After saying goodbye to London Bridge following the lake/river as long as it was viable. Turned off on a side road advertising Crystal Lake and found myself going up and down a series of hills that would make San Francisco jealous. Based on the tracks it is a popular destination for off road toys. They did have an interesting animal crossing sign… which I thought I had a photo of but sadly do not. It is a reminder of the mining history of AZ. It was a burro crossing sign.
Anyway it was time to find Rte 66. I switched out my tunes … no more Bastille, One Republic or American Authors….. Rte 66 needs oldies. There is even a radio station out of Kingman AZ that advertises as rte 66’s oldies station. There was a preponderance of Beatles tunes in deference to the passing of George Martin, but that works for me…. I know most of the words so I can sing along – a favorite road trip pasttime.
I cruised along I-40 until I found the first opportunity to jump off and land on rte 66. The road is in great shape and during this time not much different than other 2-lane roads in AZ. Most of the time the speed limit was 65. There was a section of road that looked to be passing through an Ocotillo farm but I assume that it was just their natural spot. Horses and cows in the fields and once I am sure I saw a pair of antelope!
Straight and mostly empty. Since I-40 parallels it, anyone in a hurry would obviously choose an interstate, but I found rte 66 to be glorious! The weather was perfect … between 62 & 72 depending on the elevation … and of course the AZ trademark of blue, blue skies. It was almost chilly as I went through the mountains and entered the Hulapai Indian reservation. I stopped in Peach Springs on the reservation and bought a sandwich at a market so I could enjoy the outdoors while I ate.
After leaving the reservation I did start seeing more signs of rte 66 tourism being alive and well.
I have to admit, I do not get how that café name attracts anyone to eat there.
I stayed on 66 as long as I could before needing to turn south and head for the Verde Valley.
So from here I am back to running up and down hills and mountains. Scenery begins to look more like az mountains.
Not a very exciting stretch of road followed for a while so I occupied myself with singing loudly and pounding the steering wheel ( as usual, I expect I was a half beat off … but really no one was listening ).
I finally got to a stretch where there was a warning for big trucks to turn back…. ah glorious, glorious mountain road…. switchbacks and S- curves. Have I mentioned that I love my car? (2005 Subaru Legacy with a turbo charger ). I am sure it is easier to blast a path through a mountain, but roads like this just make me feel alive! Maybe more so in my motorcycle days, but my Subaru handled the curves perfectly! I love my ‘ru!
This picture was taken on the way down into the Verde Valley. I passed through Jerome (tomorrow’s adventure) and arrived in the town of Cottonwood. This time my reservation was found without effort however when they ran my card it was declined… augh. I called the company and apparently my payment for the huge balance of $35 was late. Yeesh … thank goodness for us IT folks, I payed online and all was well.
After cleaning up I headed down to Old Town Cottonwood to Bocce’s restaurant…. thanks for the tip, Mark. The tables were full but as well as the regular bar they have a pizza bar and I took a seat at the pizza bar. The only problem with that was watching and smelling them make all of this yummy food less than 2 feet away! I had awesome Bocce Balls (meatballs in marinara sauce) and an incredible salad. And of course, as you all know by now, local craft beer … this time THAT Roadrash IPA. Also great service … thanks Zack!
And so ended a travel day.