Login | Register
SearchMy Stuff
My ProfileMy PreferencesMy Mates RSS Feed
2
Reply to Topic
Author Discussion

RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
I earlier posted a thread on the outbound trip from Toronto to Scottsdale ( Link here http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/default.asp?h=0... and some others on offloading and aircraft. This is the second half of the trip. . We would meet Route 66 twice more on our 6,000 mile round trip.


It was time to leave Arizona for the next leg of the trip. I had some business obligations in Las Vegas, so the return trip would be very different from the outbound journey. It would take us through Arizona to Nevada, then briefly touch Arizona again before traversing Utah, across the Rockies in Colorado, the flat expanse of Nebraska to the rolling hills of Iowa, and finally through Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and back to Canada.However , we would meet 66 again.

We took last look at the back yard and packed up mid morning for the trip West to Vegas.





The familiar Saguaros gave way to Joshua trees, then great piles of rock as we hit the endless landscape. As the land opened up, so did the traffic, and was surprisingly quick.







Our first stop about 140 miles out was the old mining town of Kingman, Az. Here, an old Santa Fe passenger loco sits quietly, long retired. Once, it stopped here. Weighing 468,000lbs it ran at 60 mph. This was not one of the glamorous streamliners, but a rural working passenger loco. Now, the old Santa Fe depot is still standing, nicely restored, but Santa Fe does not run passenger trains any more, and the giant freight trains do not stop as they pass the old building. Kingman is to remote to have been gentrified. The broad main street looks much as it did in the heyday of 66, and the local Kingman Club bar still offers shuffleboard. We stop for an excellent burger at Mr D's diner, which makes me want to trade the Cayenne immediately for a '57 Chevy convertible.



















Between Kingman and the Hoover Dam the land changes once again:





We stop at the dam, opened in 1936. It was all of the Art Deco trimmings of its era, and holds back the mighty Colorado to form Lake Mead. This was an engineering marvel of the time and it well worth a visit. Its very dfficult to photograph, but some of the construction looked like an illustration from the old Myst computer game.













Nice old 1950 Chevy Stepside




It was getting late. Next stop was Las Vegas............




Edited by RDMcG on Saturday 19th November 15:44

RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
As we approach Las Vegas in the twilight some massive churches can be seen. Perhaps the hopeful come to pray for success, or those who indulge in the proudly sinful offerings of Vegas come to repent.


Predictably, Vegas is a riot of light, fountains and spectacle. The hotel is massively overscale, with the largest lobby I have ever seen; As with all hotels here, check-in is at one side of the casino, and the rooms on the other side. My co-driver is a good poker player, but I lack the gambling gene and do not even put a coin in a slot machine. The rooms are equally vast with nice views.












Across the street, outside Treasure Island a sailing ship is docked, and every evening, the Sirens who command the ship are attacked by an evil pirate ship, which sails up, bombards the sirens with cannon balls, but is defeated and sinks. This free event draws large crowds










Of course Vegas is known for sin. Situated between libertarian Arizona and modest, conservative Utah, Vegas parades its vices. Cigarette girls ( remember them?) offer cigars and wide variety of cigarettes in the casinos where smoking is permitted. People carry large drinks on the street where there are huge numbers of open air bars, and touts dressed in T shirts click on their sample cards offering girls, girls,girls to your room in 20 minutes. They are not aggressive,however.







Of course, culture is everywhere.

Why bother with all of the Roman Palazzo art ..(old anyway) when you can get the same thing in the Palazzo in Vegas?
Italy:



Vegas!


Why trek to the Tiresome Trevi fountain when the one here is all lit up, or look at dull Roman statues when the ones here are nice and clean?.Why go to the coliseum when they have one here right beside the Pantheon??
















As for Paris?...well...the Eiffel here is much brighter, let's face it.



Then, there's Venice. Smelly water, often flooded, huge cruise ships. Here you can have you gondola lit up outside, or even tour inside. All gondoliers here sing too You can have all of this culture in a few blocks
















Still, the old style Vegas neon still existssmile











Business over, we head out in the evening for Utah. All the way to the border in the gathering darkness the gloom is pierced by the neon of smaller casinos. As we cross the border to Utah, the neon gives way to dimply lit small towns. We can barely make out what is surely superb mountain scenery. Sad to miss it, we are hopeful for tomorrow. We stop in Richfield, Utah at 8pm. It looks like a scene from 28 days. We check into the Super 8 motel (cheap, very clean) and try to find a place to eat. The steak house across the road looks good, but was we approach , the lights go out. Everything in Richfield closes at 8pm. Driving a mile down the main street we do not see a single person and eventually eat at a Burger King. There are no other customers. We are eager for tomorrow













Benbay001

3,567 posts

40 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
Wow, thanks for sharing. Been to the US 6 times now, but only ever to Disney and Universal.
How ive missed out.
I want to go! smile

RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
The morning dawns clear and cold and we head out into Utah. This is a magnificent state with endless vistas, high mountains and vast canyons. Long straight highways make for easy driving. It is high here with some of the roads we will travel being over 8000 feet above sea level. Its also quite empty. We will not stop on our journey, but I could spend weeks here. Its simply jawdropping. Trucks and trains are dwarfed on the skyline, and sunrises and sunsets are magical. The topology and rock formations vary widely, and the air is thin, crisp and cold.













More to come...having trouble with Photobucket.....










Edited by RDMcG on Saturday 19th November 17:00

iva cosworth

13,511 posts

46 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
WOW .

If i ever get to the States ,it will be to Vegas.
Advertisement

RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all





This day we hit the foothills of the Rockies, go over the top and travel through the ski resort of Vail Colorado, already open for business. We are 10,000 feet up in the clouds, and it begins to snow. Yet, by lunchtime we are through the tunnels and decide to detour to Boulder, a town I recall fondly as a sort of hippy , VW Microbus kind of place. It has been years. Sadly it has been gentrified. The old Boulderado hotel now has carpets ad sofas on what was an austere tile floor, but at least its architecture is intact. The disease of pedestrianizing has occurred with the usual bas sculpture and flags, outlets of large companies and mass produced art. It does retain excellent restaurants however.



















































Tom H

516 posts

70 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
Good write up and pictures. The girlfriend and I drove the entire Mother road (route 66). Started Chicago and ended up LA took 5 and a half weeks and obviously, took in the Grand Canyon and Vegas.

I'll do a write up and pictures sometime.

More please ...

RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all




The Boulderado hotel







Lunch















Deer were everywhere through Eastern Colorado all the way to the Canadian Border, We spotted at least 100 kills from cars and in some places the roads were red from kills...



From this point on Colorado flattens out as it leads into the windy ,flat, pitiless expanse of Nebraska........















RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
We stop for the night in Nebraska and eat at a sports bar. Next morning is windy and very cold...









The Cayenne is filthy from the Colorado snow



There are some sinister creatures here





We roll into Iowa and drive it non stop to the Illinois border apart from fuel. Like Nebraska with gentle hills and a massive wind farm.
























RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
We enter Illinois,where we will have our final meeting with Route 66.......





RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all










We stop for our final gas stop at one of the few giants which were once a common sight on 66. It stood in front of the Launching Pad Drive In.






This is our Farewell to the Mother Road, We stop outside Kalamazoo, Michigan, (home of the Checker Cab) for the night










Edited by RDMcG on Thursday 15th May 16:20

RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
On our final day, the weather is cold with a watery sun........










we run back to Canada without to end the trip.......


Dan_1981

10,647 posts

82 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
Brilliant thread.

I travelled accross lots of the states by train, the diveristy of landscapes is jaw dropping.

RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
Some observations about the trip

(1) The US is not a place - its a spectacularly varied series of places, some of the spectacularly beautiful. It has some of the most magnificent natural scenery in the world.

(2) Traveling on portions of old 66 is an absorbing experience, and the sense of the millions who travelled on it is always there.From the days of the dustbowl and the Depression when people fled to build a new life in California to the post war times when Route 66 practically invented the long distance road trip, there are still echoes. It is strange to stand on an empty road or before and abandoned building imagining the energy and activity that once occurred here. In the days of cheap energy the road was endless, and this was the Granddaddy of all of it. It is saddening in a way that cheap energy is on the way out, and what was once the most economical possible way to travel is now much less so. Also, the thousands of small and quirky motels and facilities have largely gone now, replaced by corporate hotels and fast food chains,stripping a lot of the colour and variety that once existed on this icon of log distance automobile travel. That being said, it is an utterly unforgettable experience.

(3) Planning is essential. I looked at many guides and only a few are good. There are state by state maps of 66 available as a pack, and also a ring binder called the E-Z guide to Route 66.They are incredibly valuable, and there are more things to see than are manageable on a single trip, and many need specific instructions to reach them

(4) Make sure your co-driver has stamina when you are running 900 miles a day. I split this task equally with Phil, my co-driver, setting up equal amounts of daylight and night driving.

(5) We used a Garmin nav system with traffic monitoring which was invaluable. It is substantially better than any manufacturer system I have ever tried.

(6) My respect for the Cayenne has increased enormously. 6000 miles, which involved towing 5000 lbs one way, very tough offroading along abandoned mining trails and some very high speed running were all taken with ease. The seats were good enough to go long stretches without discomfort, and after the trip there was not a single rattle. As an offroader if vastly exceeded expectations . Sadly, low range is not available on the new Cayenne, and we would have been cooked without it. We did not have a single mechanical issue apart from losing a piece of a rocker panel on the Vulture mine trail.
It used no oil. Mileage for the loaded trip was about 11.8mpg and the return trip was about 19.5.

(7) Would I do it again?
Absolutely!. If anyone has any plans to try it, feel free to PM me and I would be glad to help with info if required.

RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
I will compile a lost of books etc for those who are thinking about thissmile

Benbay001

3,567 posts

40 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
More photos? Wow, thats quite some special trip, again, thanks for sharing.
RDMcG said:
We enter Illinois,where we will have our final meeting with Route 66.......

That made me laugh. Only in the States smile

RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
Benbay001 said:
That made me laugh. Only in the States smile

There were quite a few of these, but the thread gets too long if I post everything.....

RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
Tom H said:
Good write up and pictures. The girlfriend and I drove the entire Mother road (route 66). Started Chicago and ended up LA took 5 and a half weeks and obviously, took in the Grand Canyon and Vegas.

I'll do a write up and pictures sometime.

More please ...
I have done most of it, but on different trips. There are pieces here and there that I still want to hit. Since I have to go back to retrieve the dogs next Spring, I will cover some of the missing areas........

Graham

15,197 posts

167 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th November 2011 quote quote all
Some great pics and story there, I've been cooking up a us road trip idea with a mate. 18 months ago we went to la to pic p a 1969 911s rolling shell and had half an idea to do an east west road trip, when his 911 and my chimaera a back together..

Picking some inspiration from Dave Gormans book, too but it looks like there is less and less that isn't part of a big chain..

G

RDMcG

Original Poster:

8,516 posts

90 months

[news] 
Sunday 20th November 2011 quote quote all
Graham said:
Some great pics and story there, I've been cooking up a us road trip idea with a mate. 18 months ago we went to la to pic p a 1969 911s rolling shell and had half an idea to do an east west road trip, when his 911 and my chimaera a back together..

Picking some inspiration from Dave Gormans book, too but it looks like there is less and less that isn't part of a big chain..

G
The most useful books are from Jerry McLanahan, who knows every yard of 66. There is still a lot to see, but you need to know where it is. Even on the areras we covered, there was a lot missed because of time pressures.

2
Reply to Topic