Little pieces of Americana
After leaving the Grand Canyon, in desperate search of some body of water to refresh ourselves in, we turned to our loyal friend Road Atlas for help. The next major destination on our map was the Salton Sea, so Lake Mojave seemed the perfect waypoint. We had heard of the nearby Lake Havasu before and had high hopes, but the best part of the whole plan was we could drive part of the way on Route 66!
Renown Route 66 had been tugging at my thoughts the entire drive across country. During the planning stages I tried to find a way to cross over to the 66 but it wasn’t ever fully visible on road maps. It would appear all of sudden, then be replaced by a new highway; this made it even more intriguing to me. I really wanted to drive down this picturesque road with vintage signs and run down buildings. I expected to roll into the past and snap away at all the interesting bits of americana I would find. Well, my expectations were wrong again! Why hadn’t I guessed that Route 66 would have been exploited by now? It was a mere tourist trap, busses of Asian tourists taking one another’s photo with a cardboard life-size Marilyn Monroe or James Dean, packs of at least 50 Germans “re-living” the Route on motorcycles, children with cotton candy, lines for restrooms and stores galore selling American paraphernalia. It was a sight to see. We had a good laugh; I couldn’t help but stand there in awe of the disconnect of what I was taking in and what I had envisioned in my head. Needless to say I was happy we hadn’t taken Route 66 the entire way, and at least I finally was able to see it!
We arrived at Lake Mojave in the late afternoon, rented a campsite and ran for the lake. Wait!? One needs a boat to swim in the Lake? It was just a dock. The beautiful mountains cascaded down into this tempting blue, cool water and … there’s no swimming!? So we continued on to find a swimming area. We jumped in the water just past the Davis Dam to wash off all the red dust, sweat, sunscreen, campfire smoke, and being-on-the-road-funk. Brrrrrr! The water was chilly and the current was intense, we didn’t last long. We sat content on the back of the truck bed sipping a cocktail watching the sunset and the locals. One woman in particular slugging a handle of vodka, yelling at her man , along with an invasion of tiny flies ruined any opportunity for a peaceful evening; we headed back to our campsite.
The next morning we drove through Lake Havasu, saw the London Bridge!? Why would anyone want to see the London Bridge when it is no longer in London but in Arizona!!? Does any other country purchase foreign landmarks/ infrastructure and put them on display where they have absolutely no relevance? We had lunch at a nearby lake that you could actually swim in, then set out for the Salton Sea.