|Today our excitement increased as we began Leg Four of our amazing journey. We left the area of the great National Parks (excluding the Grand Canyon which we will visit in two days) and traveled south to join up with Route 66 in Needles, California. Our plan is to travel in all eight states of Route 66.
We renewed our energy and relationship with two nights camping in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. We could see Lake Mead from our campsite and palm trees were plentiful as well as Cottonwoods and the bright blue, cloudless sky added to the feast for these Northeastern eyes and sensibilities. There were no lights in the campground so the night sky was filled with the light of a crescent moon and stars we can't see in NJ. Hank was delighted to see the Milky Way again. The first night (Saturday) was crowded and some families were loud late into the evening. The second night we virtually had the entire campground to ourselves. After a campfire we spent a night of pleasant sleep during a mild night.
Sunday was a blessed day. We worshiped with a Community Church congregation who were very friendly. The church is located in Boulder City which was established during the construction of Hoover Dam for the workers doing the construction. The church building was built using the same materials used in the dam and is on the list of historic buildings in the US. After Worship we had refreshments and met some friendly folk who invited us to go to lunch with them. (A new Best Western had opened in town and they were going to try the restaurant.) It was a good time of sharing stories of life in Boulder City NV and the life journeys of each person. Such gentle and generous folk. We felt comfortable in their presence. In the afternoon we drove down the canyon of the Colorado River then walked the bridge that spans the canyon above Hoover Dam, about a mile round trip. We were 1000 feet above the dam. Got some good photos.
So we rose refreshed this morning and drove 80 miles south to Needles. And there it was - Route 66. We traveled this historic road four years ago in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. It felt familiar as we avoided the Interstate and traveled the two-lane road through the mountains. Unlike the other roads we've traveled this trip, and 66 last trip, this road is not straight. Traveling around and through mountains means twists and turns, tight turns. How did people do it in Model T Fords?? We stopped in a very small town, Oatman, where burros freely wander the main street. Now don't think main street, my home town. Oatman is one street consisting mainly of tourists shops and food joints. Twice a day there is a shootout in the middle of the street between two gunmen and the crowd watches anxiously for the outcome. Is it because you can't get through town until the gunfight is over? Or is the crowd imagining an event from the past? Hmmm. We are now in the Ramblin' Rose Motel in Kingman, Arizona, a proud remnant (relic) from the Route 66 era. It is good to be here.
Some of you are familiar with the movie CARS. It is set in Peach Springs Arizona on Route 66. We will travel that stretch of 66 tomorrow. It is the longest continuous stretch of 66 in the country. We look forward to the journey. We had no access to electricity in the campground mentioned at the top of this blog and our cameras lost power halfway through today's journey. They're all charging tonight and will be at the ready for all we discover tomorrow. Can't hardly wait!