2015 USA Road Trip Day 11: Flagstaff AZ to Henderson NV

Woke up to lots more snow, but the vague hope that I might be leaving it all behind me today.

morning paper in AZ morning TV in AZ

I had a great morning at the Lowell Observatory. I didn't really expect anything but I had a quick chance to look at the sun through a solar telescope which was good enough for me to see flares and sunspots on it - at 10.30am in the morning I wasn't really expecting to see anything through anything. After that there was a 45 minute talk about the discovery of Pluto for myself and about a dozen other people who'd turned up, and I found it really interesting. The guy who discovered Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh, was basically a work experience boy who sat up every night in a cold telescope tower, chipping ice off the lens before taking hour-long exposures on photo plates and the comparing them on a blink comparator (no, me neither). Pluto was too small to see with the eye through telescopes and this was the only way they could find it. (And a while after they did find it, they lost it again for a while ...)

Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ Lowell Observatory Flagstaff AZ

The Americans are very proud of their planet discovery (which is no longer a planet, of course) although they did mention at the end that Pluto was actually named by a young English schoolgirl who sent a telegram in from Oxford in response to a public appeal. There were some letters there from the American public with some really bad other suggestions for the name.

Sadly I was unable to take a photo of the "Welcome to Pluto" sign as it keeps getting stolen and they haven't decided whether to replace it again or not.

When I came out of Flagstaff I drove through the Kaibab National Forest and it was still snowing so it was nice to see snow-covered pine trees. It was still really cold though and it was snowing quite hard by the time I got to Williams, which I detoured through - lots of old Route 66 relics still here. I had far too big a lunch (and still left half of it) at Goldie's Diner.

driving out of Flagstaff AZ Williams AZ Williams AZ Williams AZ Williams AZ Williams AZ Williams AZ Williams AZ

As I came out of Williams though, the snow stopped, the cloud cover changed from 100% snow clouds to blue skies and the temperature rose from 30F to 40F in a couple of minutes and then straight up to the 50s after a few more miles. I was still up quite high but the transformation was amazing. Within 10 miles I was out of 6 inches of snow and into golden shrubland where it hadn't looked like it had snowed all year.

driving through AZ driving through AZ

Drove through to Seligman, another quiet town with a very wide Route 66 going through it and lots of things to photograph as well.

Delgadillo's Snow Cap Seligman AZ

Delgadillo's Snow Cap Seligman AZ Delgadillo's Snow Cap Seligman AZ Delgadillo's Snow Cap Seligman AZ Delgadillo's Snow Cap Seligman AZ Delgadillo's Snow Cap Seligman AZ The Rusty Bolt Seligman AZ The Rusty Bolt Seligman AZ Roadkill Cafe Seligman AZ

Had a really nice drive into Kingman with the Hualapai Mountains ahead of me.

driving through AZ driving through AZ (Hualapai Mountains) Kingman AZ rest stop AZ

It was here things started to go wrong - my phone, which I had been using as a satnav, was having problems connecting to the local phone network and I was suffering from a low battery, and I ended up driving quite a few miles out of Kingman without being sure where I was going. I managed to find my way again in the end and got back on the road towards Lake Havasu City.

Having walked around Williams in another snow storm at lunchtime, I find myself at Lake Havasu on the Colorado river two hours later, in bright sunshine with no clouds at all and the thermometer touching 21 C. I parked up and had a nice walk over London Bridge and back - the settings were beautiful and I could see myself spending more time in this city if I didn't have a plane to catch at some point. There were a few people taking photos of the bridge - the setting, with palm trees and mountains surrounding us, was surreal.

London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ London Bridge Lake Havasu City AZ

I particularly liked the statue of the two guys agreeing the contract for the bridge. After the bridge itself, it's probably the oldest thing in the whole city.

After leaving Lake Havasu at around 5pm, things started to go a bit pear shaped again. My initial plan was to head north into California (clocks going back an hour again) and then Nevada and stop at the town of Searchlight - a 95 mile drive which was easy enough, just played a few albums and relaxed a bit. When I got there, I didn't stop the car, I just slowed down, had a look around and kept on going! Apart from a McDonalds and a fairly rough-looking hotel there didn't seem to be anything there at all.

My phone, back to having virtually no battery (i can charge it or use satnav, but not both) told me there were hotels in Boulder City so I drove another 40 miles, by which time it had got dark. Checked in around 6pm to the Nevada Inn, who wanted payment up front - always a bad sign. Found my room, and it was very big, but didn't look like it had been decorated in 50 years. There was a big jacuzzi at the back, and the tap was dripping - and the wifi wasn't working either. I used that as an excuse to get a refund and get out of there. I did not like Boulder City - it's like Thamesmead, only with more palm trees and casinos.

An hour later I am checking in again at the Comfort Inn in Henderson, another 12 miles away - oh to add to all the stress I had about 5 miles of petrol left too! Decided not to go out and ordered a pizza which was hard work in itself.

For another $20 I ended up with a hotel that was 100 times better. Some people say that part of the appeal of doing road trips is staying at the "mom and pop motels" but I have seen the insides of a couple of them and they all look like they are shitholes. The branded hotels like Comfort Inn are only about £10-£15 more expensive but they are light years ahead in cleanliness and comfort.



Next:     2015 USA Road Trip Day 12: Henderson NV to Tonopah NV
Previous:     2015 USA Road Trip Day 10: Monument Valley UT to Flagstaff AZ

Last updated 25 February 2015 16:48

A bird

I think I'm meant to do an "About" here but I think you'd be more interested in seeing a random seagull.

USA Road Trip 2015

  • Introduction
  • Day 1: Philadelphia PA to Atlantic City NJ
  • Day 2: Atlantic City NJ to Bedford PA
  • Day 3: Bedford PA to Richmond IN
  • Day 4: Richmond IN to St Louis MO
  • Day 5: St Louis MO to Joplin MO
  • Day 6: Joplin MO to Elk City OK
  • Day 7: Elk City OK to Tucumcari NM
  • Day 8: Tucumcari NM to Gallup NM
  • Day 9: Gallup NM to Monument Valley UT
  • Day 10: Monument Valley UT to Flagstaff AZ
  • Day 11: Flagstaff AZ to Henderson NV
  • Day 12: Henderson NV to Tonopah NV
  • Day 13: Tonopah NV to Sacramento CA
  • Day 14: Sacramento CA to San Francisco CA
  • Day 15: San Francisco CA

  • Gigs

  • 08.12.2015 Shed Seven, Hatfield
  • 27.11.2015 Vile Electrodes, Brentwood
  • 07.11.2015 Asylums, Southend
  • 30.10.2015 Baby Blues, Brentwood
  • 02.10.2015 Fireworks, Harringay
  • 25.09.2015 Lydia Lucy, Brentwood
  • 28.08.2015 Dani Clay, Brentwood
  • 24.07.2015 Indietracks
  • 17.07.2015 Latitude Festival
  • 11.07.2015 Brownstock Festival
  • 11.07.2015 Southend Village Green
  • 26.06.2015 The Who, Hyde Park
  • 20.06.2015 Blur, Hyde Park
  • 13.06.2015 British Sea Power, Camden
  • 06.06.2015 1000 Yard Stare, Charing Cross
  • 03.06.2015 Madness, Great Leights
  • 31.05.2015 Los Endos, Hornchurch
  • 29.05.2015 Juke, Brentwood
  • 28.05.2015 Pop Will Eat Itself, Shoreditch
  • 24.05.2015 Ride, Camden
  • 24.04.2015 Kaleidophone, Brentwood
  • 27.03.2015 Finding Miranda, Brentwood
  • 13.03.2015 Francesca Priest, Brentwood
  • 13.02.2015 Kaiser Chiefs, Greenwich
  • 06.02.2015 Ryan Green, Brentwood
  • 31.01.2015 Sulk - Hackney
  • 23.01.2015 Velvet Tree, Brentwood
  • 11.01.2015 Bis, Pentonville
  • 19.12.2014 High/Low, Southend
  • 12.12.2014 Break For Cover, Brentwood
  • 28.11.2014 For The Love Of Bob, Brentwood
  • 22.11.2014 Carter USM, Brixton
  • 31.10.2014 Band From Co Hell, Brentwood
  • 28.10.2014 Steve Hackett, Westcliff
  • 20.10.2014 Hafdis Huld, Charing Cross
  • 11.10.2014 Stillmarillion, Ruislip
  • 26.09.2014 D'Ukes, Brentwood
  • 13.09.2014 Flag Factory Festival, Brentwood
  • 03.09.2014 Kate Bush, Shepherd's Bush
  • 30.08.2014 Brownstock Festival
  • 08.08.2014 Killing Jimmy, Brentwood
  • 20.07.2014 Brentwood Festival
  • 19.07.2014 Latitude Festival
  • 18.07.2014 Juke, Brentwood
  • 20.06.2014 Pete Brame, Brentwood
  • 30.05.2014 Bow Flats, Brentwood
  • 25.05.2014 Pop Will Eat Itself, Islington
  • 23.05.2014 Arctic Monkeys, Finsbury Park
  • 14.05.2014 Wolf Alice, Cambridge
  • 30.04.2014 Yes, Westcliff
  • 25.04.2014 Ordinary Noise, Brentwood
  • 19.04.2014 Darling Buds, Charing Cross
  • 28.03.2014 Mannequins, Brentwood
  • 26.03.2014 Menswear, Shepherd's Bush
  • 23.03.2014 Republica, Islington
  • 14.03.2014 Franz Ferdinand, Camden
  • 28.02.2014 Ryan Green, Brentwood
  • 27.02.2014 Republica, Balham
  • 03.02.2014 Maximo Park, Bethnal Green
  • 31.01.2014 Scarlet Echo, Brentwood
  • 22.11.2013 Nedstock, Shepherd's Bush
  • 18.11.2013 Pub Serv Bcasting, Cambridge
  • 04.11.2013 Art Brut, Tunbridge Wells
  • 01.11.2013 Steve Hackett, Cambridge
  • 23.10.2013 Suede, Westcliff
  • 27.09.2013 Primitives, Southend
  • 21.09.2013 Duckworth Lewis Method, SB
  • 14.09.2013 The Flag Factory Festival
  • 06.09.2013 Jonny Cola/A Grades, Harlow
  • 25.07.2013 Bis, Pentonville
  • 19.07.2013 Latitude Festival
  • 17.07.2013 Taffy, Camden
  • 05.07.2013 Brentwood Festival
  • 26.06.2013 Bleech, Bethnal Green
  • 22.06.2013 Battle Stage Final
  • 09.06.2013 Tibetan Tea Company, Romford
  • 26.05.2013 Battle Stage 3
  • 25.05.2013 Muse, Highbury
  • 21.05.2013 Dirty Royals, Islington
  • 18.05.2013 Mika Bomb, Southend
  • 18.05.2013 Battle Stage 2
  • 27.04.2013 Battle Stage 1
  • 06.04.2013 Dingus Khan, Southend
  • 16.03.2013 Republica, Tunbridge Wells
  • 09.03.2013 Phoenix In The Foyer
  • 27.02.2013 Kaiser Chiefs, Cambridge
  • 26.02.2013 Bleech, Cambridge
  • 19.02.2013 History Of Apple Pie, Shoreditch
  • 12.02.2013 Sonic Boom Six, Southend
  • 06.02.2013 The 1975, Southend
  • 25.01.2013 Archetype, Brentwood
  • 02.12.2012 Lighting Up Shenfield
  • 01.12.2012 Lighting Up Brentwood
  • 24.11.2012 Lovely Eggs, Southend
  • 20.11.2012 Focus, Chislehurst
  • 10.11.2012 Carter USM, Brixton
  • 03.11.2012 Taffy, Clerkenwell
  • 02.11.2012 Bleech, Harlow
  • 27.10.2012 Phoenix In The Foyer 2
  • 15.09.2012 Phoenix In The Foyer 1
  • 01.08.2012 Blur, Margate
  • 08.07.2012 Brentwood Festival
  • 29.06.2012 Bis, Pentonville
  • 22.06.2012 Knifeworld, Pentonville
  • 08.06.2012 Jim Bob, Bedford
  • 02.06.2012 Coldplay, Highbury
  • 30.05.2012 Evans The Death, Chelmsford
  • 11.05.2012 The Others, Putney
  • 04.05.2012 BAS II, Basildon
  • 29.04.2012 Break For Cover, Ingatestone
  • 18.03.2012 The Brownies, Shoreditch
  • 24.02.2012 Neil Hannon, Felsted
  • 29.01.2012 Kaiser Chiefs, Westcliff

  • Interviews

  • 28.06.1996 Frank and Walters
  • 01.07.2006 Sultans of Ping

  • Random writings

  • Aris Salonica
  • Lake Margaretting

  • Essex Walks

  • 1. Goldhanger
  • 2. Downham