Laundry, the inevitable issue that will arise on any extended holiday. When you throw campervaning in the desert into the mix, you may understand why we chose tonight’s accomodation based on its laundry facilities. This is where I stand as I write this. 1 and a half hours to wait at 9:30pm on a Saturday night. Not the greatest way to spend a Saturday night, but hey, it’s been a big few days to get us here. Here’s a recap of where we’ve been so far.
The Road Trip Begins
As we set off on our next chapter of our road trip USA, we left the bright lights and heavy traffic behind and headed south to a little town called Julian. This destination was not on any plans we had made, but weather dictated that camping in Joshua Tree was out due to the extreme cold. In all our research we decided that south was going to be the best option, so we treated ourselves to a night in a quaint little inn. Lucky we did, as we were greeted with a thick powdery coat of white snow. This was the first time the kids had ever seen snow, the looks of excitement rivalled any Disneyland experience. After waking the next day, and a post breakfast snow ball fight, it was time to set the GPS to Flagstaff some 450 miles away.
We decided to break up the journey with a few stops along the way. Borrego Springs was a random little town. Scattered throughout the town were life size metal statues. We grabbed a few snacks from the local grocer, found a few statues to photograph and then continued on.
Is that a mirage?
The Salton Sea was our next pit stop. One thing that can be said about the USA is that they keep their scenery interesting. After heading through straight roads with rocks and minimal vegetation, we pulled up to a desert beach. After so much desert, must admit it looked odd to see water, a mirage maybe? Nope definitely real.
It looked like in a day gone by it may have been a booming little town, these days, apart from the wow factor of a beach in the desert, there is not a lot of reason to go. If you are after cheap real estate however, $4995 will pick you up a block of land in a waterfronts community.
New State, New Petrol Prices
Bullhead City was a little more lively considering our geographical location. Just over the Arizona border, we only stopped to stopped treat ourselves to a tank of fuel and a bite to eat. Fuel is significantly cheaper in Arizona compared to California, dropping $1.50 to $2.00 per gallon based on California prices. State gasoline tax varies state by state and California has by far the highest in the country.
We jumped on the I40 with speed limits of 75mph. The highways are mostly gun barrel straight and smooth making you feel as if your barely moving. I apologise in advance, I foresee my self repeating this a few times during this trip – the scenery along the interstate highways is just incredible. It’s almost like they specifically build their roads to give the best possible view of the best nature they have to offer. It’s breathtaking as you come over a hill and are greeted by a panoramic view of a mountain range where 2 mins before nothing was visable as far as the eye could see.
Time to get our kicks
We exited off the I40 onto the mother road Route 66 to do a late night drive by of a town called Seligman. For anyone who has kids or is a Disney fan, will find this town oddly familiar. This is the town that gave inspiration for the movie Cars, the real life Radiator Springs. The streets are lined with all the old cars that ooze personality, you expect them to start talking. I love this place, it’s like going back in time, you can feel the energy of a bygone era.
Back to the snow
We eventually arrived in Flagstaff at approx 9pm. Greeted with snow, much like we started our day. The weird thing was that we spent the entire middle of the day in pleasant 20 odd degree sunshine. People say Melbourne as strange weather..
We spent 2 nights in Flagstaff, using it as a home base while we restocked our supplies and bought climate appropriate clothing and sleeping bags. It was also good to have a couple of days off driving. Flagstaff is a beautiful town. The ambiance is a friendly vibe, the snow lined streets turning everywhere you look into a postcard moment.
Sedona was a short drive southbound from Flagstaff, we travelled on a fantastic winding road through canyons and surrounded by snow capped and red rock mountains. Unfortunately no photo can do it justice. We spent the day hiking through the forest by oak creek, taking in the fresh air and serenity. Sedona is known for its high spiritual energy, home to 4 vortexes that many seek out to heal and re energise. I was inspired to don the running gear and go for a hilly trail run. There must be something to it. We utilised our campers facilities and cooked ourselves a picnic lunch before we jumped back in the car, set to spend our first night free camping at a place we found on the AllStays app.
We arrived with enough light to set up our camper fully for the first time. Given it was our first attempt, it was really a quick process. The spot was basic, however given it’s price or lack there of, ‘‘twas amazing. Large sites each by the water with fireplace, picnic table and a bbq. We lit a small fire, cooked a small meal before calling it an early night. Our gear did its job and we made it through a 1 degree night without too much problem. I got to really experience the coolness as a false alarm toilet break from miss 3 at 1:30am took place…oh well ha ha
Alicia took the reigns for the first time! Successfull driving us out of the campground and into the township of Winslow. The road wasn’t exactly busy, but she took to the road with confidence and ease. We arrived safely at a famous corner, must have been my fantastic navigation skills.
Take it Easy
We were Standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona…for about the appropriate amount of time. Snapped a few photos of the area made famous by the Eagles with their hit song Take it Easy. A quick visit to the obligatory neighbouring gift shop to look at Route 66 merch and we were on our way eastbound, letting the Eagles Greatest hits guide us approximately 300miles to Albuquerque New Mexico. One thing comes to mind when I hear Albuquerque and that’s one of my favourite TV shows, Breaking Bad. Hopefully we can change that over the next couple of days.
Now here we are, in the laundry room of our Albuquerque hotel, at 11pm, still with a couple of minutes left on the dryer. Looking forward to see what adventures tomorrow will bring.
Ps. If your not aware, we also have a Facebook page with up to date photos and videos, check it out if you haven’t yet.