Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Glimpse of Winter

Winslow, AZ: average monthly snowfall for February: 1.8 inches.

With that information in mind, we thought we would be limited to a few days of flurries over the course of the month.

I believe we topped the monthly average snowfall overnight in our first might at the Winslow RV Park.

By early afternoon, the snow was gone, but before vanishing, it provided a winter scene for the desert prairie with the help of the San Francisco peaks to the northwest.

We began our visit to Winslow with a stop at the Visitors' Center--only to find that the Center had moved. The new home of the Center was the former Lorenzo Hubbell Trading Post. Interestingly enough, we had passed this building as we drove into town and noted that it warranted further investigation because of its character.

John Lorenzo Hubbell built the Trading Post in 1883. He provided his Navajo customers with merchandise and food, while promoting Navajo arts and crafts to the remainder of the country. In many ways, Hubbell served as a bridge between the Navajo and Anglo cultures, increasing understanding between the two.

This sign used to hang outside the building. We learned that the "World's Largest Navajo Rug" is owned by a woman in Scottsdale, that it is in good condition, and that it is priceless.

We learned that the city hoped to obtain the rug and display it in a prominent place in this space--the site of the museum that will portray the history of trading--the materials and the people--in the town's early days. (However, the cost to insure the rug may prevent this dream from becoming a reality.)

Two original pieces of equipment from the early days of the Trading Post were the scale and the elevator. Shipments of wool, for example, were weighed, put on the elevator, and then sent down to the floor below where merchandise--raw materials (e.g., wool), finished products (e.g., Navajo rugs), food, and livestock--was sold.

Over the years, some of the traders made it a point to note their presence at the Lorenzo Hubbell Trading Post. The "Graffiti Wall" has initials, dates (e.g., 3/14/20 and 3/14/32), and symbols of traders.

We left with a list of places to see in Winslow.

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