Call me crazy, but until we literally stumbled across it I completely forgot about Route 66. That’s right, someone road tripping around America totally forgot about the existence of the country’s most famous road. America’s Main Street.
So when we saw signs for Route 66 as we took off from the Grand Canyon towards Las Vegas I was like “ohhhh yeahhh”. I have travelled along Route 66 in Arizona before, and have fond memories of stopping in the kitsch towns of Williams and Seligman (I say that like an elderly woman recalling her youth, but it was only 5 years ago…).
Anyway, my delight in all things old fashioned demanded we stop in Williams for a shake.
Twisters 50s Soda Fountain had an enticing sign out the front so we decided to go there:The inside had a checkerboard floor, Marilyn Monroe on the wall and red CocaCola paraphernalia everywhere. What else could you want from a Route 66 diner?
My chocolate shake was delicious and too thick to suck up through the straw. I think the menu said something about it containing a pint (or some other alarming unit of measure) of ice cream, but I tried to ignore that.
On a serious sugar high, we continued on, passing increasingly dilapidated towns that lost their source of income when the Route 66 bypass was put in in the 1980s.
Our hostel was located in downtown Las Vegas, between a strip club and a tattoo parlour. Across the road were three quickie wedding chapels. Perfect.
That night we joined our fellow hostel goers for a night out in the Fremont area (old Vegas) at a venue that for a short while served 25c beers. We wrote off the next day, as much due to fatigue from a week of hiking as to being hungover.
We emerged from our hostel at about 6pm, keen to find something to eat. So we wandered down to the Strip in about 42 degrees celsius.We grabbed an unremarkable dinner at the Venetian before checking out the lights.
And we caught the end of the fountain show out the front of the Bellagio.
Having walked over 10km
we I was utterly exhausted and fell into a taxi that returned us to our stinking hot hotel room. The next day would prove to be far superior.