Day 17 - Grand Canyon to Las Vegas via Route 66

Saddle up and head south.  Away from the Grand Canyon.   We have now done the north and south rims of the canyon, and our collective belief is that the North Rim is the nicer of the two.  The south rim is a lot more commercial.  This has a lot to do with it being more accessible, even has a train station, and the trails to the bottom of the canyon all start here.  But this all means there are a lot more people, so it becomes more impersonal.  The north rim is a lot smaller in available accommodation, thereby making it harder to get, and is also physically harder to get to, although for us the road was wonderful.  As to which has the more spectacular scenery, much of a muchness, although the south rim had roads along 30 miles or more of the rim and the Colorado River is much more visible.  But you get a much more personal experience on the quieter North Rim.

So, to today, and after heading South on US180, we refuelled at Williams, then headed east on I40 for a while.  I40 is one of those super-slabs you hear about and another major cross country route, so lots of trucks, and boy do they move.  We followed one down a 6% gradient hill and he was doing 85mph.  Luckily we didn't have to go too far before turning off at Crookton to follow the iconic US66.  Yep, Route 66 like in the song.  This is a nice two-lane strip of bitumen.  Some parts are old and with many repairs, but it is pretty smooth for the most part and would be very acceptable as a major highway at home.  But no, or hardly any, trucks.  Certainly not like on the Interstate.

After a short time we came to the town of Seligman which has a few souvenir shops and cafe's, mostly celebrating the Route 66 theme.  We stopped at the Rusty Bolt, which has old pink Cadillacs and dummies dressed in 50's styles.  Heaps of nicnacs, but luckily we are riding bikes without much extra room.  They then directed us to a couple of cafes, one called Road Kill Cafe - sounded good - and the nearby Seligman Sundries.  Sounds a funny name for a cafe, but it was a great place to stop for a coffee.  They even had Wi-Fi so I could update the blog.  Seemed funny sitting in a 50's era cafe using wireless internet, but there you go.  The couple running it were very friendly and John even nearly sold them a GoldWing.  We had our photos taken to add to their scrap book and Frank even escorted us out of town in his old Ford tow-truck.  On the way we passed the Road Kill Cafe, but it looked quite modern and not at all in keeping with the Route66 theme.  Here is the website of Seligman Sundries if you want to have a look.

Then it was quite a few hot miles to Kingman, AZ where, after briefly re-joining I-40, we turned onto US 93 north towards Las Vegas.  On the way we went over the Hoover Dam, where the road winds down to below the dam wall then back up again, but they are currently building a giant bridge to span the canyon.

The temperature climbed to 104F once again as we cruised into Las Vegas.  The traffic was busy until we turned on to Las Vegas Blvd, or "The Strip" as it is known, then it turned atrocious.  Little did we know that the parallel roads either side were virtually empty of traffic - everyone has to drive The Strip.  So we crawled along getting hotter and hotter.  J&K dropped off at the giant Paris resort and we travelled another two miles to Circus Circus, our digs for the next two nights.  When we got there, and found reception ( around the side street, under the building then make just three more turns), the parking for bikes was quite close thankfully.  But the traffic hadn't finished with us yet.  Inside there was another long wait to get to reception where half a dozed receptionists were working flat out to process the numbers.  The hotel has over 2500 rooms.

Crowds are the order for the next couple of days.  Queues everywhere.  Gambling machines as well. 

Finally inside, we headed for the cold shower to lower the body temp, then sussed out the laundry.  By this time it was about 8pm so we "hit the strip" for some food and entertainment.   One problem is the Strip is currently undergoing a lot of development and Circus Circus is surrounded by mostly bare allotments.  The one to the south must be 50 acres or more and to the north almost that, with one casino opposite and more vacant allotments either side.  We walked up to the Sahara and went in to have a look.  A few of the bars have a motor racing theme.  We blew a few bucks on the tables then went back out and heard a rollercoaster thunder over our heads.  Back inside we found the ride and just had to have a go.  Being late, there weren't many waiting so we got on almost straight away.  Talk about being fired out of a cannon!!  It was good fun and lasted about as long as the same amount of money lasted on the roulette wheel.

After that thrill, we were ready for more so we headed up to the Stratosphere tower where we could see a couple of rides right up the top.  The tower platform is 921 feet high and we were strapped in chairs and boosted at 4g another 160 feet to 1081ft above Vegas.  The view was breathtaking - especially when the 4g's stopped and we free-fell back down then were bounced up again a few times.  Then around to the other to a more simple - and even scarier - ride.  We were strapped into some chairs and simply tipped over the side of the tower.  Then pushed out and down.  A white-knuckle ride that - but fun.  Naturally all these rides had long queues, so by now it was getting very late and we headed back to our Hotel and hunted down some food.  Not easy, but we eventually found a 24hr cafe and had a small meal then off to bed.

Today's pics:

Elk and deer often wander through the village.  This elk beside the exit road.
Road was a bit smokey
Goldbear's temporary home
Three to go....
This truck was doing 85mph.
Innovative advertising 1
Innovative advertising 2
Innovative advertising 3
Innovative advertising 4
Innovative advertising 5
A pose beside the sign outside Seligman
That's where we are.
Very slow cab.
Juxtaposition of eras.
MMbear watches Dave's video.
The Roadkill Cafe
Our escort
side by side on 66
They have the leg-breakers here too
66 runs beside Union Pacific railroad.  Plenty of trains.
Sometimes we just shook our heads.
Leaving 66
Into the valley
Interesting truck-and-dog.  Dog body rolls in to truck body when not in use.  We've seen a few of these.
Heading into a strong wing, J&K try to conserve fuel.
Hoover Dam wall.  See the new bridge under construction.
Gonna be tall.
Hoover Dam on the Colorado
These little trucks are everywhere.
drive-in ATM
Are we in the right place?
Still not sure.
Actually, this was J&K's digs.
I guess Caesars Palace needs a lot of power
The Strip - just a jumble.
This is the Vegas Strip version of a shopping mall
This one is coming down
Charleen not really wanting to do the second ride. (taken on phone camera)

Next Day