We awoke to a bright, sunny sky and brisk temperatures. After breakfast (al la Chef RodeWay Inn) and a little thrift shop wandering, we headed east on I-40. After seeing a couple of “Historic Route 66” signs at off-ramps, we finally took the plunge and headed off on the two-lane blacktop “Mother Highway”.
The traffic was non-existent. The pavement was weathered and cracked in places, and surprisingly smooth in others. We were surrounded by desert plants, cacti, and a flood of colorful wildflowers, thanks to the recent rains. We stopped at a wide spot in the road and found worn concrete foundations, piles of rusted tin cans, and a neatly laid out assortment of hand tools just sitting there waiting for our discovery.
Later, we entered the bustling metropolis of Amboy. Actually it was pretty much abandoned except for Roy’s Gas & Motel, an establishment originally opened in the 1920’s. Many folks headed west during the depression stopped here, and it really hasn’t changed that much since then. We grabbed a cold glass bottle of “Route 66” black cherry soda and a post card with a vintage picture of the place. Diana wrote a short note to our neighbors and we mailed it from the tiny Amboy post office, “mail pickup at 2:30 on weekdays”.
Soon we joined up with I-40 again and rolled over the Colorado river into Arizona. We decided to swing south about 20 miles and see what Lake Havasu City had to offer. We had called ahead and found out that the state park there had camp sites available on a first-come, first-served basis and thought we’d take a chance. We got our pick of the remaining campsites and scored the last one with a lakeside view. Pretty lucky for a Friday night!
We set up camp, ate dinner at the “Mud Shark Pub” (wonderful Portabello stuffed ravioli) and hit the sack after watching the PBS Nova special on the Japan earthquake on the iPad PBS app. Amazingly good picture coming via a 3G AT&T connection!
During the night it rained intermittently, but not too heavily, and we were happy we had the nice, big 12 x 12 canopy set up over the back of the trailer, protecting our chairs and bicycles.
All in all, a nice day with interesting things to see and a pleasant spot to spend our first night outside California.