A Visit to Winslow, AZ

Winslow, AZ

We left the tight confines of the Flagstaff KOA on Friday and enjoyed a nice, easy drive of about 50 miles to Winslow, AZ where we quickly set up in a nice, open site at Homolovi State Park.

Site 12 at Homolovi State Park

As we finished eating a light lunch, a Jeep towing a four-wheeler stopped next to us followed by a truck pulling a large 5th wheel.  We were not surprised, as we knew Jim and Barb (Jim and Barb’s RV Adventure) were going to be in the same park that day.

Barb, Jim, Dakota, and Daisy

The dogs were quite excited to finally meet the treat lady.  The three are now friends for life!

Our purpose for stopping here is to visit the Homolovi Ruins, four archaeological pueblo ruins built by various prehistoric people between approximately 1260-1400. This fertile area is on a floodplain of the Little Colorado River, and the inhabitants grew cotton, corn, beans, and squash.

The sites are numbered and only two are accessible to visitors.  Our first visit was to Homolovi II Ruin.

This site has a number of excavated rooms that were part of a village with approximately 1200 rooms that was home to up to 1000 people.

Large Kiva – a chamber used for religious rites.

While the site has been picked clean of large objects by souvenir hunters over the years, it is covered with small shards, some with decorative paint visible.

That evening we joined Jim and Barb for dinner at a small Mexican restaurant in Winslow.  Of course, we had to make a stop at the intersection of 2nd Street and Kinsley Ave. to check out Standin’ On the Corner Park.

Everyone knows the words in the Eagles 1972 hit Take it Easy that refer to a guy standing on the corner in Winslow.  Most of the song was written by singer/songwriter Jackson Browne.  His friend and then-neighbor, Glenn Frey, had heard an early version and later asked Browne about it.  Browne then played the unfinished second verse that begins with “Well, I’m a-standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…”, and Frey finished the verse with “It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.”  Browne was very happy with the result and suggested that they co-write the song.  The resulting song became the first track on the Eagles’ debut album and was released as their first single.

Apparently the flat bed Ford incident took place in Flagstaff, at the Der Wienerschnitzel (now the Dog Haus) at the corner of East Rte. 66 and Switzer Canyon.   According to Browne, a girl cruised by in a Toyota pickup and looked at him and the image stuck with him.  Browne had told Frey about the girl in the truck, and Frey then used the incident to add the line about the girl to the song.

There are two statues located on the corner.  One statue stands near a lamp post, the male figure securing an acoustic guitar between his right hand and the shoe of his right foot.  Some say the figure resembles Jackson Browne, but there is no official acknowledgement of that.

Last September a life-sized statue of Glenn Frey, who died the previous January, was added to the Standin’ on the Corner Park to honor his songwriting contributions to “Take It Easy”.

Glenn Frey statue

The next afternoon we drove north of the park about 10 miles for a visit to the Little Painted Desert County Park.

The sign needs a little work!

This isn’t much of a park, more an overlook with a couple of picnic tables.  But the views on the short road running along the rim of the painted desert are quite impressive.

That afternoon Pam drove a short distance from the campground to check out Homolovi I Ruin and look at more pottery shards.

Nearby Little Colorado River

Although the structures are not as defined as the other site, pottery shards are plentiful.

A leg to a pot

Today (Sunday) we moved just 30 miles east to Holbrook, AZ where we’ll be staying for a few days to explore the nearby Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert.

More on that later . . .

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19 Responses to A Visit to Winslow, AZ

  1. geogypsy2u says:

    Pam is such a charmer with a growing fan base. 😉 Wow, Homolovi was a large community. Now on my to see list. The pottery patterns are superb. I still haven’t stood on that dang corner. One of these days.

  2. Jim and Barb says:

    So nice to spend another day with the two of you. Daisy and Dakota miss Pam already!

  3. Gay says:

    The Eagles are one of my all time favorite bands…
    So cool to find all the pieces of pottery and explore the ruins.

  4. Gerri Jones says:

    We haven’t stood on that corner either but after this post and the information about the Homolovi it’s a must do!! Great pics of the views as well.

  5. Jeff says:

    Your research adds so much! We all pretty much know the song but the history you present adds so much more meaning to the words ‘Standin on the Corner’. We too stood on the corner but did not have your insights, gotta stop again!

  6. allisonmohr says:

    Excellent post. We were planning on an overnight in Holbrook on the way north, but we may extend that stay. Thank you!

    • Allison, if you want to see the sights mentioned in this post, consider staying at Homolovi State Park. It is a very nice, quiet SP with water and 50 amp electric. The sites are all level. Holbrook is 30 miles east of Winslow.

  7. I’m surprised the Standin on the Corner park wasn’t busier. I would think it would be a popular tourist stop, at least for a mandatory ‘I was here’ photo. I’m definitely gonna stop by when we’re in town, that’s for sure!

  8. Sherry says:

    When I read your title the song immediately popped into my head and now it won’t go away. LOL. Love to visit ruins. How do they kerp people from taking “souvenirs”? Our first trip west we really enjoyed the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. Looking forward to seeing them through your eyes.

  9. I loved the Painted Desert, are you by any chance heading to Canyon de Cheily?

  10. As I was reading about yet another visit to ruins, I wondered if John had enough, then came the sentence “That afternoon Pam drove a short distance from the campground to check out Homolovi I Ruin and look at more pottery shards.” And there was the answer 😉

  11. pmbweaver says:

    Your site at Homolovi State Park looks great and very big.
    Guess we will have to go back and see the Glenn Frey. We really enjoyed the shop located on the corner.
    Awesome photos of Little Painted Desert. Didn’t even know it existed.
    Thanks for sharing the ruins. We have never heard of either of them. I love looking back at our country and in just awe of how they lived.

  12. Debbie L says:

    Another great post, musical history (was a huge fan of the Eagles back in the day), and another one to make us yearn to go to Arizona!

  13. Nancy says:

    Those ruins are amazing! Amazing that there is even some shards left. So sad that people do not leave well enough alone. Its history that should not be removed. Have fun in Holbrook! We love petrified wood!

  14. Jodee Gravel says:

    I really want to stay at Homolovi next time we’re there – the place feels really wonderful to me. Great pics of the shards. Cool info on the song – and a really perfect shot of the corner with the 66 intersection!! That Little Painted Desert is a nice teaser for the big section. I think we need doggie t-shirts that say “I Met the Treat Lady!”

  15. Laurel says:

    We love Homolovi SP and have stayed there several times in our cross-country travels. We can never resist hunting for pottery sherds and arranging them on rocks for others to enjoy (just like everyone else. :-)) Winslow is a fun stop—you did a great history on “Standin’ On The Corner.” Next time you’re in Winslow, check out La Posada—it’s one of the original Fred Harvey hotels, and it’s beautiful, with a fascinating history. http://ravenandchickadee.com/2014/07/slice-route-66/

  16. Suzanne says:

    Glad to see Jackson Browne getting some of the credit he deserves. 😉

  17. LuAnn says:

    We have visited Winslow many times but it’s been a few years. I agree with Laurel, La Posada is a must-see the next time in Winslow.

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