2014 Western Road Trip Day 16, Tuesday May 20th

Kingman, AZ gets an A+ for best hotel, SpringHill Suites, and restaurant, Kingman Company Steak House so far on this trip. We left Kingman for the Cesar Chavez National Monument with a clear sky, sunshine, and cooler temperatures in the low 70’s.

We made a side trip to Laughlin, NV to support the local casino trade and lay down a bet for my bud, Willie Williams. I played three card poker and slots and ended up a whole nickel ahead, while Babs lost $14 on slots, all in less than an hour.

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Harrah’s is the last property on casino way

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Colorado Belle Casino

Leaving Laughlin, we headed back across the Colorado river over to Bullhead City, AZ to Needles, CA. There we took I40 to the exit where old Rte 66 headed west toward Bakersfield. Old Route 66 is another desolate highway in the middle of nowhere. Many people spell their names on banks which line the highway using rocks that are everywhere.

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Lots of names written with rocks

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A whole lot of nothing

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Continues to a whole lot of nothing

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An original Rte 66 motel no longer in business

Beside sand, in the desert, you see trains.

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An unexpected plus was seeing the Amboy Crater & lava field which is south of Rte 66 in San Bernadino County, CA and rises 250 feet in altitude. The volcano cone and 24 square mile lava field was formed by an eruption thought to have happened 79,000 years ago.

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Amboy Crater & Lava Field

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There were no rest stops or picnic tables on Rte 66 so we had to wait until we were back on I40 and found a rest stop.

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We arrive at the Cesar Chavez National Memorial,  about 45 minutes before it closed for the day. Created in October 2012, cynics might say the memorial may have opened just in time to help bring in the Hispanic vote for the General election.  We took the tour through the exhibit which highlighted the fight to unionize laborers who picked grapes. The exhibit was well done and informative. The memorial grounds consist of absolutely beautiful rose gardens and Chavez’s grave site.

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These guys in various sizes were everywhere

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Chavez grave site

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We didn’t make reservations in Bakersfield and had to call five hotels before getting a nice room at a Hampton Inn & Suites, nice but on the high side of our budget. Room taxes everywhere are ridiculous.

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Dinner tonight was at Denny’s so I’m not bothering to write what Babs has to  say about it! You can use your imagination.

Tomorrow we head north to Three Rivers and Kings Canyon National Park.

Babs Says: The GPS says we will be at Chavez N. Mon. at 3:40. It closes at 4:00. Notice we are running low on gas, and still have to climb the Sierras. Frank makes a NASCAR pit stop for 5 gallons, speeds back to the Interstate and drives like Jimmy Johnson. We make it to the N. Mon. in time to get my stamp and smell the roses at the grave site.

 

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