I thought Arizona would be flat, and mostly brown.
I was wrong.
We woke up early to begin the long drive to Tucson from Holbrook. I wasn’t really looking forward to it because I thought the landscape wouldn’t be very interesting.
Around an hour into the drive is when we learned that Arizona has mountains. Really tall mountains.
The mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway seemed like little hills in comparison.
We drove up and down these huge mountains. Through the snowstorm at the top, then back down to calmer weather and then back up again into the snow.
It definitely was not the boring drive I was afraid of.
Staying in normal chain hotels is pretty boring.
Although it can be a bit of a risk to stay in some random motel, it always makes for a more interesting story and a more fun experience.
It was summer 2018, and I was looking for a place to stay on a last minute weekend trip to Cocoa Beach Florida to visit the space center. As soon as I saw a picture of this pastel castle, the opportunity to stay here could not be passed up. It went along perfectly with what my brain had dreamed up retro Cocoa Beach would be. The reviews were mediocre, but we’re not picky. The price was pretty cheap, but not the cheapest on the list. Right where I like it. From the photos online, it looked like my dream motel.
This Motel is called Fawlty Towers, and I couldn’t find any more information on it before booking. But later on during our stay, I read that it had once temporarily became a nude motel in hopes of increasing business. I couldn’t find any info on if clothing was still optional, but everyone I saw there kept their clothes on. whew!
The motel formed a square, where every room had a back door that faced the courtyard with a pool. Palm trees covered the property and it was like a quiet little oasis.
At night, the courtyard pool felt a little like an alternate reality. I loved it.
The room was nice enough, with all the things you’d expect a motel to have. It was clean and the bed was comfortable.
This crazy motel makes the list of top favorite places I’ve ever stayed. I would definitely stay here again on another trip to Cocoa Beach.
Little beach towns always feel like a magical, altered reality type of place to me. A place far away from regular boring life, where time almost stands still. When thinking back, months later on that short little week spent spent at the beach, it almost feels like a dream. I think these Polaroids capture that feeling.
These Polaroids were taken with the Polaroid OneStep 2 and film.
The last day in the desert led us to the little town of Oatman, which is nestled high up in the mountains between Arizona and California. I didn’t realize the drive to get there would be so scenic.
We left the red rocky landscape behind us and headed towards these jagged rocky ridges. We had to stop every few minutes to get out and take in the views.
I could have spent a long time wandering around and discovering strange desert things. Like this interesting desert shrine. Or that forgotten car.
But our flight home was that evening so we had to hurry back to Las Vegas.
This part of Arizona made me want to visit California even more than ever. Maybe because we were so close, it was just beyond this mountain ridge! The landscape in this part of the country is so dramatic.
The town of Oatman is home to a bunch of friendly Burros. As we got close to the town, Burros started to appear along the hills. I couldn’t wait to get to the town to see even more!
The interstate in my backyard, if followed long enough, will eventually lead to the small town of Holbrook Arizona.
It’s a little town that the old route 66 used to run right through until it got bypassed in recent years by the construction of big interstate 40. Holbrook also inspired the little desert town in the movie Cars.
The people behind the scenes of the movie Cars apparently spent some time in this cafe, planning out the movie.
(For some reason we didn’t eat there?!!)
We rolled into the town of Holbrook on a chilly late February afternoon, after spending the day wandering through the Petrified Forest. Old neon signs lined the streets, and big dinosaur statues guarded the many little gift shops scattered around. I wanted to walk around and explore the shops, but it seemed everything was closed. There was nobody around, except for a random car passing by here and there. With the cold wind blowing through, Holbrook felt like a bit of a ghost town. Or at least on its way to becoming a ghost town.
I dreamed of what it might be like, in the hot summer weather, and what it had been like many many years ago.
I still find it amusing, when I listen to the cars on the interstate behind my house, that this little town lies way down the road. And then I dream of racing off, back to the desert. It’s just 2000 miles down the road!
Cape Lookout Island. Only accessible by Ferry, and with no paved roads. It was once a home to a small fishing community but is now owned by the National Park system.
A short walk away from the tourist area, down the lonely shoreline, and remnants of the island’s past begin to appear.
Barnacle laden debris from the houses burned down by owners who refused to let them become acquired by the government.
And maybe parts from an old car that became engulfed in a sandstorm, only to appear again some time later.
Conch shells, still inhabited by their original owner can easily be found in the shallow waters.
This beach is different than others. A beach forgotten.