Thursday, March 4, 2010

Scottsdale 2010 road trip, part 10

We drove through the towns of Payson and Heber and on to Holbrook, passing by these windmills along the way.
I didn't take any new photos of Holbrook but we did stop there for lunch. I spoke with one of the locals about the Hashknife Pony Express. If you thought the pony express mail service ended years ago, you are wrong!
Since 1955, the Navajo County Hashknife Sheriff's Posse has ridden the mail from Holbrook to Scottsdale, a 200 mile ride, in commemoration of the original riders. This is taken from their website:

Each year the posse riders receive the oath of office from the Holbrook Postmaster authorizing them to carry the U.S. Mail by Pony Express..

The Holbrook Chamber of Commerce hosts a send-off dinner for the posse riders each year.

The 2009 Pony Express ride started from the Holbrook Post Office. Leaving Holbrook, the posse's annual route takes them on Dry Lake Road to Heber, and over the rim for an overnight in Payson, and then on to their campsite on Friday night by the Verde River. Along their route the posse picks up pony express letters from post offices in Heber, Pine, Strawberry, and the riders will be handing off the mailbags every mile or two to the next rider waiting along the roadside.

The hand off was repeated with all of the mail bags of thousands of letters, so every pony express letter is carried by horseback before the arrival of the U.S. Mail at the Scottsdale Post Office on Osborn Road.

The ride was again successfully completed in January 2010. I shall have to mark my calendar next year to go watch them.

This stretch of road is near the Arizona / New Mexico border. Isn't it pretty?

You can really see the layers and colors of the sedimentary rocks.
Here is a natural amphitheater.
It was so pretty with the white snow, brown and red earth, and green trees.
When we got to Gallup, we decided to do an auto tour. I have been in Gallup many, many times, but haven't really driven around much. I was pleasantly surprised to see all the wall murals
and old buildings.

This statue is commemorating the Navajo soldiers in the armed forces during the war. They were called Code Talkers because they used the Navajo language in military communications. It is the only modern language impossible to decipher.
This link is to more information about the Code Talkers.
Here is a view of historic old Route 66 in downtown Gallup.
I thought this building had some interesting architectural features and a very pretty wall.
There were signs all along the freeway advertising the historic El Rancho Hotel so we had to go see it. Built in 1937, many famous people have slept there, including John Wayne, Presidents Reagan and Eisenhower, and many others.

Here's an old theater.
I like it better in sepia.
Look at the architectural design of this building.
Here's an old saddle shop.

Soon, we were back on the road with those stunning vistas.
We came to the Continental Divide. I tried to figure out which way the water was draining but it just wasn't cooperating. ;0
Here are some more photographs of the great southwestern United States.

Here's Buddha, saying ,"Come on, I wanna go home!"

I will post my favorite southwestern vista as this week's Friday Foto.

And that's all, folks!! Ya-ta-hey!


Ed said...

Great shots!! Did you stop off at the petrafied forest? There are some fantastic petroglyphs to shoot and some ruins of the Puerco indians, notot mention the color...:-)

Sydney said...

What great pictures.
The last turbine out of 24 was put up yesterday on the neighbors farm. They put a Canadian flag on the nacel. I thought it was funny the safety inspector tells the neighbor "the last turbine to go up, the owner of the land it is on has to buy everyone dinner and drinks" He was just joking though I couldn't imagine what a bill for 150+ workers would cost.

Shirley said...

Thanks for the grand tour! The red rock is beautiful. Some very nice murals; our town has them too. I'd have gone in the saddle shop!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Ed- yes, I've been to the Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon, but not on this trip.
Sydney- Those turbines are so tall!
The saddle shop was closed.
Shirley- I do plan on going back there and checking it out one day.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Val, great pictures. All of that area is really beautiful. Have you been to Gallup for the Intertribal Ceremony in August? It's the largest gathering of Southwest Indian groups. It's a lot of fun.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Years ago(35?) when I was in Payson I bought the most beautiful squash blossom necklace in turquoise. I still have it. Loved it up there in that part of the country.

becky said...

I really enjoyed your photos from the road~ you've got some really interesting shots! I've driven by Gallup many times, but never stopped... now I have a reason! Also recognized the rest stop area at the NM/AZ border! Thanks for sharing... isn't blogging fun?!

Rising Rainbow said...

The snow makes the hills look all the redder. Just amazing!

Interesting about the pony express. I had no idea.

Dunappy said...

Did you go inside the El Rancho? Its Quite interesting. They have autographed photos of all the different people who have stayed there over the years. The hotel rooms are named for different stars also. For example you can spend a might in the John Wayne room, or the Glen Ford room.

achieve1dream said...

Whew! I'm exhausted after that trip and I didn't even go lol. Glad you had fun. Thanks for sharing all the great pictures!