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Capturing moments. Sharing adventures.

Los Angeles native. Tennessee transplant. 

Route 66: Day Four

Route 66: Day Four

The next morning was a 6:45am wake up call. Yep. It was a struggle. I was so grateful for Charity who made me a nice breakfast and helped me repack my car before saying goodbye. She is the definition of her name, and I wished I could have stayed longer. But it was time to head north again. 

Day four {projected*} itinerary:

*Did not go to Twin Arrows Trading Post, Meteor Crater, or the Navajo County Museum so it is not included in mileage or drive time.

Approximate mileage: 218

Approximate driving time: 4 hours

Approximate expenses: $119.28

  • Gas: $31.28 @ $2.699/gallon, 11.589g
  • Experience: $10 Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
  • Food: $15
  • Stay: $63 at Wigwam Motel

See below for details and photos...


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I met up with my friend Rachel and then we started our journey toward Payson and the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. We stopped along the way for gas and more fry bread. I got the bean and cheese one this time which wasn't the same as the one I got before but still pretty good. And at the gas station we were able to wander off a bit to see the cacti up close. I couldn't leave Arizona without a cactus picture.


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I actually found out about Tonto Natural Bridge State Park through Rachel's Instagram just a couple months before my trip. It looked like a cool place so Rachel opted to go with me to see it!

And just let me say — this is one of the top five places I saw on my trip. So so so incredible. And I know there are pictures above, but it's one of those places that has a much greater impact when you see it in person. 

Once you park, you take the trail that goes straight down. It can be kind of steep at times, but it's the easiest trail — kids were able to make it down safely.  At one point you come around a corner and you see this huge hole in the earth underneath a section you were standing over and you just can't help but be in absolute awe. By the time you get down it's even bigger than you imagined and it's really just an amazing natural made structure.

Tonto Natural Bridge is believed to be the largest travertine bridge in the world. The bridge stands 183 feet high over a 400 foot long tunnel.  

We explored it and I watched the water cascade down like a rain waterfall from the ground of the trees above before going through the tunnel. There's a small pool and more dripping water coming through making climbing the rocks a little slippery. We opted to go the "long trail" mostly because I didn't feel like going back the way we came. Press forward and onward you know?

So we followed these arrows they had occasionally on the rocks. We were trying to go for the Anna Mae trail which was shorter but it wasn't until we had conquered and came out of the trail that we realized we were on Pine Trail — which was much longer and tougher. It was funny though because there was a whole group of us going on this trail including a family who had some kids. It was like we were on a trek together. At one point one of the grandfathers of the family was sitting down and needed a band-aid because one of the rocks had cut him or something and he was bleeding a bit. I finally got to use my UCLA first aid kit I got over three years ago! I had anti-bacterial wipes and a perfect band-aid for his injury. I felt quite the adventure preparation specialist.

When we were done we went over to the different viewpoints to see the view from the top. Also incredible.


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Then we headed over to Pine to meet up with Rachel's parents at the arts and crafts fair. It is such a cute town. I basically just bought a lot of food like those almonds with cinnamon on them, orange teriyaki beef jerky and then honey from the honey stand. How could I resist??


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After Pine, I was on my own for the rest of the day. By the time I got to Winslow it was around 5pm and I was pretty tired (notice a theme?). The idea of going 45 minutes out of my way to see a meteor crater wasn't too exciting so I just saw the "Standin' on the Corner" statue, took some pictures with the rest of the tourists there and got really excited when the store on the other corner started playing the actual song (I had been trying to play it on my phone but NO SIGNAL — my life story for those 4 hours of solo driving).


Rainbows En Route

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The drive up to Winslow and the drive east toward Holbrook yielded some really beautiful scenery. My favorite part was the rain that briefly came, and the vivid double rainbows in the distance. I ended up exiting to follow the rainbow as far as I could go. Didn't make it to the pot of gold, but I felt close.


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The Jack Rabbit Trading Post is one of those Route 66 iconic markers that's worth checking out just to pay respect to the long history it's been there. There wasn't much aside from some typical Route 66 momentos and other random souvenirs inside, but it's not too far off the highway.


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The Geronimo Trading Store had a lot more tempting things to purchase. But the main attraction here is the world's largest petrified tree that sits just outside the store.


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Finally, I made it to Holbrook where my humble abode for the night was waiting. It was kind of a sleepy town. But that's how most of the Route 66 towns seem to be. Or maybe it was just me being tired.

There was a sign on the side of the building that said "Have you slept in a wigwam lately?" And I thought, very valid question. After that night, I was able to answer yes.

Route 66: Day Five

Route 66: Day Five

Route 66: Day Three

Route 66: Day Three