We spent most of the past 4 weeks in national parks, enjoying some of the most beautiful places this planet has to offer. Now we head back to civilisation, well, kind of anyway.

Heading directly south from Grand Canyon National Park, you hit the little town of Williams on the old Mother Road, Route 66. And what a delightful little town it is! We have a little wander around and get a bite to eat at the Pine Country restaurant. We go for a light lunch, we have to leave some space for dessert here, you come to this place to eat pie! That small light lunch isn’t really that small, it’s a big plate! But the whole trip long Niels has been wanting to eat some cherry pie, Twin Peaks style, and this is the place. This place has some amazing pies, we go for the classics, cherry pie and raspberry pie. One bite and you’re in pie heaven, so utterly delicious! Stuffed to the brim, we wobble out and venture out to discover more of what Route 66 has to offer.

Unfortunately, we have to take a bit of interstate for the next bit, which is Ash Fork. We stop at a local gas station to fill up our propane tank. Now, you’re not allowed to this yourself, you need to get some from the station to this for you. Niels goes into the shop, and the character behind the counter shouts to another customer “Earl, you f’ing useless fatso, get out of the way, them tourists need some propane”. Brilliant! Afterwards, Niels ask him about some of the gorgeous (wrecks of) old timers that are parked on the lot… “Them 3 are mine. That one’s Mickey’s, he don’t have no space to park it so he put it here”. OK then, moving on… The story of Ash Fork is a little sad. A prosperous little rail road town, founded back in 1883, got a boom with Route 66 passing by. Then when they built the interstate, things went downhill, and then the rail road company decided to move their line, then there was a big fire which destroyed many of the town’s businesses including the iconic and historic Harvey Hotel. Poor little town. Still, about 400 or so people remain, way more than in Aladdin Wyoming. And since 1973, they even have a direct water supply, up until then, water had to be brought in by train every day!

Next, Seligman, on the longest original, uninterrupted stretch of Route 66 still in existence. Along the way, we pass a collection of Burma Shave signs. “He tried / To cross / As fast train neared / Death didn’t draft him / He volunteered / Burma-Shave” and “If daisies / Are your / Favorite flower / Keep pushin’ up those / Miles per hour / Burma-Shave” amongst others. In Segilman, we stop at the famous Delgadillo’s Snow-Cap Drive-In, an icon of old Route 66, where the sign says “Sorry, we’re open” and they serve “hamburgers without ham and dead chicken”. We had fun looking at all the signs and kitsch, and being entertained by the owner. The whole town still seems to live on the old Route 66 charm, very enjoyable, just what you’d want out of it.

We’re down to our 2 last nights with Bertie, time to start heading back to Las Vegas. We spent our final day at Lake Mead, not doing all that much really. Going for a walk on the beach and enjoying our last camp fire and marshmallows. We’re so going to miss this.

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