Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 11: 370 Miles
Total: 3,211 Miles

Well, we made it out to Needles, CA on the edge of the Colorado River and the Mohave Desert. It was a fun travel day because we had an opportunity to see several of our favorite sites. We passed by Two Guns and Twin Arrows, then stopped for lunch at the Snow Cap restaurant in Seligman. Our next stop was the Hackberry General Store in Hackberry.

The Oatman Pass is a beautiful and treacherous mountain pass that runs from west of Kingman, AZ to Oatman, AZ. As you make the 20mph drive interspersed with the 15mph switchbacks you have to marvel at the brave souls who traversed the route in the 1920s. Sharon braved the drive in our rental car so I could watch the great scenery. Not a smart thing to do when you are the driver, so this was a first for me through this area.

Once through the pass, California and the city of Needles are a brief distance away. We got to our motel early, and were sad to find that it wasn't in nearly the same condition as it was when I stayed here five years ago. That was probably the last time it was cleaned, and it is the first disappointment we've had in motels on this trip. It was still passable, but we didn't feel like sitting around the room all night and there really isn't anything to do in Needles, so we took a 45-minute drive to Laughlin, NV to a couple of casinos. We had dinner and Sharon donated money to the slot machines. I watched. Then we came back to the motel.

We will make it to Santa Monica today; the end of my fourth and Sharon's second Route 66 trip. Then it's back to Amarillo. The latest on the car saga is that the new custom radiator is supposed to arrive on Tuesday morning, so the car is supposed to be done late Tuesday or Wednesday morning. We'll get to Amarillo on Tuesday, then plot our course home once the car is ready.

Here are a few pictures from Day 11:

The first is Two Guns, AZ, a well-known Route 66 stop once upon a time. It is supposedly owned by Russell Crowe who was said to be planning to shoot a movie there. There are a few people on the ground in camping trailers doing a bit of work, and the place now has a for sale sign on it, so I'm not sure what is going on any more.

Twin Arrows has been long abandoned as well. However, the Navajo are building a casino about a mile away, so there is some hope that this landmark will be revived.

The Hackberry General store is just a great place to take photographs.

Last stop for a cold drink on the Oatman Pass is the very cool, Cool Springs.


1 comment:

Mona Taplin said...

Sharon, did you enjoy that drive thru Oatman Pass? I have to close my eyes in areas like that or get the screaming meemies. lol. I used to hate the old Donner Pass on the way to Reno before they put in the modern highway. Needles California. Oh boy! We hit there at midnight I think the time we went to visit Bea in San Diego before we moved to Cal.- 112 degrees and wind blowing. Not a cool breeze, more like furnace heat. No air conditioning in our car.We stopped for some iced drinks, and as soon as I walked into the air conditioned restaurant I was just about wiped out. I immediately headed for the restroom and collapsed on the floor. I really thought I was dying, it was that bad. I wanted to stop in a motel but Jim decided that wasn't going to happen. We were going to drive down out of there and he was ticked off because I was in absolutely no condition to take a turn behind the wheel. That ended any desire I ever had to travel by car. We did make a few other trips cross country which I did not enjoy one little bit, but that being the only way I could get to see my family after we moved here. Over 3000 miles in 3 days. Never never again! Your Dad and my brother Ed made a non stop trip here like that once delivering a car, and your parents with you kids made a trip here once whey you were little Mike. I'm really happy for you two, taking pleasure out of stopping and getting aquainted with each place you visit. Have a good trip all the way back to Amarillo. Love you both. Aunt Mona