Gas $2.75/gallon (thank you, Oregon!)
Pacific Reef Inn, Gold Beach
$99/night + $20 pet fee
Oceanfront room with full ocean view and private patio
At $155/night (inc. taxes and pet fee), the La Posada Hotel was my big indulgence for the first leg of the trip, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was feeling sad about Route 66, American poverty, and general neglect as I drove into Winslow, and I was afraid it would be the same as Two Guns, Twin Arrows, and Meteor City — abandoned, neglected, sad. And much of Winslow is exactly that. BUT…
The most impressive place in town, and the best reason to visit Winslow, is The La Posada Hotel — billed as the Last Great Railroad Hotel, built in 1929 by the Santa Fe Railway, and a former Harvey House, located right on the railroad tracks. Architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter’s southwest masterpiece, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I didn’t realize when I checked in that La Posada means “Resting Place,” and that’s exactly what I did. This beautiful oasis was unexpected and very welcome, and I immediately booked a second night! And I’m so glad I did — it turned out to be the kind of place that feels instantly like home, or like visiting a good friend (with really good taste and a lot of money).
This hotel has to be a train-lovers mecca, but it’s also an art-lovers mecca. It’s the home gallery of funky, eccentric artist (and hotel owner) Tina Mion, whose work is displayed throughout the hotel — make sure you check out the second-floor gallery. I ran into her in the hall one day and enjoyed talking with her, and she gave me some great local photo recommendations — Homolovi State Park and Little Painted Desert, a county park just up the road from Homolovi.
The gardens of the hotel are gorgeous, and I’ve never been to a more pet-friendly hotel! Dogs are welcome in nearly every garden on the property, and there is a huge lawn at the back and on the side that are specifically for dogs, plus a fun hay-bale maze for human children.
You’d think that an active train station would be loud, but they roll by so slowly it just seems relaxing. There’s always a group of folks sitting out back watching the trains go by — and with an average of over 90/day, they never have to wait long. There are still 2 stops per day at La Posada — one from Los Angeles and one from Chicago. I’m thinking that my next trip to La Posada should be via Amtrak!