Day Two: In which we do all manner of things that busloads of hippies do in the desert.
So we woke up around 9 am this morning in Blythe, California, 1968. Blythe not exactly being a hotbed of hippie culture, there were some strange looks when the lot of us, dressed in full on Summer of Love style regalia, walked into a Denny’s for breakfast. A couple of old farts muttered something, but our waitress was young and nice to us and didn’t bat an eye when max ordered a salad and fruit. We all scarfed down our chow and I left a fat tip. If the prices were considerably higher than 1954, they still beat the hell out of 2016 prices.
(Sasha: Of course, any prices are meaningless since we beamed a bigass pile of money out of a Mafia counting house in Las Vegas last night.)
About 20 minutes later, when we were in Arizona, we did the old spacey wacey folding thing and went north to Seligman so Avis could check out the town as it was six years after her family left it to move back to New Hampshire. She noted that not much had changed and I told her that would probably remain the case for 15 or 20 years.
Popping back to good old Interstate 10, a road we have driven several times over these last 9 years, we stopped at the following places…
To see “The Thing” at the same roadside spot it will be in 30 years later when we stop to see it. Nothing will change in those 30 years except the desert wearing things down.
To see and take pics of The Rattlesnake Diner, which is (was) made to look like a big rattlesnake. It had only been open a year and I didn’t have the heart to tell the owner that the whole place would burn to the ground in 1970. Also, he wouldn’t have believed me because of that whole cant change history thing.
(Max: Wanting to avoid Phoenix, Mr. C took a turnoff that lead us south to Route 8. Man, there isn’t shit out in the desert.)
We stopped for a bit at a place that called itself “The Oldest Trading Post On The Gila River”. It was full of old memorabilia and stuff. We even got a bumper sticker and some t-shirts.
At Gila Bend, we grabbed some very tasty barbecue at this little hole in the wall joint run by a couple of guys who did not stop arguing the whole time we were there. It was funny as hell.
(Leon: The Indian guy asked “Why did I ever partner up with a white guy?” and the white guy said “Because I married your sister and the tribal elders kicked you off the rez.”)
(Silky: Just before we left, the wife came in and started giving both of them hell. It was funny.)
Outside Eloy, we zapped the bus up onto a mountain way north and thousands of years ago so we could watch the meteor hit that formed Meteor Crater. I wonder why I never thought to do that before?
(Sasha: Probably because after you see the Tunguska strike from 100 miles away and the Dinosaur Killer from space, that little boom in Arizona seems kind of boring.)
We stopped at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, which my family will stop at next year (1969). It’s always an interesting and fun place to visit.
After we left Tucson, we only stopped once more, at Stella’s Dance Hall in Wilcox, and then only because we had seen about 50 signs advertising the cold beer, live music and dancing. Sure enough, it was a old timey roadhouse set about half a mile off I-10. It was also closed until 5 pm, so we just took some pix and got back on the bus.
At 5:45 we reached San Simon, which was an even smaller town in 1968 than it is in 2016. We pulled off the road into the open desert and are getting ready for yet another tasty dinner, followed by a board game night featuring a massive Formula De race and then some other games.
More trip reporting tomorrow from 1975 New Mexico.