Sunday, June 17, 2012

Route 66 and Lake Mead

16th June 2012
Why yes, the sun DOES shine out of it

The sun was up at 5am and so was I. The question was: did I want to get up and enjoy the Grand Canyon again since I'd only be here once in my life... or did I want to stay in bed?

Bed won.

We didn't get up until 8am and then we made the decision to just head off without doing anymore sightseeing. Wasteful, perhaps, but we had such a good day yesterday that it wasn't a big deal.

Headed back the way we came, arriving at Williams around 11am. We thought we'd stroll around the place and see what it had to offer. In essence, it's a Route 66 tourist dive with a lot of souvenir shops and a traffic jam (not helped by 4 way stop sign intersections which are very confusing and worse if you're a pedestrian). There were a couple of old servos that had been turned into restaurants and they looked nice. Luke had a quick coffee, we visited the tourist info centre and headed off, thinking we'd do a bit of Route 66 instead of the interstate.

We turned into Seligman which is the start of the longest unbroken section of old Route 66 left. The town is dusty, one street long and features several diners and souvenir stores. The Snowcap looked too full so we went to the Roadkill cafe, where the slogan is “You Kill It, We Grill It.” The menu was amusing, all the items were called things like “Racoon Roast” and "Squashed Skunk Special". But it was just basic road food. Luke had a buffalo meat hamburger and I had onion rings.
Today's lesson: don't have the onion rings

Was very average food. In fact, half an hour later, I felt pretty sick. Thankfully a beer, obtained from the RV fridge while hurtling along the interstate, made me feel better.

We were back on the interstate because we decided that we'd had enough of Route 66 after the Road Kill Diner. That was probably all we needed to see.

Got along much better than the trip out, mainly because we weren't going 90 or uphill. Before long we were at Hoover Dam and back in 40 degree temperatures. The new bridge across the canyon is impressive and we walked onto that happily and took all the Dam photos we liked.

Then we drove across the dam, discovered that RV parking was $7 and drove back the way we'd come. Took a few Dam photos. The Hoover dam is huge, impressive and amazing but not worth leaving the AC for.
Not long after we turned into Lake Mead recreation area and secured a nice $38 spot in the RV park. We rode our bikes down 1km to the lake shore at about 6pm in searing heat and gratefully went in for a swim. The “beach” is just an accessible stretch of dust on the lake shore with soaring desert mountains in the distance. Nothing grows in this area, even with a dammed lake just there. There were heaps of people swimming, we thought it looked a bit like that scene from Jaws. Thankfully no sharks in this freshwater lake. Smelled just like Keepit.

We swam, opened a beer (I drank chardy from a water bottle) and sat in the shallows, balancing our bums on a couple of old thongs that had been thrown away. Watched the sun set on the mountains, glorious orange and pink panoramas. Very fabulous. Also drank too much wine.

The ride back to the Rv was hard, it was instantly hot and we were going up a hill. Cool shower in order, followed by pasta. It's still about 34 degrees and it's 10pm. This is why we're paying for the RV park: electricity and air conditioning so we can sleep. It seems to take a long time to cool down here in the desert – even with a massive artificial lake nearby.

Tomorrow we go to the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. There have been reports of bedbugs there but i'm going to quiz them  on that. I just want to relax by their pools.

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