Meteor Crater, historic Route 66 and Joshua Tree National Park

Our food storage was gone and it needed urgently to get filled up. So we headed south to Flagstaff. When you are hungry it’s a bad idea to buy groceries, because you just buy stuff you don’t need. The German girls, we met a few days before, recommended us Dennis. We’ve never been there before and there was one restaurant on our way. OK, better than Mc Donald’s, more expensive, but meals are so huge! After lunch and three Coke refills we stumbled to the next Walmart. Tired and just wanted to get a rest we drove to a free campsite south at the Cococino National Forest, where we stayed one night.

One guy recommended us the Meteor Crater about 100 miles east. It was completely the wrong direction, but we decided to visit this famous meteor impact site. When we went there next morning, it occurred as a tourist trap (at least in our opinion). 18 $ entrance fee to see a one mile wide hole in the ground?  You can’t get down to the bottom and with binoculars you can hardly see the impact position, where they have digged out the asteroid. Only the museum is a bit interesting, but when you explore the internet for one hour, it would be nearly the same and you don’t lose a day getting there and back.

After staying one night in a National Forest close to Williams we went west and passed one of the remaining parts of the famous Route 66 at Ash Fork to Kingman. It was a great feeling to ride, especially with our Austrian van. For such a long time it was the main route from Chicago to Los Angeles. But then they built the Interstates and Highways, and all the importance of this route was gone. All of the towns we passed had seen their golden era long time ago. Only some ruins and a few elder remaining guys can tell you the stories, how it was nowadays.

An ant army attacked us at a free campsite close to Kingman, bit us in our feet and told us to move about 15 feet. But it wasn’t our biggest problem that day: The weather forecast predicted a heavy thunderstorm that evening/night. The direction of the wind told us first a different story. We looked scared at the horizon, where heavy rain and lightning came down. Within half an hour the wind turned and storm hit us hardly. Remaining scared in our dambling van we suffered there for hours. Next morning predicting worst we recognized, everything was good and complete at our van. Of course: Homemade Austrian quality! 😉

In cause of exhausting heat and a cheap offer from internet we headed south of Lake Havasu to a RV Park in Crossroads at the Colorado River. Advertized with 15 $ on internet (with no hook up) they charged us more than 33 $ (check said 15.83, handwritten 33.33)! “Prices can vary on season!” Twice expensive than offered? We were so angry and fed up. Several times we even paid more for comparable facilities, but other campgrounds don’t advertise it so cheap. But we broke! L 47 °C (117 °F) that day let us stay just hashing for a shade and trying to get cooled in the Colorado River.

On Highway 62 we headed west next morning, enjoyed late lunch in Twentynine Palms and entered the Joshua Tree National Park. Amazed of the desert vegetation and the unique stone formations we arrived at the Jumbo Rocks campground. It was quite late, so we only enjoyed the cooler temperatures and the gorgeous rocks, like we’ve never seen before, surrounding. Two German couples, whom are exploring US for six weeks with their nine children, showed us, how strenuous (for us) travelling could be. But they enjoyed it! It was a pleasure to meet them.

Next morning we hiked a little 2.5 mile (4 km) round trip at the Skull Rock and Discovery Trail right next to the campground. We were wondering and being impressed of these stone formations, how nature has built them! After a short out take to the Split Rock we went on south. We have to visit a place, where they acted some scenes of “Into The Wild!”, one of our favorite films: Let’s go to Slab City!


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