After the Grand Canyon, we headed off to Seligman, AZ. It's a crazy little town that is a protected historical landmark, thanks to the 10 year battle fought by a guy named Angel. We've heard this story in bits and pieces and now Ivo's heard it from the horse's ...er... Angel's mouth.
We stayed in the Canyon Lodge last night, which is owned by a German who's been living in the States since he visited in the late 80's. He speaks a funny "Gerglish" where he sentences are made of mixes of almost-english-accented-German and German-accented-English. His motel had themed rooms and we stayed in the Las Vegas room and had dinner at Lilo's restaurant, which is owned by another German ex-pat. There, we ran into two Germans on a big American holiday, which they will end visiting both of their daughters who nanny in the Pacific Northwest.
Ivo began his day comforting me and then had an old-school shave from the Godfather of route 66 himself, Angel. I had a mixture of Grand Canyon hangover and sadness at the adoption non-placement last week. The gorgeous views and incredible hikes at the Grand Canyon were hard to leave and they'd been such a wonderful opportunity for us to heal. Leaving it behind was hard, but this whole trip has meant leaving one thing or person or another behind, so we carried on westward.
We stopped at the Grand Canyon Caverns, so called because the air within them comes from 40 miles away in the Grand Canyon. Ivo and I bought tickets for the tour, despite my fear of tunnels. I kept thinking, Ivo, the fellow who is.....weary of heights was a trooper at the Canyon and has agreed to go sky-diving with me next month, so I can walk around caverns 210 feet below ground for an hour and a half.
The caverns have a weird story, they also house a "hotel" room, meaning that one can sleep in this weird little set up there: a bed, sofa, and small water closet, for $700 bucks a night. There is also a room that houses food and water from the Kennedy administraion and a brand new shipment of survival supplies from www.surviveit.com, thanks to the Cavern's main investors. There are also the mumified remains of a bob-cat who fell down there and some pretty rocks and crystals.
We continued on the road and saw incredible views. Ivo drove us up a desert mountain and I drove us down. We stopped in Oatman, a town where donkeys roam free. They're descended from donkeys who were the towns only residents for quite a while and who were protected once people came back to the town. It was odd--and poopy.
Our day ended over the border in Needles CA. It's meant to be the hottest town in the US (temperature-wise, that is. This town is fairly sleepy otherwise). We jumped in the Colorado River to cool off and were still marveling at the heat coming off the pavement after dinner.
Tomorrow we'll add 250 miles to the odometer and be just outside LA. I'm ready to go home to San Francisco, but tonight at dinner Ivo and I did a bit of reminiscing about some of the towns we've seen and the people we've met. This has been one hell of an experience.