Route 66 aficionados immediately grin from ear to ear if you mention Twin Arrows. The quirky gas station and trading post with its two massive arrows made of steel pipes and sheet metal is a mainstay of old Route 66 lore. Today the ruined remains sit across the Interstate from the new Twin Arrows Resort and Casino but still draw many to stop by, look around, take the obligatory photos, checking off yet another piece of bygone Americana. Few, if any, take note of the wide dirt road going south towards the long line of a mesa top far away. FR 126 flies straight as an arrow for a few miles, with nothing but sparse grass and a few scrub trees on either side. A sign informs you the Flying M Ranch is 18 miles ahead. To the uninformed, the road seems boring. But others know the possibilities ahead. The dark line of Anderson Mesa dominates the horizon. It isn't dramatic. The mesa is only 400 feet above the surrounding terrain on its northern side. But that slight elevation gain is critical, leading to a completely different ecosystem. Slowly the junipers begin to thicken and get larger. Hopi and Navajo come here to harvest wood for the winter, their trucks laden beyond capacity for the drive back north. Hidden along spur roads are campsites favored by hunters. A few narrow bridges span almost never wet drainages. Cattle guards shake the pebbles out of your tires. At the intersection with Kinnikinnick Road, the adventurer turns south for the short climb onto the mesa. The cowhands of the Flying M stay left towards ranch headquarters and the official end of FR 126. Out of courtesy, take the adventurer's route and leave the ranch in peace.
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