Thursday, 24 July 2008

Day Six - Thursday, 26 June

I met my cousin (her Dad, Belmont, is my mother's cousin) Joanne and her husband Gene and their granddaughter Leesie (no idea how it's spelled, but that's how it sounds) for lunch at Souper!Salad. It's not the most exciting place to eat but at least it has lots of healthy options. I had lots of healthy options - lots.

They were telling me about their upcoming church mission to Peru. It wasn't going to be the touristy part and a lot of what they knew they would be doing sounded kind of scary to me. For example, eating bread made with some ingredient that if it's made wrong, it's poisonous. I asked who got to test the bread first... Riding in a canoe on a river through the jungle, staying in a village where the water source is a stream. I wished them luck.

Then we went over to Belmont and Mona's for a visit. Mona had just got out of the hospital and Belmont had stayed with her most of the time, so I was amazed to find them looking as well as they did - they are both over 90 years old. I didn't intend to stay very long, particularly after Joanne and Gene left, but every time I got up to go, another strand of the conversation started and I was there for over 3 hours. I don't know what we talked about - family stuff, reminiscences, we just talked. And I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Everytime I see them I am conscious it might be the last time. I did finally have to go as I'd agreed to meet up with Doris and Don across town.
I managed to get on the right highway for a change and so the trip to the Southside went smoothly. Rita's Acura was a dream to drive and I really enjoyed listening to the music stations she had set - classic rock, light rock, western, etc. At one point towards the end of that journey, came on and I just cranked it up and cruised down the road, remembering why it was so great to drive a car in the US.
Doris and I met up with a handful of other old friends of ours, LaQuita, Oneta and Jackie. I really enjoyed that. Afterwards I had intended to take Don and Doris out for a meal, but Don and Doris' brother had already made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner and so we ate in. Doris's 5-year old great-grandaughter, Brooklyn was there. She insisted on showing me her dance repertoire. I stayed at Doris's visiting until about 10 or so -- Donald P was already asleep in his chair... It was a lovely day, but I was glad to hit the air mattress back at Jack's.
Bill Road Book:
Day 4, 26 June, 200 Miles; 5 hours.
R 66: 5 miles to Kingman, Cross I-40 at Jct 53; 100 miles via Hackberry, Valentine, Truxton, Peach Spring, Grand Canyon Caverns to Seligman. Keep on R66, do not join I-40 (see Map); 15 miles to I40 junction 139; turn left onto I-40 East.
I-40: 25 miles to Jct 161. See Map. I-40 business through Williams onto 64 North
Hwy 64: 30 miles to Valle. Straight on
US 180: 28 miles to Mather. RV Village
The guys abandoned the RV in a Wal-Mart car park and went in the cars out over the desert again through Seligman Pass to Oatman, Arizona, an old mining town.
They were impressed with the wild donkeys (or burros, according to the website)
(picture from website linked below)
and maybe they have another name.
Classy cars, too.

Bill says Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon here in the Oatman hotel in 1930-something. I had to look this up for myself - they say the Gables couldn't get enough of the place.

This place was a mining town until the mines closed; since then it has survived as a Route 66 attraction.
Having done Oatman, the guys retrieved the RV at Wal-mart and carried on round the hilly bits on Rt 66 on a good modern road, which had been well maintained … until just before they got to I-40, apparently. Anyhow, they made it that night to the Grand Canyon.
And, as always, many thanks to Simon for sharing his pictures.

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