Rolling through Winslow, Ariz. the other day I opted to jump of the 40 and cruise down a portion of the 66 where one Arizona town capitalized from an Eagles song.
It’s not every time through this stretch of eastern Arizona that I’ll do this, and now having done it during two distinct seasons — winter and summer — it was clear to me why tourist attractions sometimes don’t hold the appeal for me.
I wasn’t the only one with the same idea.
As I pulled up to the curb and found a shady spot under a small tree — shade in Arizona is a treasured commodity in the summer — the motor home ahead of me was also taking its position on the curb where a red, flatbed Ford should be parked. I later learned that the Ford had recently been used in a local parade and whoever was responsible for it just hadn’t brought it back to the tourist attraction.
By the time I had grabbed my camera from the car, switched lenses and decided to walk up to the monument on the corner of N. Kinsley Ave. and Old Hwy. 66 there was easily a dozen people posing for pictures with the bronze guy and his guitar. Rather than stand in line or simply stand around, I did what any self-respecting tourist would do when faced with people in my picture: I went inside the adjacent store and purchased a T-shirt.
After waiting a while for the crowd to disappear I took a few photos of my own and headed back for my car, thinking about how one tiny Arizona town now bypassed by an Interstate would likely never see a single tourist had it not been for a song written decades ago by Glenn Frey and Jackson Browne.