United States

Mohave County

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  • Day18

    Nach der stürmischen Nacht haben wir trotzdem gut geschlafen und schauten uns von unserem "Bett" aus den Sonnenaufgang über den Colarado River an. Um gemütlich zu frühstücken war es zu kalt und stürmisch, also ging es unter die Dusche und dann direkt los. Wir wollten uns den Antilope Canyon, der direkt vor Ort war, ansehen - dort findet ein Farbenspiel von Sonnenschein und Felsen statt, das einmalig sein soll. Als wir gegen 8 Uhr dort waren, waren bereits alle Touren bis 13.30 Uhr ausgebucht - die Wartezeit war uns zu lange, also versuchten wir ein Boot am Colarado River zu bekommen, das aber für 4 Stunden 350$ kosten sollte. Es sollte nicht sein, also verließen wir Page in Richtung Flagstaff - schade. Dort wollten wir eigentlich die Nacht verbringen, da wir aber schon gegen Mittag dort waren und es windig und kalt war und wir zudem nichts gefunden haben, was wir dort machen konnten, haben wir uns dazu entschlossen die nächsten 4 bis 5 Stunden auf der Route 66 zu verbringen. Ganz unspektakulär ging es die ausgestorbene Landstraße entlang bis Seligman. Das ist ein ausgestorbener Ort, der nur noch von den paar Touristen lebt, die dort gelegentlich vorbei kommen. Sieht alles ziemlich runter gekommen aus, hat aber irgendwie ein cooles Flair. Und siehe das erste Foto, da hab ich doch sogar zwei bekannte Nummernschilder entdeckt. Also wir sind nicht die ersten Mecklenburger auf der Route 66 😂
    Dann sind wir abgebogen Richtung Supai, von wo aus wir eigentlich geplant hatten eine zweitätige Wanderung über 35km zu den Havaisupai Falls zu starten, leider waren dort jedoch keine Genehmigungen für unseren Zeitraum mehr vorhanden. Da das ein für Touristen nicht so bekannter Ort ist und somit kaum etwas dazu in Reiseführern oder Internet zu finden ist, der aber traumhaft schön sein soll, beschlossen wir dort einfach mal hin zu fahren und nachzufragen ob vielleicht doch noch was möglich wäre, leider ohne Erfolg. Dann ging es weiter die Route 66 entlang bis Peach Springs, wo wir die Nacht verbringen wollten. Das einzige Hotel dort kostete aber fast 200$ und so mussten wir nochmal 50 Meilen weiter bis Kingman fahren. Hier haben wir jetzt ein schönes Motel gefunden und werden mal wieder eine Nacht im Bett verbringen. Nach fast 400 Meilen on the Road heute und 3 Nächten im Auto, bei Sturm, Minus Graden und den ständigen Temperaturschwankungen ist das auch gar nicht mal so verkehrt.
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  • Day19

    Nach dem ersten Frühstücksbueffet auf der Reise ging es gestärkt in den Tag. Ziel war der Grand Canyon Skywalk auf der Westseite des Canyons fahren von wo aus man einen tollen Ausblick auf den Colarado River zwischen den riesigen Schluchten haben soll. Auf dem Weg dorthin schauten wir nochmal in unserem Reiseführer nach und stellten fest das der Eintritt dafür knapp 100$ kosten sollte, da sich der Skywalk im Indianerreservat befindet. Fast die komplette Südseite des Canyons ist noch Indianerreservat und die nehmen leider für alles sehr viel Kohle. Da wir schon genug vom Canyon und dem Colarado River gesehen haben, entschlossen wir uns umzukehren. Das stellte sich später als gar nicht mal so verkehrt heraus.
    Wir suchten also im Reiseführer nach einem neuen Ziel und sind dann die Route 66 weiter gefahren. Das war wirklich eine wunderschöne Strecke, vorbei an Berglandschaften bis nach Oatman. Ein kleines Dorf, in dem alle Häuser noch ihre alten Fassaden hatten, dort befinden sich jetzt diverse Souvenirshops und Restaurants. Die Dorfbewohner finanzieren sich durch tolle handgemachte Sachen die es dort zu kaufen gibt. Das Dorf hat einen ganz besonderen Flair, durch Maultiere die dort frei herum laufen und den Westernstyle. Eine Cowboyshow darf da natürlich nicht fehlen......
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  • Day19

    Unser Weg führte uns dann die Route 66 weiter bis Lake Havasu City. Dort angekommen sicherten wir uns erstmal einen Campingplatz und dann ging es zum Strand, erstmal ne runde relaxen. Gegen Abend ging es dann am Hafen entlang, über die London Bridge. Eine richtig schöne kleine Stadt, die vom Wasser umrandet ist und auf der anderen Seite sind die Berge zu sehen. Die Stadt ist aufgrund der London Bridge ein bisschen wie London aufgebaut, mit roten Telefonzellen und einen kleinen Big Ben.
    Danach sind wir dann zu einer Bierverkostung in der örtlichen Brauerei gegangen und ließen den Abend auf dem Zeltplatz ausklingen. Endlich war es mal wieder so warm das man mit T-Shirt und kurzer Hose draußen sitzen konnte....
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  • Day12

    Heute ist ein Tag auf den ich mich persönlich sehr gefreut habe. Ich habe bereits in Deutschland Karten für ein Billy Idol Konzert, dass heute im House of Blues stattfindet, gekauft.
    Vorher wollen wir noch zum Hooverdamm und die Frauen danach noch ins Outlet Center. Der Hooverdamm war mit ca 40 Minuten Fahrzeit schnell erreicht. Wir sind einmal über die Staumauer hin und wieder zurück gelaufen. Sehr beeindruckend, aber nicht unbedingt ein Highlight unserer Reise. Man hat es jetzt halt mal gesehen.
    Auf dem Rückweg gab es ein paar kleine Diskussionen wer mich jetzt zum Billy Idol Konzert begleitet,denn Kamila hatte keine Lust und so ist Basti mitgekommen. Das sollte er nicht bereuen.
    Wir haben die Frauen dann am Outlet Center abgesetzt und sind ins Hotel gefahren. Hier haben wir uns eine Stunde hingelegt und sind dann gegen 16:30 Uhr aufgebrochen.
    Zunächst erstmal zu McDonald's etwas essen. Aus irgendeinem Grund hatten wir zu viel Essen in unserer Tüte was wir anschließend draußen einem Obdachlosen geschenkt haben, der sich sehr gefreut hat.
    Nur noch fix eine Dose Bier geleert und dann ab in den Bus Richtung Mandalay Bay Hotel.
    Dort angekommen war er zunächst wieder da, der Kloß im Hals. Plötzlich waren wir quasi mittendrin, hinter uns das Mandalay Bay Hotel und vor uns das Festivalgelände. Es ist noch immer nicht zu fassen was hier passiert ist!
    Nun machten wir uns auf dem Weg zum House of Blues, was gar nicht so leicht zu finden war. Wie wir dann nach einigem Suchen herausgefunden haben befindet sich das House of Blues mitten im Casino des Mandalay Bay Hotels.
    Nach kurzer Wartezeit aber intensiven Kontrollen am Eingang, sind wir dann hinein. Eine tolle Kulisse erwartete uns. Im Prinzip ein kleiner Club, außenrum ein riesen Tresen Bereich, dann ein paar Sitzplätze und in der Mitte die Bühne mit einem kleinen Stehplatzbereich davor. Das Konzert war einsame Spitze, eines der Besten das ich je gesehen habe.
    Nach dem Konzert haben wir uns mit den Frauen im Coyote Ugly welches im 'New York, New York' ist verabredet, um unseren letzten Abend ein bisschen zu feiern. Bevor wir in den Laden rein sind, sind Heidi Basti und ich noch mit der Achterbahn gefahren die sich auf dem Dach des 'New York, New York' befindet. Hat einen riesen Spaß gemacht.
    Coyote Ugly ist ein teurer aber sehr cooler Laden. Die Mädels auf den Tischen verstehen es einfach die Gäste oder in diesem Fall muss man schon fast sagen das Publikum zu animieren und unterhalten.
    Nach ein paar Drinks sind wir dann noch durch die Casinos vom Bellagio und Caesars Palace geschlendert. Eine andere Liga wie wir alle mit Erstaunen festgestellt haben. Auch den letzten Abend ließen wir in unserem Hotel ausklingen. Kurz bevor wir auf die Zimmer gehen wollten, überredete ich Basti dass wir zumindest einmal an einem richtigen Roulette-Tisch spielen. Er wollte zunächst nicht aber ließ sich dann doch überzeugen. Das war auch die richtige Entscheidung, denn Basti setzte auf seine Zahl, die 17 und gewann so rund 360 €. Nun konnte zumindest er Las Vegas mit einem guten Gefühl verlassen. Ich hingegen lang noch länger im Bett und fragte mich ob ich es nicht nochmal mit der 21 probieren sollte. Ich entschied mich dagegen.
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  • Day21

    Apologies for the late 'footprint'. We camped in Lake Havasu last night very much in the wilderness on the Colorado River. It was magical. We swam in the river which was heavenly in the 40° heat! I've never experienced heat like this before. It's so hot and dry it's like standing in an all over body dryer. It's bizarrely not that unpleasant. I struggled more with the heat in the cities.

    The views along our tour guided road trip through California and into Arizona were stunning with the biggest and best views to come today as we arrive at the Grand Canyon.

    The group we're with is small and friendly although Kate and I are the oldest (including the leader!). We decided between us we were going to try as many different oreo flavours as we could. This can only end badly. The adventure got off to an interesting start when we attempted to take an alternative route to a rest stop and found ourselves stuck in the dust. It took the entire group to push the mini bus out. We still think it was probably a thinly disguised bonding exercise!

    I look forward to sharing more photos with you soon.
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  • Day35

    Day 34: I spent my day on the historic Route 66 today.
    First I visited the Grand Canyon Caverns (okay, yesterday wasn't the last part of canyons). Once they found bones of dinosaurs there. The cavern may be the oldest, deepest, darkest, largest and quietest.
    The next stop was Kingman. I'm happy that I spent my night in Seligman. That town is definitely more historical. Kingman is more commercially than historical.
    Afterwards I stayed on the Route 66 and reached Oatman. That town was such amazing! Oatman is an old gold mining town which is crossed by the Route 66. An old town with old shops, saloons, restaurants, ..., that is still alive! One cool thing is that there are wild mules which cross the street and live in the town.
    Then I continued and the ride was just epic! The Route 66 crossed the desert. I had just me, my car, an incredible wideness and country music of course! Just thru the middle of nowhere how they used to say! #lifeisgood #travelingisgood
    After all I got to Lake Havasu and had a look at the Old London Bridge.
    Tonight I decided to book for this and the upcoming night in El Centro a lodge room which is quiet the same price like a campground.

    Grand Canyon Caverns ✔
    Kingman ✔
    Historic Route 66 II ✔
    Oatman ✔
    Lake Havasu ✔
    Old London Bridge ✔
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    Illinois ✅
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    Minnesota ✅
    South Dekota ✅
    Wyoming ✅
    Idaho ✅
    Utah ✅
    Nevada ✅
    California ✅
    Arizona✅
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  • Day21

    I woke up to the wonderful voice of the fortune teller mechanical "indian" saying something I couldn't make out ... We parked in front of a gas station that had the obligatory trading post attached to it. The man working the gas station last night was very nice, we asked him about the potential of showers, and after determining that our options were too far to reach tonight in the dark, he suggested we sleep here, parked closed to the door. I guess being two girls makes people uneasy about us sleeping in a car.

    Hitting the road again, we were excited to start the "longest remaining section of route 66" which hasn't been converted to a highway. Because of its length on a map, Jack believed we could only make it Kingman by sunset, where we were just told by the nice man was our next truck stop with showers. My shower will have to wait until tonight, apparently. Turns out, the Arizona desert doesn't have too many towns along it's route... I was at Kingman by noon, just in time for a mid-day shower. This shower, at the Flying J, was wonderful! Much like our last experience at the Flying J, we payed for one shower, 12$, no time limit, and we both headed in. The first time, the lady at the cash actually offered us to only take the one shower, and then radio'd the cleaner to bring us an extra towel, she was great. This time, the cleaner was in front of our little shower room, and offered us this second towel as he saw us heading in. I found myself wondering - is this what gendered privilege feels like? I highly doubt two men, walking into the Flying J, get offered two towels and one shower. Just some thoughts. In this line of thought, I'm amazed that I have yet to be mis-gendered ! I wore my baseball cap for the last 2 days, a hoodie, and lose jeans, and I'm still not being mis-gendered. I don't get it. I got so used to having both genders thrown at me that this girl only thing is throwing me off... The only people to have argued over my gender in front of me on this trip were tourists in St-Louis. What is different here vs back in Ottawa? Or everywhere else in the world where if I want to pass as a girl I puff my chest and speak in a higher voice...

    We passed desert, and more desert, lined with magnificent mountains with pointy peaks and shadows of even larger peaks. As non existent the towns were, it was beautiful. We passed some ghost towns, what I would consider looked more like a single abandoned gas station or a motel, was apparently once thriving towns along 66. This route has shown us what the true rural, decaying America looks like when off the main highways. Forgotten old towns, left with populations of the 3 or 4 people braving the dry isolation. Amongst these forgotten towns was the not-so-forgotten Seligman. Two men in this town apparently refused to see it die with the traffic almost entirely disappearing after the construction of the I-40. They fought to start and founded the Arizona Route 66 Association (first of its kind) and lobbied for their section of route 66 to be recognized as a historic byway. One of these men was Angel Delgadillo. He spent most of his older life fighting to promote his town from his barbershop / 66 museum. This town had at least 7 or 8 main street establishments fully embracing the route 66 idea of old 40s charm and nik-naks. I can't really describe this town, but check out the photos. Diners with yards full of completely random things like a phone booth with a scarecrow inside, and old cars with cutouts of Elvis in them, or mannequins hanging out on the roof tops of the bar... My kind of place. Loved it.

    Having made it to Kingman so early, we suddenly got really excited at the possibility of making it to Oatman for a gun show, which according to our guide book, is at 1.30pm. So we sped through Kingman, a relatively large town with plenty of neon signs, old motels and cool looking diners to make it for the gun show! Quick stop over to get Jack a milkshake that she's been craving for days now, best coffee milkshake ever out of a really cool 50s looking diner. The road ahead was twisting and turning around cliffs edges, in the incredible peaks from early. I quickly realized I could not make good timing on this, so we gave up the idea of the gun show and just enjoyed the ride. Stopped at a few view points to stare at incredible views. The landscape isn't like anything I've ever seen, dry sand ground with green scrubs and tiny cacti.

    Making it to Oatman past 1.30pm, I had all given up on my gun show... that is until I saw a sign saying it was 2.15pm. I kid you not - I looked at the sign, then looked at my phone for the time, and my phone said 2.16pm. The excitement I felt at that point in time was unmeasurable! This is the funniest town yet, a town that was a ghost town for a few years until they decided fuck it, let's do something that will attract the randoms of 66. So they transformed whatever was left of the main street buildings and created new ones, all in the theme of the wild west. Saloons, cowboys, wild donkeys roaming the streets (legit, wild donkeys). And of course - a gun show. Two grown men, who go out in the middle of the street, dressed like cowboys (I really think this is their everyday look, but who knows), one pretended to be a sheriff, the other an outlaw. Sheriff brings money to the bank as a trap for the outlaw. Outlaw steals the money. At this point the outlaw is killing time in the street because the sheriff isn't showing up, starts making jokes about the sheriff not doing his job, or getting lost along the way. Finally the sheriff shows back up, obviously confused that he had missed his cue to re-enter the scene. They have a stand off in the street, and POW POW! Sheriff shoots the outlaw. Blanks of course. So terrible, so hilarious. The final shot that was supposed to kill the outlaw was kind of weak, not loud, so the outlaw goes "that wasn't loud enough", shoots his gun into the air for a louder bang, then falls to the ground. Too good. Probably my favorite experience so far. The only downside were the amount of tourists in the town. So far, we've crossed a few route 66 tourists here and there, obviously crossing many at the Grand Canyon yesterday. Here, the streets were full of them. The next "town" with a suggested stop, Hackberry, had a gas station and general store along the main, and only that. Their gas station was overflowing with tourists - bikers on old harleys, tour buses, you name it, stopped at this old gas station taking photos of their old classic cars. Seeing as we've seen plenty just like this in the east end of the route, we skipped it. Where did they all come from?

    We managed to get so much road done today, not because we skipped anything, but because that's all there was, road. No towns, no stores, no funny museums, just road. The tourists that filled Oatman and Hackberry are no longer in sight. We crossed into California! Our last state... Bitter sweet moment. I'm happy and proud we made it this far. Jack and I haven't killed each other yet, although we've come close a couple times. When you decide to spend a month in a car, sleeping, spending most of your day in this car, 2 feet away from your partner, you are bound to have some not so pleasant moments. I must say, with the exception of a rougher 4 day stint, we found our grove and are having a blast! Our "disagreements" often stem from us getting lost, or commenting on each other's driving skills. Route 66 no longer actually exists as a road, therefore following written out directions or a map leads to many wrong turns and "I think this is it" moments. We've managed to avoid using the internet or electronics for the most part. One of us drives, the other directs, and we switch the next day. At the end of a day driving, I'm ready to take the passenger seat and direct, which has its own challenges and annoyances, which makes me ready to drive the day after! Even setting up the car, we found our system which works. I grab the garbage on my front seat, she gets the cooler and goodies box. She then helps me bring the plywood board forward, and goes to the trunk to set up the box there while I hang the drapes up. The system is the same every night, and we're getting incredibly efficient with it! The car is doing great and continues to feel like home. I haven't felt too rushed or pushed for time, and here we are, crossing our last state line before the end of Route 66.

    The road is entirely empty. It's just us and the mountains and the dry land. The "towns" suggested by our guide book quite literally only had one thing running, be it the closed-at-the-time museum in Goff or Ray's gas station in Amboy. The travel guide even suggested a stop in Essex, what he calls an establishment: It consisted of 5 abandoned mobile homes and a closed gas station. After all this road, we stopped our journey in Ludlow today, or just before it. Who knows, we stopped at the first gas station we saw that was open, but considering today, this might be the town! As far as I remember from my readings, it is legal to sleep in your car in the state of California, so it doesn't really matter where we sleep, but this gas station with our now friends the Truck Drivers, seems like the safest choice. Good night.
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  • Day41

    Okee. Welch surreale Welt. Wir sind auf dem Boot von Ryans Onkel Mike und genießen das erfrischende Nass bei über 40 Grad. Der See liegt mitten in der Wüste und die Stadt darum herum ist ein Ort für Boots- und Ferienhausbesitzer. Im Kanal, in welchem übrigens die alte London Bridge steht (Fun Facts with Ryan weiter unten), tummeln sich Boote neben Boote. Eines grösser als das andere mit crazy People oben drauf. Es wird gesoundet, getanzt und natürlich getrunken von morgens bis abends und das das ganze Wochenende lang. Proscht! ;)

    London Bridge
    This London Bridge was completed in 1831 as they replaced the old one which was too narrow.
    As time passed, the new bridge began sinking at the rate of an inch (3 cm) every eight years. By 1924, the east side of the bridge was some three to four inches (9-12 cm) lower than the west side. The bridge had not been designed to withstand 20th century automotive traffic.
    In 1967, the Common Council of the City of London began to look for potential buyers for the London Bridge. Lake Havasu City founder and entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch placed the winning bid of $2,460,000.
    Each block was meticulously numbered before the bridge was disassembled. The blocks were then shipped overseas through the Panama Canal to California and trucked from Long Beach to Arizona. 
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  • Day3

    Taking consideration of the very long Friday May 27th 2016, we'd all set our respective alarms for a very reasonable 9am start. Our body-clocks however, demonstrating their utter disdain for the very long Friday May 27th 2016, betrayed this intent and woke each of us far earlier than was necessary or indeed 'appropriate' for a Saturday morning on holiday...
    Still, we had ambitious plans for the day so made an early start on them. We found a quaint little restaurant for breakfast; we didn't meet the owner but from the signage we presume they were immigrants of Scottish descent; the McGriddle with hash brown I ordered representative of the distinct culinary finesse of the nation that brought us the deep-fried Mars bar.
    From there, it was off to Hoover Damn, which was conveniently just down the road. It's no Lymn Damn, but it seems to get the job done, albeit the job it is now doing is far less strenuous than it once was ; due to ongoing, long-term drought the Colorado river and Lake Mead have water levels far beneath what they used to be, as is visible from the markings on the rocks. Mark, in full-on geologist mode, told me something about the rock formations but I wasn't really listening.
    Next up was the Grand Canyon. We stopped en route for lunch in someone's front-room, outside which they'd put a sign saying 'Hot Diggity Dog Hot Dogs'. Operated with the apparent expertise of a young enterprise project, the 'dogs' they churned out exceeded expectations and I'd definitely go again, though quite patently won't.
    What to say about the canyon itself; it's very grand and exceedingly canyon-y. It's saying something that I came and saw it last year from precisely the same place but it can still instill utter awe. Mark told us how it was formed, but I suspect witchcraft. He furthermore showed us some fossils that indicated the top of the canyon used to be the seabed, but presume this ridiculous delusion to be an early sign of heatstroke.
    From the Canyon we travelled to Kingsman, taking us onto the first stretch of Historic Route 66. From our perspective anyway; this is neither end of Route 66 so I guess isn't technically the 'first' stretch. Unless they started building it from somewhere in the middle...which this also isn't, but it is most definitely 'somewhere'. After a little difficulty we found a motel with two vacant rooms; the imaginatively named 'Route 66 Motel'.
    We had dinner across the road at JB's Restaurant, an awesomely 'typical' American place with booths and massive portions. I had fries steaks with mash, veggies and 'country gravy', a weird but delicious creamy, white sauce with hints of pepper and sausage. I don't know if it's a cultural thing or of they ran out of Bisto and had to whip something together, but kudos to the chef.
    Afterwards we tried to find a bar, but failed. I said I was surprised as with all the motels around here you'd think a bar would do gangbusters. Everyone said they'd never heard the term gangbusters before and questioned whether it was a 'thing', and since I couldn't strictly define the term myself I too am questioning it's validity. I'll Google it later and if I used it correctly will pretend I knew all along, but otherwise quietly pretend I never said it.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Mohave County, ሞሃቬ ካውንቲ፥ አሪዞና, مقاطعة موهاف, Мохаве, মোহাবে কাউন্টি, Comtat de Mohave, Condado de Mohave, Mohave maakond, Mohave konderria, شهرستان موهاوی، آریزونا, Mohaven piirikunta, Comté de Mohave, מוהאבי, Mohave, okrug, Mohave megye, Մոհավե շրջան, Contea di Mohave, モハーヴェ郡, 모하비 군, Mohave Kūn, Hrabstwo Mohave, موہاووے کاؤنٹی, Comitatul Mohave, Округ Мохаве, Mohave Kontluğu, Могаве, موہیو کاؤنٹی، ایریزونا, Quận Mohave, Condado han Mohave, 莫哈維縣

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