Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Interstate 40


Sunrise over the Grand Canyon.  Sunset over the Mojave Desert.

That’s what we experienced on Saturday, March 8th.  Steve had returned from San Antonio on Friday night, so early on Saturday morning he and I arose and caught the early shuttle bus to Yaki Point of the Grand Canyon.  We watched the sun rise over the eastern rim while the shadows melted away within the canyon.  It was cold - so very cold! - but we were bundled up and had a Mexican blanket with us along with hot tea.  We were set!  Not many tourists joined us, and we didn’t have any kids with us, so it was almost as if we had a private showing of the sunrise.  Beautiful!

We headed back to the camper, woke up the kids, then hit the road.  We traveled along Interstate 40 most of the day, and that drive was interesting in and of itself!

We drove for a little while along Interstate 40 (which largely follows the old path of Route 66) before we jumped off at Ash Fork to follow Historic Route 66 until rejoining the interstate at Kingman.  We stopped at the town of Seligman to enjoy some of the more eclectic historical spots of Route 66.  We told the kids that this was the town that Radiator Springs from the movie “Cars” was modeled after.  Not sure if that’s true or not, but it might as well have been.  This town was almost exactly like Radiator Springs! Fun!

After we stopped at Seligman, we noticed that we were driving through Native American territory, specifically Hualapai tribal land.  This area is a reservation, so it was interesting to us to notice that the road signs didn’t show the usual US signage that we are used to but rather were arrowhead-shaped and pointed to the reservation roads.  Also, we drove past the Hualapai high school and a lot of Hualapai housing.  Very interesting!  I told the kids that we just traveled to another nation and they didn’t even need passports!

Shortly afterwards, the sun was starting to set as we were driving through the Mojave Desert.  With miles and miles of desert both ahead of us and behind us, we marveled over the beautiful sunset in our foreground.

We ended our day by stopping for the night at Edwards AFB which is the place where Chuck Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier in 1947.

Who knew that a routine day of driving could yield so many interesting things?