Monday, July 08, 2019

Grand Canyon to Laughlin, Route 66 - Day 11

What better way to start a day than get up on a bike and ride to a nearby airport for a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon! That was us today - up at 6 am for a thrilling 20 minute flight showing the canyon in all its glory. Magnificent, and probably the highlight of our Route 66 trip so far. 

Our next stop was in Williams, Arizona - a much more interesting town compared to Winslow yesterday. Here we stopped for coffee and wandered around the many shops, though several places were closed as it is Sunday. By now we are fatigued by the many places we stop that have souvenir shops - we bought very little today. The ride through the countryside today was at first similar to yesterday, but it got way better as the day went along. We had a “free” 60 ride through increasing desert countryside - loads of rocks to see. It was very pleasant to stick on cruise control at 52 MPH and to just enjoy the ride and absorbing the experience of the Mother Road. Later we would ride down from the heights of Northern Arizona into the western themed town of Oatman. The ride into the town was through a long series of dangerous and thrilling narrow winding roads over the mountains. I hung back a bit as the more adventurous riders took the corners at a higher speed than me - nevertheless, despite the danger, we all arrived safely into Oatman. This town is right out of a cowboy and Indian TV show - complete with burros (donkeys) wandering the street. We spent quite a bit of time here taking pictures and buying nothing in the endless shops. We felt like celebrities as we rode into town on our iron horses, and leaving later with dozens of cameras focused on us. 15 seconds of fame at last!

After Oatman, the heat increased dramatically to over 40 C. This was OK while riding, but slowing down and stopping felt like we were riding into an oven. We arrived into Laughlin soaking in sweat and we are staying in the Aquarius hotel, which is basically two tall towers built on a casino. I was not tempted by the many bright lights of slot machines, but I settled for a buffet dinner and a walk along the Colorado River which runs beside the hotel.

So - another great day on the road which experiences to remember for a lifetime. Tomorrow it is on to Las Vegas - more about that tomorrow.

Some photos from today...

Getting ready for the highlight of our trip at the Grand Canyon.
Pretending to be a gambler in hotel casino.
Standing near a corner at Williams, Arizona.
Williams, Arizona.
On Route 66 (Arizona).
You meet the strangest people on Route 66!
Roma at one of the many disused, but restored petrol stations, on Route 66.

Howdy Pardner!
Main Street, Oatman.
This coffin is too small for me!

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