Lori and Little Painted Desert sunset.

Because we love food we’re sharing some favorites including a few things available at Lori’s world famous Mercantile.


Corn tortillas: We don’t sell them but here’s how to make your own:

You take dry corn, soak it in lime and water overnight. Rub the kernels together to remove the loose hulls and rinse well. Grind the corn until it’s fine and reintroduce small amounts of water until the dough is soft but not sticking to your hands or the bowl. Next, mash it flat and put it on a hot (350º) surface. Turn it in about a minute, cook it another two, and flip it again. Let it puff up and if it doesn’t don’t worry, just let it cook for another two minutes. Finally give it to the person closest to you and do it again…or buy a bag of masa and follow the instructions on a bag.


Fresh red and green cayenne peppers in dish with whole sage leafs.

Any chilé, they’re all good really. These are my recent obsession. They are fresh Cayenne peppers grown at Coffee Pot Farms in Dilkon AZ. We met Cherilyn and Mike vending at the Winslow Farmers Market and we’re buying for our own consumption and now offering Coffee Pot Farms fresh produce at the Mercantile!

These dried New Mexico chilé pods will be ground for enchilada sauce.


Rinsed dry beans in an old aluminum colander

Anasazi® cave beans are my personal favorites since discovering them at a date stand seven or so years ago. Pictured here is Moki Mix. Moki Mix is a blend of Anasazi®, Bolita, Lima, Kidney, Northern, Pinto, plus green and yellow peas. We buy them direct from the mill to eat and sell in the Pantry.


Joshua Tree Coffee is our favorite (it’s way better than what I roast). Their five varieties are all organic including the full flavored Mountain Water process decaf.

Lori’s favorite is Espresso Roast prepared in a Moka pot while I drift between roasts and pots. This week’s binge is Mellow Ethiopian in a Presto electric percolator.

Good Times

Hiking with family
A date with the Jeep
Partied with the King
Flying with Harold
Driving around in David’s Cougar
Taking pictures of Lori playing guitar
Cruising Clear Creak
Lori and Little Painted Desert sunset.
Little Painted Desert sunset

There it is, not quite as much mileage as 2017-18 but the search for good times starts every day.

Not Winter, but Kinda Like It.

It’s 25° outside, Ted and Jennifer are out at Clear Creek in their camper and we’ll join them in ours today…not sure why camping seems fun but I’m determined to find out. Tune in later for updates.


1966 Airstream Caravelle and a rainbow.


Here’s Ted on his Eldorado and Lori with Bondorella on a corner in Winslow Arizona. Please note their advanced social distancing Skills.

The Bonneville T120 is dialed in and looking good at David’s old Texaco station. No travelers here!


Tortillas, chilé, frijoles, and Arizona Grass Raised Beef.

A taco

Early Covid pork stash.

This may be the best berry pie I’ve eaten.


Trail riding with Ted, the Fat Boy, and his Moto Guzzi Eldorado

The T140 starts first kick every time…almost

BMW R100s pretending to travel.

The new/old BSA’s first sunset in Winslow. I love this motorcycle.


Dodge Ram B250 “Dajibagn” loves hanging around our alley behind the park waiting for a milk run.

The Motor Palace Mercantile’s provides quality goods for delivery and curbside pick up. That said we welcome small groups of shoppers by appointment in compliance with local guidelines (masks etc.). Travelers are welcome.

Exclusive Made in USA t-shirts. Motor Palace Mercantile Q1 2020.

The real stories are at THE MOTOR PALACE MERCANTILE. Add it to your favorites now!


The launch to this Beautiful spot is six miles from our front door. Check it out, McHood Park Clear Creek Revisor Winslow.

Winslow’s blues legend Tommy stops in once in awhile.

David cruising our alley in his ‘38.

Our first BSA joined the family on our 22nd wedding anniversary. It’s s a 1967 A65 lightening in mostly original condition and the easiest kick-starting twin we’ve owned.

We traveled the eight hundred foot stretch of Route 66 to the La Posada. AKA Winslow’s finest attraction and one our favorite places to stay and eat. By the way, the La Posada is why we discovered Winslow.

THE END…almost

Here’s a link to the really cool stuff! Winslow.Town and One more Guzzi shot because we love Guzzis!.

What a difference a pandemic makes,.. 2018?

See you soon!




Motor Palace and Motorcycles go together like Bondorella and stains on a garage floor. The problem was most of the motorcycles were in California until the last couple weeks. We still have a few loads to go but it sure feels good to fire one up and go for a little ride. It’ll be even better when I find my warm gloves. It’s cold here!

‘69 Jawa Speedway and ‘74 Yamaha MX 250 in pickup bed
Lazy motorcycles
‘69 Jawa Speedway on shop lift.
Settling in with a carb swap.
‘74 Yamaha MX250 standing on a corner with Glenn Frey statue.
The MX bonding with Glenn’s statue.


Kit at Christmas parade
There’s Kit, she’s not a motorcycle, but she likes them.
Benny and Kit in Christmas parade
There’s Kit and Bennie!
Santa on fire truck Winslow Christmas Parade
Santa was in town and took a tour on the fire truck.


Roy’s in Amboy threw a relighting party and camp out in celebration of their sign’s restoration. About thirty planes (mostly taildraggers) attended and put on quite a show in the morning.

Neon sign at Roy’s Cafe in Amboy California
Piper Pacer on Route 66 in Amboy
Hot-Rod Piper Cub flying over Roy’s Cafe


Old brick building in fresh snow.  Winslow AZ
We put a new facade of old bricks and bridge timbers from 1928 on the Carriage House. Doors coming soon!
Airstream in fresh snow next to Winslow Motor Palace
I love this thing.


Motorcycles in Winslow AZ parking lot.
It was 17° when we unloaded these motorcycles and they were pissed.
Motorcycles at the Motor Palace
The City of Winslow’s Motorcycle Parking is handy.
Harley-Davidson FatBoy at Motor Palace Mercantile
Still cold at Motor Palace Mercantile.
Train from BMW R50 on Route 66
It was cold here too
‘55 BMW R50 Motor Palace Mercantile
and here
Motorcycles in Winslow Motor Palace. Can-Am, Yamaha Honda
These things are worse than cats.
This one’s pretty cool, definitely not worse than a cat.


Zundap powered Rickman Matisse
The little Matisse is waiting for you to come visit.


Girl in western hat leaning on red wall in Winslow Arizona

Pre-dawn Winslow is a wonderful time of day.

Morning air in Winslow is calm and clean, the trains are rumbling, coffee is hot, and people are visiting with “Easy”, Glenn, and the girl in the flatbed Ford.

66 Motor Palace Winslow Arizona chandeliers in a dark room.
This is what the room is like while the coffee’s brewing.
Coffee poured from class percolator
Motor Palace Winslow Arizona 1948 Ford pickup outside glass garage door with blue early morning sky
Sunrise with Bondorella
Man standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona drinking coffee looking at Flat Bed Ford
Early-bird with his morning coffee looking for the girl.
Airstream coffee mug on wood table in Winslow 66 Motor Palace
Thank’s Corinne and Dani for the cool Airstream mug. I relive my month of urban camping in Old Town Orange with this.

Morning Blues with Tommy

Tommy Dukes sets up at the Arizona Trading Company around eight AM most days and jump starts the the corner with a few sets. Tourists’ love for him frequently results in spontaneous dance.

66 Motor Palace Winslow Arizona Tommy Dukes Bluesman with happy Standing on the Corner tourists.
Tourists trickling in.
Tommy Dukes playing guitar in Winslow Arizona
Tommy’s morning session
People on a corner in Winslow Arizona
Tommy and a happy dancer
Lori, Barry, and Valentina messing with Tommy's stuff.
Lori, Barry, and Valentina messing with Tommy’s stuff.
Tommy with our Singing Mayor Tom McCauley.

Living in Winslow

It’s been a few months in Winslow and I’m not sure life could be much better. We mess with stuff, hang out with friends, sit around, drink coffee, watch Lori’s feral cat “Babbitt”, and as always, we eat. The only things missing are our motorcycles, and a proper kitchen, that said, our motorcycles are in a top secret Southern California vault and our kitchen will have to wait.

Babbitt the feral cat, he’s cute and he likes Lori, eggs, cream, and ground beef.
Black Mercedes Benze 560SEL, Buick TourX, and Dodge B250 against old brick wall
Stuff parked and dirty next to the Motor Palace.
Two Ford F1 trucks parked next to brick wall of 66 Motor Palace Winslow Arizona.
Bondorella’s friend Jr. from New Orleans.
Lori on tall ladder staining rafters.
Standin’ on a ladder in Winslow AZ.
  • White Dodge Van at Richfield station where hotel scene form Easy Rider movie was shot. Bellemont Az
  • White Dodge Van "Dajibagn" on old Route66 60 miles wast os Winslow


Lori spends more time with her mom.
Old three cylinder Speedaire compressor.
Is this the worlds coolest air compressor or what?
Grey Corvette in front of the Motor Palace Mercantile in early morning Winslow Arizona
This Corvette is just what the Mercantile needs. More about the Mercantile later.
Lori in deep thought at Jack’s Canyon.
Free Range Ranchers with guide, DAVID HARTMAN.
Lori returns from a story for Winslow.Town.

That’s all for now, be sure to visit us often.

Winter Work, Winslow’s Cinema Festival, and Babbitt the Feral Kitten

Winter Work, Winslow’s Cinema Festival, and Babbitt the Feral Kitten

December and January were busy months in Winslow, between Christmas parties and City Manager Steve Pauken’s retirement and great progress on our preservation project and grant writing and feeding feral kittens… but first, let’s talk about our part in Winslow’s Cinema Festival.

The Vision

Shortly after buying the Kinsley Ave building, Brian and I began brainstorming the vision: a combination of elegance and raw bones, chandeliers and open rafters, velvet and exposed brick. And of course, lots of motorcycles.

Brian dubbed the project THE MOTOR PALACE.

Nine years later, the Motor Palace vision is, at last, coming to life.

Winslow's Cinema Festival Gala location at the motor Palace

Around Thanksgiving, Birdie Cano–City of Winslow’s Community Service Coordinator–asked if we’d be amenable to hosting the opening night gala for the 1st Annual Winslow Cinema Festival in January.

Winslow's Cinema Festival Poster

Sure, w3 said, although we explained the building was still very much a project, we had no power in the front portion, no heat, and a boarded up hole in the wall. Still, we decided to put the plan into action. In order to host the event, though, we had to get a few things signed off first.

The deadline worked to our advantage.

Progress at the 66 Motor Palace

After a few calls, the work began. The entire time we’ve owned the building, there’s been a boarded-up section that looked as if someone had taken a sledgehammer to make an opening. Somehow Curtis Hardy and his crew, Monty and Ace, took this jagged hole and transformed it into a lovely window.

Thanks to our friend David Hartman, we connected with Gene Hancock, freshly returned to Winslow from a mission, and he got going on our electric, including putting in the first five chandeliers.

Chandelier at the 66 Motor Palace

They look spectacular.

The day before the event, we got the one-time use permit.

Of course, the event coincided with the coldest weather Winslow has seen in ages.

The night before the event, it was 1 below, and we don’t have heat in the main body of the building. We tried pre-warming the event area with a diesel construction heater and then using a couple of space heaters, but they made little impact on the cold.Snow at the motor Palace

Winslow’s Cinema Festival

Still, the event was a success. Great turnout, fun films, lots of good energy. Larrilyn Oso and Roberta Cano did a wonderful job putting this together and we were happy the Motor Palace got to be a part of it.

Winter Bliss

Despite being cold, the snow was absolutely beautiful. I loved looking out the window to the downtown blanketed in a sea of white.

There was something magical about the early morning hours before any tracks were made in the snow.

The Feral Cat Family

One morning, while looking out the front window at the snow, I spied a little cat family trekking across the street, a mom and two kittens.

Feral Cat

The smallest one, a little black kitten, was up to his neck in the snow, but that didn’t stop him from trudging on and somehow climbing to the top of the building, looking for a sunny spot to get warm.

I instantly fell in love with this little guy, likely because he reminded me of my favorite cat, Alvarado. I’ve named him Babbitt, after the building where he lived before it was torn down.

I gave the family some chicken scraps and broth, and–funny enough–they started warming up to me. On the day before I had to leave Winslow for a job in La Jolla, they’d moved into the Motor Palace backyard and instead of hissing at me, mom started to look at me with love as she lapped up the broth. Leaving them was hard. On the night I walked by the yard on my way to the La Posada to catch the train, I spotted the family cuddled up on the back porch waiting for me. Heart-breaking! I miss my little cat family, and especially Babbitt. Hopefully, they will all be around when I get back into town.

And finally…

Steve Pauken’s retirement. Many thanks for your years of service and for all you did for the city of Winslow. Brian and I are grateful to know you and hope for many more years of friendship to come. We have no doubt you will make the most of your retirement!

See you soon!

With work wrapping up in SoCal, we’ll be home soon–hopefully in the Dajibagn Brian talked about in his last post! Yes, Winslow is the place that most feels like home now.

Thanks to everyone who made this our best Christmas ever!

Brian and Lori at the 66 Motor Palace

Until next time…

Later Gators!




2018–AKA #vagabondlife #swellegantvagabonds–went something like this: Twenty nights in Winslow, 117 in Yucca Valley, and 228 split between hotels, motels, and AirBnB. Hotel Pepper Tree was our most frequent stay and we stayed in several AirBnB locations more than once. The only states we stayed in were California, Arizona, Tennesee, and Nevada.

Since retiring October 26th, 2018 Lori spends more time in Yucca Valley and Winslow. Vagabonding is down to three nights a week with a range closer to work and home by half an hour.

The icing on the year was finally spending Christmas in Winslow, even more fun than we ever imagined.

Last sunrise 2018, Joshua tree, sun flares.
2018’s last sunrise


2018 was a great year in Winslow, we made new friends and spent more time with old friends. It’s strange to have old friends now in a town we haven’t lived in. But we’ve been messing with this building for about nine years now. The great news is we’ve accomplished more the last few months than the last three years. We’re (hopefully) a couple weeks from Certificate of Occupancy. Thank you, Joe, Curtis, Blake, Gene, David, Marshal, Paul, Steve, Elias, Loren, Courtney, David, and Harold for your hard work, encouragement, and guidance.


A 1991 Dodge B250 DajiBagn found us and we adopted it. Because of its low miles (34,000) we’re repairing, replacing or servicing everything that would normally wear with age. We’ll use it to haul things to Winslow in comfort and style.


First, stock size Michelin Defenders and Monroe heavy duty shocks followed by power window repair including guides and seals. Next was to repair AC vacuum lines, fan switch, rod radiator, replace thermostat, belts, and hoses. Then service the transmission and replace all fluids. A new high flow cat. and muffler from Magnaflow with new 3″ pipe and an oxygen sensor to keep the air clean. Lastly, we replaced ALL rubber chassis parts, u-joints, wheel bearings, steering box, and brake rotors and rear brake shoes.

This van feels and drives like new since all wearable chassis components are new and many were upgraded from stock. The interior is still near perfect as a result of low use and seat covers.

UPDATE: Maiden voyage to Winslow via Tucson coming up. We’re picking up an old stained glass door and clearing our storage.

That’s all for now, Lori’s working on a post with photos from the Cinema Festival gala, Winslow snow, Palace progress, and the cute feral kitten she’s taming.

Early Vagabond Stuff-

Crazy Dodge Van Stuff, our DajiBagn would be more DajiBan support-

Latest Letters to Charlie-


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