Tag Archives: Arizona

The I-40 Experience – Part 2


Unfortunately, what goes up must come down.  Well, I guess in this case what goes west must go east.  After the long drive to and a couple of days of work in Holbrook I headed back towards Albuquerque to Grants, NM.

It was a damn pretty day for the drive. View was decent too. Here we are at some random rest area tourist store thingy.

I like it.

Who’s up for some flapjacks?

I guess I misspoke. It wasn’t some random little shop. It was the Fort Courage Trading Post.

I don’t think it’s all that necessary to put ‘Keep Out’ on the sewage disposal sign.

I wonder if I have time to rebook my hotel…

I’m a little bit surprised this wasn’t a Pony Express sticker.

Hey, tourists in the west like busted old wagon shit.

Wild west wagon wheel with sun spots shot.

Later on down the road. Getting to beautiful Gallup, NM now.

A truly one stop shop. You can take care of all your gun, bow and arrow, and jewelry repair needs.

A refinery with a view.

The landscapes in the area really are gorgeous.

I love the sandstone cliffs.

Decent little sunset too. The start of one anyway.

Some random dilapidated building by the side of the highway.

Finally got to Grants just as the sun was setting.

Gorgeous sunsets in the area, that’s for sure.

Finally, Handy Andy’s Groceries. I actually really like some of the cheesy, neon, Americana, route 66 signs. This is where I get my Fat Tire around here.

And I’m pleased to announce, that that’s all for I-40.  Coming real soon, pictures and crap of Chaco Canyon.  And trust me, it’s worth seeing.

-B. Littleton

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Holed Up in Holbrook


As we talked about yesterday, I’ve spent the last couple of days either en route to, or captive in, Holbrook, Arizona.  When I checked into my hotel, the clerk asked what brought me to Holbrook.  I told her I was in town for work, as if there were any other reason, and her response?  “I’m sorry.”  Never a good sign.

This place is one of the shitholiest shitholes to which I’ve been sent in my 4+ years of being a professional shithole visitor (I like how I used ‘shithole’ three times in that sentence, and yet still refused to end a clause with a preposition), and It represents a rather acute example of what I had in mind when I named the blog what I did.  These little towns occupy substantially more of my time than Prague or Paris, and they put the unremarkable back in remarkably unremarkable…

But upon my arrival it was still a little too early to start drinking alone in my hotel room, so I bridged the gap from alcoholic to borderline alcoholic by taking a picture or four.  I have to give a disclaimer here: I took every one of these pictures on the 2-mile drive from dinner back to the hotel.  I didn’t go searching for abject poverty and boarded up buildings.  As far as I can tell, this is an accurate portrayal of the place.  At least it’s exactly what you’ll see if you head down the two major thoroughfares in town…

I write you from right about here. The picnic table outside my hotel room. A pretty sweet spot to drink some lonely juice and throw up some pictures.

Ah yes, main street.

I suppose the Econlodge has this place beat.

Haha, even the cop cars are busted around here.

If that double-wide needs some new cabinets, you know who to call...

Navajo Avenue... The other main drag through town.

Hell, if I got a roommate that'd only be $197.50 a month... Any takers?

C'mon... It's got a pretty awesome view...

A busted car behind one of the three restaurants in town that is still in business.

Ok, a few busted cars.

I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt... Maybe they do have the best food in town. But that's sort of like being the best dunker in the WNBA...

Kind of a funny story about this bar. The only other time I've been here, my esteemed colleague Glendo and I asked around trying to find a decent bar in town. While literally none of the three people we asked had a single recommendation for us, literally all three of them told us to stay the hell away from the Winner's Circle. We took their advice.

Cool old trucks, I suppose.

Looks like a nice neighborhood.

Sweet. Well, I guess Holbrook has the rock hook-up.

I bet you can get some pretty sweet electronix up in here.

At least they got my hot eats and cool treats covered.

Ok, this isn't a picture of a Burger King. Well, I guess it is. But the point is the KOA campground in the background there. Why? Why on earth would anyone choose to camp in this place? Go 80 miles down the road to Flagstaff. They have mountains, and pretty shit.

Well, at least the local economy is thriving. Here we have Holbrook's largest... boarded up building.

We gave the Indians small pox, Oklahoma, and this place. Nice work America.

Nah. I'll empty my pockets elsewhere.

Who wants some orange chicken? I feel like some orange chicken.

Man, even gas stations are going out business up in here. That's unreal.

Pretty solid vacant lot.

There are like five businesses in this town that aren't boarded up.

There it is. The prettiest thing in town. The water tower.

Anybody looking for a nice business venture? Call my boy Paul. Or my other boy Brian.

Ok. The sunset was pretty. I'll give 'em that.

That’s all for Holbrook.  I ought to be leaving this place in my rear view mirror tomorrow morning.  Not horribly upset about it either.    Coming tomorrow, the Sandstone Bluffs of the El Malpais National Monument.  We’ll see you then.

-B. Littleton

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The I-40 Experience


Yesterday was a damn long day.  I woke up at 5:15 in the AM to be at the airport in time to catch my 8:30 flight from Denver to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Once I arrived I was given the pleasure of driving 250 miles west through New Mexico and into Arizona to my destination of Holbrook.  I took a few pit stops, took some pictures, and tried to make the most of my desert drive.  And as such, here’s the sights of I-40…

Well, here we go... Let's drive to Holbrook. Just leaving the airport here, although apparently Albuquerque is just too damned sunny for an airport; they have a sunport.

Downtown ABQ.

It's never a good sign when the GPS tells you that your next turn is in 226 miles... That's a whole lot of I-40.

And I-40 is a whole lot of nothing...

I'm pretty sure this might be the most useless sign ever... Correct me if I'm wrong, but if there were "zero visibility" conditions, I wouldn't be able to see the sign warning me about them...

Pulled over here to stretch the legs and take a picture or two... A 'scenic overlook.'

Wait, we are in NEW Mexico aren't we?

Some little vendor stands by the side of the pullout. Mostly Indians selling Indian shit... This can't be a good way to make a living.

Hawking their goods. This has to be a tough life. I hereby apologize on behalf of my fellow white people. Sorry we jacked this entire continent from you.

Team Ramrod.

Get your kicks on Route 66... That was in a commercial or something wasn't it? I don't know where I got that.

A lot more nothing... If you look closely, you can see the smokestack of the plant I'll be working at later on this week.

Beautiful Gallup, New Mexico. It's a pretty nice place if you're really into stabbing or being stabbed.

See what I mean? Who's up for a road trip?

By the side of the road at some other little rest area thing.

I'm getting there. Thank God. I guess the proprietor of the souvenir stand at the base of this here cliff decided that throwing some plastic animals on the side of the cliff would be a nice touch...

Nice. There's a shitload of piss-bottles right there... And what makes this really unbelievable is that this off-ramp leads directly to the aforementioned rest area. Seriously, hold it for like 30 seconds.

So... Close...

And here we are. Holbrook. Once I got here I realized that drive through the desert was actually going to be the highlight of the trip. We'll get into that tomorrow...

Holbrook itself sucks.  It really sucks.  I’ll show you what I mean tomorrow.  But, as promised, I did manage to find a diamond in this expansive rough.  Pictures of my host town, and the quite impressive El Malpais National Monument coming soon to a blog near you.

-B. Littleton

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Filed under The Road, The Sights, The Sights of the Good Ol' US of A