17 August 2009

Have You Slept in a Wigwam Lately...

This is the slogan that is proudly displayed on the neon sign that hangs above The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook Arizona...a wonderful remnant of the quickly fading Route 66. I can vaguely remember driving past this motel when my father took my sister and I for a Tour De' Indian Ruins/driving all over tarnation/camping vacation when I was a teenager...

I can also remember perking up...which is saying something if we can all remember our hormone induced teen years...uncrossing my legs for a moment and taking a break from, "are we there yet?" instead pointing out the window and saying emphatically, "I want to stay there!!" I think I remember my father rolling his eyes, which probably caused me to slouch down in my seat, recross my arms and sigh loudly...and mutter about the unfairness of the world.

In the name of all things kitsch and fabulous and fun on Route 66...I am going to go right out on a limb, and say, "I want to stay there!"


I still want to say there.
I still want to sleep in a Wigwam...

And it is with pure physical force (I would like to think it was will power, but I know myself better that that) that I drug myself away again without staying a night.

Well that, and someone had to show up to open Snap Snap today.

So, it was with deep regret I tore myself away yet again from the giant tee-pees...with their fiberglass (I would assume) construction...the sweet details in the flaps of the tee-pees being permanently held open with entry doors in the middle, so that you unlock the door to your own sweet Wigwam paradise...down to the diamond shaped windows on each side.

What does a wigwam need with a diamond shaped window?

Well...it's to put your air conditioner in of course!

As it was, at least I was allowed the luxury to pull over and grab some snap shots and walk around...Although, The Wigwam wasn't open yet for business and I didn't get to tour a room or chat up the owners (this is still a family owned motet...) I did thoroughly enjoy winding among the vintage cars that sit out between the Wigwams...

I've read that they are various cars owned by the family that runs the Motel over the years...and are a fantastic collection that just adds to the feel of the place.

I have to admit that it's more fun being an adult and I've learned to trade "I'm making great time" with being poky and stopping when I want.

Although, I did not get to stop at the Jack Rabbit Flats trading post to ride the giant plastic Jack Rabbit...but you can bet I'll be going up again with my cowboy boots in hand to ride on that baby!

Because honestly, I don't know if I can live in a world that has a giant plastic Jack Rabbit with a saddle on it...and wrap my mind around the fact that I do not have a picture of myself of it...

I mean, honestly...

What's the point?

Not stopping at the Jack Rabbit kind of reminds me of that trip long ago that we took with my father and not stopping at The Thing...Pure Route 66 curios and roadside attractions advertised on billboards kept us from being bored, and I honestly remember being very sad that we didn't get to see what The Thing was.

My father said he didn't want to pay the admission fee.

I just read the admission fee is $1.

And don't click on that link up there and go all the way down the page...because it shows what The Thing is.

Of course, now I know.

And I saved myself $1.

But that is not the point.

...By the time I travelled Route 66 through Arizona, The Mother Road had actually been replaced by the superhigway that still snakes through our state...thus killing off the Burma Shave signs and many fantastic small towns and businesses..all in the name of "I'm making good time!". And *poof* there goes even more colorful fun plastic neon American history..

Looking back, I am delighted that I got to take that trip with my father, and I honestly wonder what his recollections of traveling with a teenager and a her younger sibling was? My father was my first introduction to Route 66 and I know his family took many trips using The Mother Road to visit family when he was a child...you can bet there are a million crazy stories of sometimes crazy and cramped family road trips.

It's a wonder he would ever brave taking us anywhere by car after those...

But, I think deep down inside, travelling by car as a child builds character and draws you together like nothing else...no matter how traumatic you think it is at the time (giggle) I also find it a bit amazing that I am now travelling down those roads once more and revisiting what's left of Route 66 in greater detail than before. I have to tell you though, it is very hard for me to not think or want to step out of the car and into this piece of American History during its hey day (because I have always found myself being nostalgic for time periods I've never even lived in...) but I am enjoying taking in the experience and documenting it before it all disappears for good.

It's kind of like this nostalgic interest was put in place years ago...waiting for me to grow up and remember.


I still want to stay in a Wigwam.


Sillie_Girl said...

I would so stay in a Wigwam! Also when you take your cowboy boots to go ride the Jack Rabbit I want to go...so I can take pictures of this event! Sounds like you had a great time and got to relive some fun memories of your child hood :)

•¦Amy¦• said...

How Fun!

Chickenbells said...

DaNece...See? I TOTALLY thought you'd want to go do this...we'll have to plan a weekend, because you would love seeing the LaPosada, and I am really wanting to go shlump around Holbrook some more as well...Also? The theater in Winslow was playing Funny People! Can you believe that?!?!

Sandybee said...

I have stayed in the Wigwam Motel several times now. It is an experience not. to. be. forgotten. It's run by two brothers whose father built the Motel. It was one of 7, I think.

There is another Wigwam Motel in LA County. Each teepee there is painted a in a different pastel color. I haven't stayed there yet. But, it's on my list. Last I heard it was a Motel of....ummmm...ill repute.

I have a photo of myself on the jack rabbit. It's sitting on my mantle.

I'm just thankful that these relics of Route 66's heyday are there for us to enjoy. Go. You will love it.

flutter said...

I am ashamed to admit that I have been to THE THING


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