Our last morning on the ranch was bitter sweet; as much as we wanted to stay, we also knew it was time to go home and see other beautiful parts of America. We gradually packed our bags before and after our last breakfast in the common room. We said our goodbyes to other guests and thanked Billy and Katrine from the bottom of our hearts for an incredible few days on the road. After finishing packing and going through stuff Kelly was going to send home for us, it was my turn to drive our mini van to our next stop.
In a way it felt weird how familiar the dirt roads and the route to Eager and Springerville were. We found our way down the mountain without GPS (didn’t work anyways) without any problems. In Springerville, we got some drinks and said our final goodbyes to Kelly. After an amazing week spending together, we were about to go in different directions to get to our individual destinations; Kelly was going home and Williams, AZ was going to be our final stop for the day.
We continued our way north – passing the corral where it all started – towards Holbrook, AZ. Petrified Forest National Park was on our way, so we made a small detour and rode through a magnificent landscape filled with petrified logs. I have to admit it isn’t one of the most spectacular of parks I’ve visited, but it was different. Different from the others. It’s hard to comprehend that nature capable of turning wood to stone within the right conditions for this process. Along the way we made a few stops: rainbow forest, Agate’s bridge, news paper rock, painted desert etc.
We grab a bite in the visitor’s center before continuing our journey to Williams, AZ. Yvonne took over the wheel and via the I-40 west, we started on second leg of today’s trail. Every now and then we took an exit of the I-40 to follow parts of the historic Route 66. The parts that are going through towns are so iconic and the atmosphere in these towns scream Route 66. There even was a inn that consisted of tepees.
Passing Flagstaff, we were in stretch from Williams. Williams is one of those places that surprises you. While booking, I didn’t really look up what Williams was about. We were just looking for a place to stay near Grand Canyon National Park. None of us actually thought about that Williams is also on Route 66. I reckon the lack of knowledge made our stay so special.
In Williams, you can basically find the following: heaps of restaurants and souvenir shops, hotels and motels, a grocery store, a train station and a gas station. Don’t forget busloads of tourists. I just fell in love with their souvenir shops. They had different stuff from the cities and it was refreshing. I probably shouldn’t mention the awesome western wear stores. We ate in a dinner. The food was okay, but not the best I’ve had.