Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Road Trip: Colorado to Nevada, Part 2

It was a few moments after the fact that we realised we had crossed the border into Arizona; we had started the day by breakfasting on corn dogs and other savouries that we were able to get from a nearby gas station, and so neither of us was feeling in a particularly great mood - perhaps that is why we were suddenly so surprised to be in Arizona. As we realised it we tried to rack our brains, but neither of us remembered passing a sign announcing the different state.

No matter though, we were headed for Flagstaff, our old friend the I40 and Historic Route 66!

Like Utah, Arizona surprised us with its beauty. How did we not know about the beauty and majesty of the deserts and rocks before we left? Were we that clueless, or was it that we were so fixated on the "landmarks" and "destinations" on our trip that we really hadn't thought about the places that we would be driving through? It's a shame to say that due to our lack of knowledge, we spent many drive days just chatting along the way, stopping every few hours to stretch our legs while walking around a shopping centre or outlet mall, when there were probably many lovely natural attractions that we could have seen but for our ignorance.

Once again, our supply of coupon books helped us out when we arrived in Flagstaff and we found a good price at a Howard Johnson. It was a nice room, but we hadn't paid as much attention to our surroundings as we perhaps should have. Why was the restaurant next door (which incidentally served a great dinner and breakfast) decked out with so much train stuff? Again, we were clueless, and the answer made itself known loud and clear half an hour after we checked in, as a cargo train went past on the trainline not thirty metres from the motel. The trains that ran on the line were so long that we stopped counting the cars after a few minutes. At least they stopped running through at about 11pm...

...only to start again shortly after 6 the next morning...

Oh well. After a hearty breakfast we set off along Route 66, trying to soak up the atmosphere of the many travellers who had gone before us. We stopped in Seligman at the Roadkill Cafe for a quick drink and two games of pool (both of which Dave won easily), and then went on to Kingman, our goal for the day. The motel was basic, but comfortable enough, and although we could find nothing noteworthy to go and see in the local area there were plenty of shops! (of course)

We passed the afternoon looking around various malls, and Dave spent a happy half an hour in a 'Boot Barn' trying to decide just how cowboy he really wanted to go. Again we rested up in the evening, because although the next day had comparatively few miles for us to drive we would be spending some time at the Hoover Dam before heading on to the number one place that we had both been looking forward to on the whole trip, Las Vegas.

The day started well with a delicious IHOP breakfast, and though Dave and I might have disagreed about quite a few things on the trip there was one opinion on which both of us are agreed and will not be swayed from: we need International House of Pancakes to establish itself in the United Kingdom. The drive to the Hoover Dam was fine, although of course it was very busy when we arrived there. The size of it, and reading a lot of the information at the visitors centre, one can appreciate just how incredible a feat of engineering it really is. Sixteen tons of cement dropped every ninety seconds for two years!!! Wow. We stood and gawped with the masses for some time, but the siren song of Las Vegas was calling us, and so we set off again.

Traffic was busy, and I know that it took a few hours, but it seemed like no time at all that we were hanging a right on to the Strip, and driving past all of the sights and sounds that we knew so well.

We had arrived.


No comments: