June 9, 2019 Day 1 269 Miles
From Tucson To Winslow (Not Tucumcari!)
Roads Traveled Arizona Highways 77, 188, 87
Hotel for the night. La Posada
On the road again…
We thought we were well prepared and got in the car to leave about 10 AM. At the end of the driveway, we discovered the padlock was missing from the front gate. So, a trip to Ace Hardware in Catalina (and thank goodness it was open on a Sunday morning!) fixed the problem, but put us on the road an hour later than we wanted!
The hurry? We wanted to play tennis before our 6 PM Dinner reservation.
Our route for the day avoided the major highways and followed mostly two lane roads, all the way up the middle of the state from Tucson in southern Arizona to Winslow in northern Arizona. I owe you an apology already. I realized in our haste, I neglected to take many pictures for you. We stopped only once in Globe for a bathroom break and missed lots of opportunities to capture the view.
I am going to take some deep breaths and for the rest of the trip, cherish the minute-by-minute journey more consciously and do a better job of documenting. I promise!
As we headed north from Tucson, past Oracle, through Mammoth and Winkleman, the saguaros were loaded with white spring flowers. The Spring rains nourished the desert this year and everything is unusually green with the cool temperatures we’ve had through May.
At Globe, we turned off AZ 77 to take AZ 188. We drove beside the blue waters of Roosevelt Lake for miles and miles. It must have been a great Sunday to be on a boat out on the lake. Temperatures were still a little below 100 degrees and it was an Arizona sunshine day!
As we drove towards Payson, Pine and Strawberry, the elevation increased and the scenery shifted from cactus studded desert to the Tonto National Forest and pine trees. The was a wildfire to the east and lots of signs about visibility and smoke and closed roads, but we never saw much. On our trip last summer, we drove through wildfires on either side of the roads near the Arizona/New Mexico border. There were 11 hotshot units fighting fires that had been burning for 2 weeks. Hopefully the fire season this year will not be a brutal one.
On the other side of Strawberry, the topography changed again to
Each day, I am going to post the details of that day and I will come back and insert links as I write stories about the view and
We arrived at La Posada in Winslow about 4 and think we have time for that tennis game. We check in, dress for tennis and jump back in the car. But, ah…there is nothing as bad as thwarted intentions!
The only 2 courts in Winslow are at the High School. All chainlink doors have padlocks. There’s a phone number to get a key but only a message that they will not be open until 9 AM on Monday. Bub is bummed. I am embracing my word for the year-ACCEPT.
La Posada is a beautifully restored hotel beside the railroad tracks. I’ll be posting separate articles on the hotel and its restaurant, The Turquoise Room as I get a chance.
We enjoyed a decadent dinner that started with
Stuffed Squash Blossoms: Stuffed with sweet corn tamale and Oaxaca cheese, beer batter dipped and crispy fried. Served on a bed of salsa verde with a grilled squash and roasted corn salsa. I’d heard of these, but they are seasonal and we’d never been here when they were on the menu. Just heavenly.
The salad we shared was a yummy Shaft’s Aged Blue Vein Wisconsin Cheese Salad
Heart of “Artisan” baby romaine lettuce, creamy blue cheese garnished with blue vein crumbles and honey roasted spiced pecans
And the wine was a Barossa Valley Shiraz
I love lamb and couldn’t resist the Churro Lamb Sampler Platter
A steaming bowl of our red corn posole broth with tender morsels of lamb and grilled lamb chorizo. A sweet corn tamale smothered with a green chile and tomatillo ragout. Grilled lamb medallion with a mint and garlic au jus. Served with a fresh vegetable medley. Our Churro Lamb is free-range reared by Irene Bennally in the wild lands of Two Grey Hills on the Navajo Nation. It is a hormone and antibiotic free.
Bub Had The Wild Platter:
Crispy fried Quail with orange Oaxaca sauce, Colorado farm-raised Elk medallion with black currant sauce, a green chile tamale topped with bison, white tail deer, and wild boar chili, finished with a fresh vegetable medley.
And, of course, we are celebrating his birthday (multiple times along the way), so a Double Chocolate, Grand Marnier Soufflé for Two was a must:
This rich dark chocolate soufflé baked to order and served with whipped cream and dark chocolate Grand Marnier sauce. Available for dinner only (25 minutes to bake)
Life is good….that’s my view for today!