Winslow, AZ: I'm in the Carole Lombard room of one of my favorite hotels in the world, listening to a mile or more long freight train rumble past outside my window. Earlier I was in a rocking chair in the garden, good scotch in hand, watching the sunset and the trains roll by. (Not to worry, if you don't like the sound of trains all night, they provide you with earplugs in the guest rooms.
La Posada was built in 1930 by the Harvey Company as a railroad hotel. The architect and designer was Mary Colter, the most famous (maybe the only famous) woman architect and designer of her time. It was her favorite building and when you stay here it is obvious why. Colter was one of the first architects to truly appreciate that there was such a thing as a unique American architecture and she made fantastic use of it. She took regional archetypes and developed them into modern (for their time) buildings. One of her first was the Hopi House gift center at the Grand Canyon.
In 1997, La Posada was falling down. It was bought by a guy named Allen Affeldt along with an artist named Tina Mion. They have restored it and done an astounding job. It is also filled with an eclectic wonderful art collection, much of it the paintings of Mion - who is a quirky, amusing and very arresting painter. They also have a great restaurant. I have a reservation for dinner in 40 minutes so I'd best crank out this blog.
In any event, this is one of the reasons why I love road trips even if at times the day's drive seems endless and dull. I took I-40 today, which roughly parallels old Route 66. There are parts of old 66 that are pretty fun and entertaining, a lot of it has become buried under enormous piles of nostalgic kitsch. Funny, it's all '50s Corvettes and crap like that, you don't see much about the Okies and Arkies fleeing the Dust Bowl desperate to find work in the promised land of California. Oh well.
Here's a few pictures. The first is one of the remnants of old 66. The rest are all at or around La Posada.