The Great Southwest Trip 2017


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Sunday, September 10
Our first stop, of course. Thank goodness Candy understands the importance of VATS. Joshua trees! We're in the desert now. Doug reads the information on a sign at a rest stop. This is the bag of trail mix that Doug made me take that saved my life on Thursday.
And the Shrieking Motel of Barstow. The rooms were fine once you got into them but the outside of the motel and the surroundings were awful. At 4 am, trains started coming through outside of town, with their wheels SCREAMING when they hit some curve. Doug and I got up and checked the air conditioning and the smoke alarm, then we finally figured out what it was. Nobody got any sleep.
Monday, September 11
I think we didn't even stop to have breakfast, we just ran the hell out the door to get away from the Shrieking Motel. Here is the road that, thankfully, leads away from it.
We stopped at this tourist trap "Route 66" place in Fenner, CA. Kind of low-end, but we amused ourselves. The shots below were their picnic tables, decked out in Route 66 memorabilia.
On the left, the first of many, many pictures Candy took of any animals in the vicinity. The fish were in the Route 66 place.

On the right, I'm feeding Satan's Snacks (aka Cheetos Puffs) to Candy while she drives.

We stopped in Kingman at Mr. D's, a place I remembered from 2006, when I had driven through there. Still there, still good...and I love the menus! After lunch Candy wandered over to a little park across the street, where she saw this locomotive.
We stopped on the outskirts of town to find bathrooms and vats, and this sign was across from the offramp...

And outside the gift shop was a table where a couple were selling locally made honey!

We drove to Williams, found the Railroad Hotel and checked into our lovely rooms. Then we went downstairs and across the way to have dinner at the buffet, which has excellent food. We saw this photo op and Doug was gracious enough to oblige us.
Then we walked a block to the happenin' part of Williams, which is a town that literally depends on tourist trade to survive; the ONLY thing in town that brings in money is the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel, the tourists that ride on it, and the money they spend in town...so they have a cute boutique downtown that is three blocks of shops, restaurants and brewpubs. Very nice! We spent a couple of hours sauntering around. I loved the neon!
One of my favorite signs in town (left)

This bar (right) sold beer and wine from local places, and awesome tshirts and glasses from the brewery (across the street)

And now I will attempt to explain what happened next. We saw the storefront with the audioanimatronic guy and stopped to listen to him rant about shooting zombies. There was a screen showing short clips of zombie attacks and a cartoon of some kind. We went in and found that if one paid (as Candy and I did) $11, one could go into a back room, be strapped into one of those yellow seats, take a wierd round gun, put on 3d glasses (that actually worked for me!) and a video would show on the big screen, with 3d and seat-moving effects, and one could shoot the hell out of the zombie attack while careening through trees and off cliffs in a comandeered car. It was SO MUCH FUN. Doug said we were clearly audible out to the street, and many of the words we used were not G rated.

The two pictures in the middle were taken afterwards; we were the only people in the place, so the guy behind the counter let us go back in and took a pic of us. And Doug...put a coin in the fortuneteller's booth. What a wild and crazy guy!! We told him we'd pay for him to shoot zombies on Friday night when we got back to Williams.

Two more shots of Beautiful Downtown Williams, and we headed back to the Railroad Hotel, so that we could get up bright and early the next morning to take the 9:30am train to the Grand Canyon.