The Canyon Padre Trading Post was built in the 1940s on Route 66, but the name was changed to Twin Arrows after the construction of two, 25-foot wooden arrows on the property. Business picked up after the arrows began directing motorists to the gas station, diner and gift shop. Like so many other Route 66 businesses, Twin Arrows suffered after the construction of I-40, and it closed for good in 1995.
The trading post is located between Flagstaff and Winslow, Arizona, on land owned by the five-year-old Twin Arrows Navajo Casino and Resort. We actually stayed at the resort the night before we attended Kaylah and Jeff's wedding, which took place at the nearby ghost town, Two Guns. In 2009, the arrows—made in part from telephone poles—were restored through a collaborative effort by members of the Hopi tribe and Route 66 enthusiasts, but the rest of the buildings have been left to crumble.
I've seen fairly recent photos of Twin Arrows and it seems to be going downhill rather quickly. Some of the graffiti is thoughtful (or funny, like "Nothing Else Mattress") but other pieces are just unnecessarily destructive. I especially wish that the beautiful dimensional "Twin Arrows Trading Post" lettering hadn't been partially tagged over, and I would give anything to have visited this incredible little diner in its glory days.
Twin Arrows was our first of many abandoned (or still-operating) trading posts that we visited on this trip, but it's probably my favorite. It had been on my list but I somehow forgot about it until we were magnetically pulled off the road by the two huge arrows, like so many Route 66 travelers before us.