The steadfast members of Cemetery Crawl 10 were up early Sunday morning and headed off to breakfast with their teams. Some of them ate in town while others opted to dine at the restaurant adjacent to the Lodge. After gulping down that last cup of coffee, it was time to gas up the vehicles, load the bags, and meet in the parking lot before heading out for another full day of locating cemeteries on the Arizona roadways. The official second day group photo was snapped—and all of the teams looked determined to win!
After a quick briefing, Debe handed the clue envelopes of the day over to John and Sally and they disappeared down the road to the next cemetery. Teams were instructed to drive a few blocks over to the Canyon De Chelly Visitor Center to get a park map. Canyon De Chelly was another FREE National Park offered that weekend. Crawlers were asked to take a picture of one of their team members with another visitor at the center.
From the Canyon De Chelly visitor center, the teams were treated to a wonderland and beauty of Navajo country. They traveled the South Rim of Canyon De Chelly and parked at the White House Overlook. Members were photographed pointing to the white ruins nestled between the canyon walls. They then continued down the South Rim road to visit the breathtaking Spider Rock Overlook. Navajo children are told that if they do not behave, Spider Woman will carry them away to be eaten The top of Spider Rock is supposed to be white because of the bones of the naughty children.
The teams then traveled a mile west of Chinle to the small Chinle Cemetery where they were asked to place a bundle of lovely flowers on the grave marker of grandmother Bessie Martin.
Back on the highway, the teams began their journey south. Much to their delight, Hubbel Trading Post (another FREE National Historic Landmark for the weekend) was their next stop. In the distance, teams could see the Hubbell family cemetery on a cone-shaped hill. Teams were asked to make their way through the trading post grounds and snap a photo of the ‘Guest Hogan”.
Traveling further south, the teams reconnected with Interstate 40 and began to venture west. They were instructed to leave the road at the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest exit and make a drive though yet one more FREE National Park! In the park the teams were instructed to stop and take photos at the Painted Desert Inn, Kachina Point with great views of the Painted Desert, Newspaper Rock, the Agate Bridge, and the enchanting Crystal Forest.
After leaving the Petrified Forest (it is bad luck to take any piece of wood from the grounds) the teams entered the town of Holbrook. They took a detour along Route 66 and stopped to photograph the teepees at the famous Wigwam Lodge. (The teams from Cemetery Crawl 6 spent the night here in 2011.)
Additional detours led them to the historic (and most haunted) Navajo County Courthouse where team members were photographed in front of the building. Farther north on Navajo Boulevard, they made a stop at the Holbrook City Cemetery where they placed another bouquet of lovely flowers at the tall obelisk grave stone of Harry Zuck.
Teams reentered busy Interstate 40 heading west for a few miles and exited at the Mormon settlement of Joseph City. Following the frontage road, the teams arrived at the Joseph City Cemetery were the Crawl Attendants awaited them. The teams spent the early afternoon in this quaint little cemetery seeking the tombstone poem clue written in their instructions. Leaving in first place was Ghostie Geckos, with The Walkers close on their heels in second. Third place was the Guided Ghostly Trio.
The teams drove through Joseph City towards the ruins of an old trading post called Ella’s Trading Post where they photographed a member of their group.
Now all teams were headed to the Desert View Cemetery located in Winslow, Arizona. This cemetery is filled with both early pioneers and new burials. Once they solved their last poetic clue of the day they were handed the dreaded EGG containing a jigsaw puzzle with the directions to their next destination! The puzzle had to be completed before their last envelope of the day could be opened! After a few minutes of Scotch Tape and busy fingers they were off! Ghostie Geckos left in the lead at first place, The Walkers were a tight second place. The Guided Ghostly Trio retained the third place seat.
The last envelope of the day took the teams though some of the top tourist destinations of Winslow. The first stop was to photograph the Native American sculpture created by Peter Wolf Toth. Driving along the famed Route 66 the teams took turns ‘Standing on the Corner’ in a keepsake team photograph. Farther down the road the teams walked through the historic (and most haunted) La Posada Hotel and out to the patio area to photograph their team members with a moving train in the background. The last stop in Winslow was tranquil 911 Memorial Garden constructed from two of the largest pieces given to any community in the nation.
Teams weaved down the mountains until they reached the popular resort town of Payson, Arizona. Here they traveled to the rustic Payson Cemetery where they laid one last bouquet of colorful flowers—this time on the grave marker of early Payson pioneer John Meadows. Teams were also asked to snap a photo at the Pony Express statue near the town clock on Main Street.
Now, it was a race to the finish line to the Red Robin Restaurant near the 101 Freeway and Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale, Arizona. Can you guess which teams were the big winners? A great time was had by all at the “After the Crawl” dinner and awards party. Goody bags were presented to the winning teams while they enjoyed their victory meals and snacks.
So, until next year, drive safe and be sure to stop at each and every cemetery you see! Watch for Cemetery Crawl 11 in April 2016 IF the teams can twist Debe’s arm.
FIRST PLACE: The Walkers (3rd year in a row!)
SECOND PLACE: The Ghostie Geckos
THIRD PLACE: Guided Ghostly Trio
MOST FUNNY MONEY: The Walkers (it pays to visit every detour!)
FOURTH PLACE: Born to Wander
FIFTH PLACE: Historians Ala Mode
SIXTH PLACE: Twisted Minds
SEVENTH PLACE: Celtic Chicks
WINNER OF THE BEAR POSE PLAYOFF: Marshall Shore
Congrats to all the teams who completed this adventure!!
Debe’s note: A full musical slideshow will be coming soon!
Debe Branning email@example.com
The MVD Ghostchasers would love to have a production team film Cemetery Crawl 11 in April 2016 for a fun Halloween reality special. The Amazing Cemetery Crawl, an annual event hosted by the MVD Ghostchasers, takes ghost hunters and cemetery lovers on a road trip through Arizona following rhyming clues, stopping at cemeteries, historic detours, and many tasks and duties to earn their way to winning prizes. Along the way, contestants learn about haunted sites, back road cemeteries, famous gravesites, and enjoy an evening in a haunted location. This exhausting 36 hour road rally is unlike anything else in Arizona. The locations are amazing, the road trip hilarious and filled with ‘drama’, and the participants become seriously competitive. This is a great opportunity to capture something rarely seen–ghost hunters having playful fun in the backdrop of the picturesque Arizona desert, its quaint ghost towns and historic cemeteries.
Contact: Debe Branning at firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Amazing Cemetery Crawl” copyright 2005 MVD Ghostchasers