Saturday, March 12, 2011

Yay! Uncharted is Working Again!

Several years ago, I read an Internet travelogue written by a visitor to my home state of Idaho. No matter where this writer stopped, things just weren't good enough. The people were boring. The food was bland. And the scenery, well, this guy said you may as well make the drive in the dark.


Simpleton, I thought. Sure, never get off the intersate and you know what, barreling along at 75 miles per hour, you're not going to see much. Even if you're looking hard.

So when we took a wintertime trip through the state of Arizona, I promised myself two things:

1)    We'd get off the interstates.
2)    We'd make the trip worth seeing in the daytime.

As it is, we traversed the state from north to south and back again, hitting only 70 miles of interstate. And rather than waste our trip jadedly farting away our opportunity to explore, we took the time to stop and explore a bit.

We found plenty:

-    We crossed the Hoover Dam, one of the greatest engineering marvels of the 20th century.
-    We traveled along stretches of Route 66, the Mother Road, which the kids thought was boring until we told them they'd have a good chance of seeing Mater and Lightning McQueen along the way.
-    We gazed at the industry and misplaced wealth that brought a bridge from London, England, to the Colorado River.
-    We clambered over parched rocks sporting sparse desert vegetation surrounded by acres and acres of fresh, cool water.
-    We rattled our bones tearing down a washboard one-lane road into the outskirts of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge as the mountains and their odd projections and peaks cut the horizon.
-    We wandered the Art Deco streets of a charming down town Yuma, Arizona – in our shirtsleeves, no less – the day after Christmas.
-    And, like C. Montgomery Burns' son Larry, we “sawr a blimp.”

What, my friends, could be cooler than that?

The route we took brought us from the Nevada State Line at Boulder City down US Highway 93 to Kingman, down Interstate 40 to Arizona Highway 95, then along that highway through Lake Havasu City, Parker, and Quartsize to U.S. Highway 95 south to Yuma.

Come along. Over the next few months, I'll be posting photos and stories from our trip to Arizona, just to show that travelogue bum what he might have seen in the frozen wastelands of the north if he'd taken the time to get out of his car along the way.

For the full photoset, go here. Enjoy!

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