Saturday, April 19, 2008

Just a Little Route 66

With plans to redo just a short stretch of Route 66, I head south out of Las Vegas on US Highway 95, with plans on hitting Searchlight, an area ghost town that I have apparently missed. Ahhh, now I see why I missed it on previous trips, it's not a ghost town. It has a McDonalds, for goodness sakes. Well, it is an old mining town and it doesn't take a lot to find some remaining remnants here and there. Today, however, it is a Colorado River and Lake Mohave access point, so a few hotels, casinos, and several other businesses thrive, as well as numerous modern homes. Still an interesting stop and I found a couple of photo opportunities.

I continue south to Needles, California, passing west bound historic Route 66 that moves toward Goffs, Essex and Amboy, California. I have still not decided whether I will redo that stretch or venture on east into Arizona. After retaking some shots of Needles; however, I find myself continuing eastward. Guess my subconscious mind made that decision and the next thing you know I'm crossing the Colorado River and heading north to Oatman, Arizona.

I love that town! I was glad I made that decision; the other trip I think would just have been too much for a day trip. I amble around, taking pictures of the donkeys, have a great Indian taco, buy about 200 postcards and amble on up the old highway. Next, I see that Gold Road's gold mine tours are all shut down. Didn't know that, will have to update the website. Then, when I stop at Cool Springs, I learn that the Gold Road Mine is getting ready to open back up for business.

On through Kingman and on my way back to Las Vegas. I can't stand to "fly" by Chloride without making the four mile detour. Though I've been there before, I missed the murals painted on the rocks and just had to dash back in for another view. Back on the highway, traffic congests near the Hoover Dam and security is tight with a forced stop and checkpoint. Good, our Homeland Security people are doing their jobs!! Traffic gets even worse as I near Las Vegas and my faithful "friend," my TomTom GPS navigator, who I actually call "Kit" for the explorer, Kit Carson, gets me lost and dumps me right on the Las Vegas Strip in the middle of rush hour traffic. Arghhhhhhh!! That was painful. I'm not staying on the strip, and getting myself out of that mess took almost an hour before I finally make it back to the hotel. In the meantime, Dave says he'll meet me in the room at the Hilton. "No, Dave, there's a bar just inside the casino, I'll meet you there!"

Tomorrow, it's onward to Utah!!

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