Hoover Dam (again) & Route 66

A slow start to the day had us out at Hoover Dam in the late morning. Since I was there last, the bypass highway has been completed (all the through traffic no longer has to drive down the winding road to & over the dam – quite a bottleneck). I enjoyed walking out on the large arch bridge that was still being constructed two years ago – I saw it just before they completed the arch. We did the same tour as I did last time – so nothing new to report there. Lake Mead didn’t seem much higher to me, but hopefully all the snowmelt boosts it a bit. Another warm, beautiful day – I still enjoyed seeing one of the engineering marvels of the world.

Crossing the new bridge into Arizona, we drove through the desert for quite a while before finding a late lunch. It was dry, barren, hot & windy country – not a lot to look at, but still with its own beauty. I just wouldn’t want to have to live there. At Kingman we both got on I-40 & then promptly off it to drive part of Route 66 (eighty-odd miles). We got back in the land of the massive train, with our favourite train company, BNSF, hurtling alongside us many times. Strangest sights of the day were the huge trains carrying only semi-trailers; a good way of keeping trucks off the roads I suppose. This was somewhat explained by soon passing many DHL jets on the tarmac at the local airport – although a small town in the middle of nowhere, Kingman is obviously some sort of freight hub.

This particular section of Route 66, I thought, was a bit of a disappointment. Sure, there were many derelict gas stations, stores & hotels – but it all looked a little sad. The environment did not get much more welcoming. Just before we got back on I-40, we did stop at a little town that was trying just a little bit to get into the Americana of America’s Main St. Incongruously, there was an old right-hand drive Beardmore London black cab sitting slowly going to seed amongst all the American west stuff. Back on the freeway, we climbed up to 2100m in to some beautiful forest before arriving at our motel on Route 66 in Flagstaff – I do hope the historic Route 66 is done much better here.

These two pictures are especially for Grandad

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