It was quite sad to be leaving the Grand Canyon but our time runs short and we needed to get back on the Route. From Tusayan it was a very interesting drive to Williams, where the steam locomotive taking passengers up to the Grand Canyon is based. Also, the town has embraced the Route 66 theme with shopfronts and outside displays reflecting the period; memorabilia abounds.
Further on, at Seligman, there is the Roadkill Cafe selling food with novelty titles such as ‘Thumper on the Bumper’, ‘Doe on the Road’, ‘Collie Hit by a Trolley’ and ‘Snake Bake. Their motto is “You Kill It, We Cook It”. Whatever turns you on.
Last night we stayed at Kingman, Arizona, made famous by the fact that it was the last town on Route 66 to be bypassed by the new Interstate Highways. It was here that the Historical Route 66 Soc. was formed and it’s now a thriving organization spanning all states. It has several museums, one of which is the Route 66 Museum. It has a cinema telling the story of the formation of the Historical Society and has its HQ there.
From here we drove to Chloride, fascinated by the name. We learnt it was named after silver chloride, a byproduct of silver mining. It is a quirky little place lost in the 1930-60s and we were told that it is the oldest and longest inhabited mining town in the whole country. We had lunch at Digger Dave’s, a fascinating restaurant/pub with an amazing collection of antiques, before heading off to see the rest of the town, similarly themed. There is a fake ‘ghost’ town where ‘gunfights’ take place every Saturday afternoon, a jail, a cinema, station and other attractions such as gates made from rusting ‘stuff’ (you can’t call it junk!)
Out of Chloride, we motored to the Hoover Dam and as I stood looking down at the curved walls disappearing into the water beneath me my knees went weak. It happened at the Grand Canyon when I realized how close to the edge I was and here it happened again. I hope I’m not developing a fear of heights! The dam is an amazing piece of engineering and there’s no getting away from the fact it is an American achievement because the statues of the winged creatures at either side of the plaque, commemorating all the people involved in the project, remind me of the Oscars. It is sheer Hollywood.
Tonight we’re in Las Vegas, staying on Las Vegas Boulevard (The Strip). From our window we can see across the road to the “Sin City Hostel” and next door to us is the “The Little White Wedding Chapel”. Perhaps Elvis hasn’t left the building after all.This is the noisiest and tackiest location we’ve stayed in and I was up for a show like “100% Prime Beef” (American hunks) or “Thunder From Down Under” (Australian hunks) but Pat wants to see a play. Guess what the title is – “Menopause”. Hmmmm…