the whole thing, hope you do too?

How about this great looking Mexican Restaurant/Motel sign, this has been here for many moons and its so Route 66 that you see in many Publications, just stoked to be able to see it as we were riding down the road.

There must of been so many of these Indian based Trading Posts back in the day, the road must of been bustling with all sorts of activity in Holbrook.

So many funny things that catch your eye to bring you into the owners shops, like these Dinosaurs to get you to take a look at their Petrified Rocks for sale.

Jennifer plotting our course, we dont need the stars at night as we are lucky to have Satellite Navigation these days, what a life saver these can be.

Another old Trading post with an old chuck Wagon parked outside, this really is old America at its best and so much more for us to go and discover on our two wheeled horses.

Loved the Old Tow truck parked up in town, many places were closed for good but this one still functioned, just closed for Easter Sunday, the weather was great too.

Amazing how sparse things can be in an old town, it was so quiet here like a library to be honest and it really seemed like the Town was just there for Jenn and I to discover.

Below, just how cool some of the roads were, although windy as hell coming back from the Meteor crater but we sure had fun, Jenn pulled over and waited for me to come by on my Scrambler in a wee bit of a hurry, such a fun few days away from home and thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

Below is Jennifer and I as we ride through the National park of the petrified Forrest and boy was it windy there. Some bikers who were on vacation from Holland had set up their go pro in the park for them and we happened to ride past it and they found us later and said we were on their camera and forwarded it to us.

We rode up to the National park to go and see the petrified Forrest, something that is another tick list of things that i would like to see, so I was pretty excited to go and check it out with Jenn, but we had to be a little careful on the bikes as it sure was windy up there.

A great experience for me and it was nothing that I always thought it wqas, as a kid at school I had read about this place but- I was expecting a complete Tree Forrest full of stone tree’s still standing, leaves an all. LOL!

Here is one of the fallen trees left in pieces but they are are solid rock and was amazing to see these spread out for miles and miles, it really was unusual to see out here.

As you can see, the area is spread out and we rode many little off shoot roads to go and check some of these places out but real good fun and a full day to be honest with 50 MPH winds hitting us all day.

I love this photo, I pulled over and stopped as the rock formations here had different layers of sediment and it was more colorful than the photo actually shows, an amazing place.

Both bikes were faultless and we rode all day, it sure was hard work when we eventually headed back to the 2 hour ride home with 50-60 miles an hour cross winds and we sure slept well that night but this park is a must to see too.

A petrified Tree but over the years many people had stood on this and it looks like the park put concrete underneath the petrified log to stop it breaking.

Hard to believe that this was a thick Forrest of trees going on for miles and miles, I would of loved to have rode my scrambler across this but the fine wasnt worth it. LOL!

See what I mean by miles and miles, there was so many places to stop, no way we could do it all in a day, but we gave it a really go good though and met some fun people along the way too.

Looks like some space age planet, eerie sometimes too but I am so glad we made this trip on Motorcycles as its dead easy to just pull over and take in the sights.

An old tree turned into stone, like something out of Jason and the Argonaughts, fantastic to see and touch and see out here in Arizona.

Unbelievable Kaleidoscope of colors , the whole spectrum and more are interwoven in these fossilized trees, I have never seen anything like this before.

This old Sedan was left here and you can just make out the old telegraph posts in the background, thats where Route 66 is.

Old dwellings are scattered about the park and some were still in use etc, it was nice to stop for a while and stretch your legs after all that riding in the Gail force winds.

Fun packed 4 day getaway was a brilliant time away from home and check out another state, I love going places with Jennifer, we really do have fun together.

What a great little vacation we had and going to check a little church out in the mountain before we head off to the old Ghost Town in Jerome.

Great fun riding around here in Sedona, so tranquil and the sky was blue as ever, just a relaxing place to be honest.

Loved the color of the Rocks and the smooth roads here, this Church was popular today so we just took a few pics and the surrounding area as it was 5 minutes from our Camp ground.

Its been a Blast these past few days and still more to see tomorrow but, thats a lot to see in one blog, so will add the town of Jerome on my next one.

If you can get out to Arizona State, check Sedona and the surrounding area out, its amazing to see.



Steve Carpenter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *