Published: July 1st 2012June 30th 2012
9:30, and it's already 96 degrees!!!
We started out a little earlier today (6:40) and so did the heat. It was over 90 degrees by the time we left the Needles KOA at 9:15.
Tony repaired the bike rack again.. this time with 2 types of tape (one of them duct), locktite and a rope that the host was kind enough to give to us. It held up pretty well.. only a little vertical movement after a reasonably rough day of driving.
On our way out of Needles, we stopped by the PGE plant near the I-40 bridge over the Colorado river. My uncle Paul is doing some work there to clean up the soil. We saw the old Route 66 bridge transformed as a pipe transport with all sorts of things hanging off of it. We also found a BIG ASS SIGN, and took pictures.
Today we headed for Flagstaff by way of the longest contiguous strech of Route 66. The road was pretty much the same as it was in the 50s and 60s and there were many little towns to pass through. The most unique was Oatman, a small mining town that has sucessfully turned itself from gold mining to tourist
Glad to have Anne "the pillar" Wilson along!
mining. We just missed the annual Egg Frying contest held every year on the Fourth of July. The goal of the contest is to use solar power to fry an egg in under 15 minutes. We did get to see a mock gun fight to support the Shriners as well as feed some of the 10 or so wild burros roaming the streets waiting to get fed. Many of the merchants sold bags of "burro food" - compressed hay cubes - that would help you make a friend for life, or as long as the food held out. There were many pregnant burros and one baby burro. The town did not want you to feed the baby and he had a sticker on his forehead that said "STOP - do not feed me anything". We ate lunch at a saloon-turned-restaurant in Oatman.
Leaving Oatman we climbed through some of the most picturesque parts of Route 66 we have seen so far. The cliffs and black rock formations were very dramatic. We stopped at the Grand Canyon Caverns in the afternoon to repeat a great tour we took back in 1997. The caves are about 40 miles from the canyon
no chance to get out and take a picture on I-40... a drive-by will have to do.
and are privately owned. The air for the caverns filers through the limestone all the way from the Grand Canyon. The caverns have had a very colorful history including being a prospective gold mine, an evacuation point for nuclear attacks, and a money making scheme. Now the caverns include a "bedroom" that can be rented for the night. Michelle and Tony really wanted to do the Adventure Tour - 3 hours of crawling through cracks and crevices not part of the regular tour. Maybe another trip.
After the caverns we headed along the last of the contigous part of Route 66 and into the final strech to Flagstaff. Along Route 66 we saw many iconic BurmaShave signs. Our favorite was: "If you don't to who these signs belong, you haven't been driving very long. Burma Shave"
We arrived at the KOA a little earlier than last night and set up for a two night stay.
Tony's Trailering Tips - It's a good day when nothing goes wrong with the Trailer.
Michelle's Musings - Be sure to drink lots of water - but not TOO much water.
Anne's Annecdotes - Watching the environment change from low desert through
We finally found Route 66, at least what we were expecting it to be... pretty nice drive!
river, high desert plains and into mountains was fascinating.
There are more photos below