Its funny when you venture someplace and suddenly you come face to face with a living legend (of sorts).
After doing a mental coin flip the trip went south of Las Vegas. Driving through northern Arizona was new and undiscovered territory. Speed limits jumped to 75 mph and everyone took full advantage and then some. It started to feel like we were on a racetrack. That was when the travel fates intervened. I had noticed the frequent passing of trailer laden vehicles carrying boats. In the desert? shortly thereafter at a point tha desert was looking particularly parched a sign appeared with Lake Havasu boldly embossed with photos of tourists on boats and jet skis.
Just beyond the sign was a bridge over the Colorado River. Then I recalled that the original London Bridge was located near the Lake. I recognized how to find relief from the rat-race. We’ll go to Lake Havasu to see the London Bridge.
My traveling companion looked me as if I was crazy. She knew I hadn’t touched any alcohol so perhaps it was the heat — it was 86 degrees. I was telling her the story of the bridge: it was purchased by an Arizona developer as a means for making Havasu City a tourist destination. A few minutes later another sign appeared, nineteen miles to the London Bridge. “See I’m not crazy.” So, you’re right — I still think you’re crazy.”
I have her my best impression of a forlorn hound dog and she caved in. The drive went fast. Finding the bridge was more challenging. Turns out it it in a residential area that is decked out with the latest in tourist trap shopping and other activities. Walking into the gift shops was a relief from the heat. The locals told me that the area is fairly quiet from May through November except for the holidays. Once New Year passes the town starts hopping. As one person put it, “no one wants to be outside in triple digit summer heat. I chuckled and then snorted in agreement. We took a stroll across the two block long bridge and found it structurally satisfying and aesthetically pleasing even though it did feel odd to see it out of its original element.
Once my curiosity was satisfied we made our way back to the freeway. The next destination was Flagstaff. This town’s a gateway to the Grand Canyon and with the federal government shutdown looming ahead we decided to see it while we could.
The Grand Canyon is one park I could visit over and over again. The canyon is never static. Colors evolve from pastel to oil paint quality as the sun moves from east to west. The multi-layer strata combined with the colors is a festival for the eyes. Combine this with the geological history and the Canyon becomes the ultimate destination for people around the world. In fact, we heard several languages during our all-day hike: German,French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and English.
It is sad to consider how of these folks have planned this excursion to the Grand Canyon for months or even years. I learned that the parks would close under the budget impasse. However, lodgers would have three days to actually vacate. No one new could breech the confines of the park.
During our park visit I came face-to-face with two dreaded beasts. The first tried to steal my sandwich. The second was more stealthy. We did see some pronghorn sheep outside the park too.
Loved the Canyon and hope to return someday.