So it’s been quite a few days since a blog update. Due to not having much in the way of internet access! So this is another one bundled up with a heap of days in a row. We will soon be back on the bikes (can’t bloody wait) and the daily updates will become the norm again, (also can’t wait).
So after we left the Grand Canyon we decided to continue along Route 66 as much as we could. We had a rough plan of going through to Albuquerque, which I love saying, and then turning north to Santa Fe. We have heard some great things about Santa Fe and are keen to check it out.
As we trundled along towards Albuquerque we managed to take a few side tracks to visit some of the local sights. There was some old trading posts with some very cool old bits and pieces in the old barns. I love taking photos of the old dusty stuff as they have a great bit of life in them. Even the neglected bits laying in the corner.
We were cruising along a highway and saw a sign for a Window in the Rock. So we had to check it out! It was stunning. A huge hole bored straight through the side of a huge rock. It was gorgeous and we happened to turn up just as the sun was beginning its descent, which lent a deep reddish glow to the whole thing. Plus we met a nice local guy who was of Navajo descent and he gave us a bit of a run down on the history of the place. Lovely to have met you Jerry!
We plowed onwards. Dodging cracks and holes along some of the lonelier, more deserted parts of the old road. Some sections slowly being taken over by the desert as the cracked old bitumen was pounded into dust. At times these bad bits were so bad that the RV was reduced to a mind numbing 5 mph crawl as bits inside rattled, shook, and fell on our heads.
Finally we reached Albuquerque. Our prize for finishing this section of the road was lunch at the old Route 66 Diner.
Wow. What a feed. I had a Mudpie chocolate milkshake, recommended to me by the lovely young waitress. I’m glad that I took her advice. It was super chocolatey, super thick and so so amazing. I was stuffed full to the gills just after that. Then out came my burger. A proper burger. I must say that you Americans sure know how to make burgers! Ours back home pale in comparison. I shoveled as much into my fattening face as I possibly could. I can feel the weight going on every day at the moment. Chantelles dad loves cake as much as I do and he insists on buy cake almost EVERY day! Obviously I have to help him eat it……
Sufficiently full and disgusted with myself, we set off for the nearby Nuclear Science Museum. It sounded interesting and had a heap of Cold War stuff, including aircraft on display.
What a great museum. We got there late and so had to rush around the displays a little, but I loved every second of it and wished we could have had another day there. The place had everything from bombs, to cars, gas masks to aircraft, plus there was even a real life Flux Capacitor on display. Who remembers what that is?
There was some pretty scary stuff there too. The size of the nukes dropped on Japan was scary. Even scarier still is that there are bigger ones out there now. I have just read a news article on Russias new Satan II missile. Enough nuclear fire power in one missile to destroy Texas. One bomb that can wipe France off of the planet. Anyway, I digress.
I had a wander outside and admired the gorgeous aircraft on display. I have a fascination with engineering excellence, and anyone who can get those heavy metal things to get off the ground and stay up there in the air is a genius!
Then I saw a gun that I had only ever seen a clip of. It was designed to shoot a nuclear tipped shell. Basically an artillery gun that could cause incredible devastation. Craziness.
Then it was back inside to look at some old cars among which was one I hadn’t seen in the flesh before. The Back to the Future Dolorean DMC-12. A gorgeous brushed stainless steel body, that would be a bitch to keep clean glinted in the lights. So nice.
Then it was off to a nearby casino carpark for the night.
The following day saw me struggling to park the big RV in some tight parking space in Santa Fe. I was on the wrong side of the car, and the wrong side of the road, and this made for a frustrating though successful 10 minute reverse, forward, reverse, forward swear, yell, reverse, before finally giving up. Then we left the wonkily parked RV and headed off into some old houses and church buildings.
The architecture here was beautiful. The mud clad buildings really were quite lovely. So we had a poke around before moving out of the city and heading northwards towards Colorado.
It was a nice drive and we managed to get over some beautiful passes with endless views over massive valleys. The contrasts between the desert and the mountains was great. One minute we were driving through harsh dry hot environments and the next we were shivering our asses off at the top of a huge peak covered in pine trees with massive flowing rivers rushing by. One river in particular really got my attention. It seemed to contain a huge amount of iron, I guess, as the water was a rusty gold colour. Very pretty.
Chantelles dad really didn’t enjoy the drop offs and was reduced to clutching the railing at most of the look outs.
There was a heap of old buildings scattered along this Million Dollar Highway and I enjoyed having quite the poke around.
Then as we wound down and down we found a little quiet camp spot hidden away from the main road in a national forest.
We were just cutting the bottom west corner of Colorado off on this trip. Our destination now being Utah. We were trying to cram as much into these three weeks as possible, but it means that we have to do a heap of highway miles every day. At times feeling so rushed as we push ever onwards. There are a few days where we did nothing but drive to the next place. So if the distances and time seem odd that would be why!
We eventually found our way into Arches National Park where we joined the long long line of tourists waiting to pass through the gates. But it was worth all the fighting for photo position. The place was everything we had heard about it and more. Red rocks, curving arches, soft sand and amazing views. It was an awesome place to visit and we wasted most of our day there before we headed over to the Canyonlands National park and ultimately onwards again towards Zion in the west.
We did quite the bitumen slog after that. Clocking up some 500 extra km’s until we made camp just a few hours of scenic drive from Bryce Canyon. We had travelled this section of road before so there were no new photos taken of this bit! But it was till as beautiful as before!
Bryce Canyon was even busier than Arches had been. Crazily so! We sat in line and waited as the snaking line of cars inched forwards a little at a time. Bit by bit until we were released upon the Canyon. Not that we had many options on places we could stop at as every parking lot display signs proclaiming them to be “Full”. So we did the rush tour and zipped out to the end of the road and back. Squeezing onto some road side pullouts in order to snap a few pics before zooming onto the next one. Now I like to travel quick but even this was becoming a bit tedious.
And so fed up with racing from one place to the next I elected to call it an early day as I knew of a brilliant camp just minutes up the road where we could chill out, enjoy the lazy arvo with a few drinks and a good book. So that’s what we did. Our plan was set to tackle Zion the next day.
Zion. I will never forget that place. From the incredible tunnel leading in right through to the massive canyon we zipped down. All I can say is that it was simply spectacular. Incredibly so. If you haven’t been there yet and you live here in the States, do yourself a favour and go to there! I think it is the best National Park I have visited here yet!
All too soon though we were through and out the other side. Faced with a choice now as to where to go. North west to the ET highway or south west to Vegas. Vegas won out and soon we were speeding off in that direction.
The desert of Nevada is always so captivating to me. And this time was no different. We did a heap of miles on the interstate to cover some ground as our three weeks is already beginning to draw to close. This part of the Interstate was an engineering marvel. Cutting through massive canyons and sometimes suspended high above them. We turned off eventually and headed through red rock strewn landscapes as we made a bee line for Hoover Dam.
We had heard that due to security concerns it was no longer possible to drive over the wall of this colossal thing, but when we got there we did exactly that! Very cool! And another thing to check off our list of things to do before we die.
And then it was into Vegas where we had booked some rooms at Circus Circus for the paltry sum of $35 a night, plus taxes and a myriad of other hidden costs and “resort fees”. Still it was a cheap place to go with steaming hot showers and Chantelles parents were excited to see the Strip all lit up at night. We had a nice wander and crashed into bed sometime around midnight.
Tomorrow we head back up the ET highway to Crater Lake before crossing back into California and heading for San Francisco.
I do apologise for the lack of constant updates, and we promise to return to them once we get Mabel and Rosie out from under their layer of dust and get back on the move again. After all that’s what our story is about. Motorcycles!