We’ve watched with resignation the gradual decay of the Twin Arrows east of Flagstaff, Arizona. The two big shafts — telephone poles, actually — were left to rot when the trading post that owned them closed in 1998. It wouldn’t be long, we thought, before they collapsed in a puff of desert dust, and then were moved to our Gone But Not Forgotten section.
But not so fast! The arrows are reborn, looking as colorful and strange as the day that they were first shoved into the ground.
The arrows were restored in a two-week cooperative blitz between the Hopi tribe and Route 66 buffs. Each group had its own motives. To the Hopi, according to an article in the Arizona Daily Sun, the arrows “symbolize warrior pride.” To the 66ers, they embody “an entrepreneurial spirit.” Let’s just say that the arrows are a Spirit Guide for Route 66 travelers, and a big “Pay attention!” from Arizona’s Indians.
According to the Sun, the Hopi plan to restore the trading post as well as the arrows, in anticipation of a big Navajo casino planned for the opposite side of I-40. We hope that the tribes put some of their future wealth to further totem rehab — like restoring Two Guns/Canyon Diablo a dozen miles east of Twin Arrows.
Exit 219 off of eastbound I-40. A concrete barrier blocks access directly in front of the ruins, but drive a little further east and the barrier ends. Then you can pull off and park, and walk back on the safe inner side.
Nice to see this happen, I was there on a Grand Canyon motorcycle trip in May of 2009 and it looked really bad at that time.
I remember at the age of 10 when our entire family of 8 plus my mom (pregnant) piled into dad’s 1958 Ford Country Squire station wagon, we were moving from Chicago to Long Beach Ca. during the summer of 1965.
We also stopped at 2 Guns, the Great Meteor Crator and the Grand Canyon on our way out to California, it took us 10 days but what great memories we had of a wonderful historic highway.
We were on Rt 66 yesterday and had planned on stopping to see the Arrows even in the run down state they were in during our trip last year and really surprised to find them restored!! What a great thing to do and would be wonderful if the tribes could restore the buildings as well as a kind of Rt 66 stop over!!
Way to go Hopi people! It is so good to see the beginning of the restoration! Let’s pray it reaches fruition and you will once again have a place for the people and a possible site for year-round sales of your crafts by the wonderful artisans you have! Too many are never seen. Thank you all for the efforts!
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