A Weekend in Northern Arizona.
Every year around this time the Bride & I take a little trip to celebrate our Anniversary. ( 52nd on 10/30!) This past Friday AM we headed North with the plan to visit the new Bridge over Hoover Dam and the Sky Walk Glass Bridge over the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. We headed up Rt 93 to Wickenburg and stopped in Wickenburg for Breakfast at the Twin Wheels Cafe. It looks to be pre- 1930s - very old & very wild west and full of Western memorabilia including a turn-of-the-Century Dentists chair with spittoon! Hundreds of autographed pictures of Western Movie Stars like John Wayne, Gene Autrey, Alan Ladd etc. who have eaten there. Wickenburg was where many western movies were made in the 30's, 40's and 50's. The owner is the cook and her pleasant friend does the waiting on tables. They do breakfast and lunch. Like everything else here, the menu is very simple and basic including omelets, eggs , burgers, reubens, tuna melts, salads & chicken fried steak. Basic like your mom or aunt made it for you. I had their Signature Item which is a Chicken Liver Omelet, "Been on the Menu forever" she said! A 3 Egg Omelet filed with Chicken Livers, onions and a touch of green peppers, served with Home Fries, a biscuit and coffee. The Bride just had scrambled eggs, good bacon & toast. The Chicken Liver Omelet was very good.
As those of you who have traveled in AZ know, it's a BIG Butt State! We continued up Rt 93 to Kingman and then North to Hoover Dam. From Gilbert to the Dam is just under 300 miles! With the Breakfast stop, just under 5 hours through some of the most magnificent High Desert Country. Panoramic Vistas, Joshua Tree Forests , Mountains off in the distance, constantly changing horizons. Just breathtaking if you've never been to the high desert.
We arrived at the Dam around 1PM. The new bridge is now open, but in order to get a good view of it you need to crossover it and take the 1st exit in NV to take the old road down to the Dam itself. The road is open to cross over the Dam to the AZ side. Once you get over the Dam, the road is closed so you need to make a U turn to get back up to the Rt 93 Highway. They've constructed a parking area and a Walking Path from near the Dam up to the new bridge. You can climb up there and there is a Pedestrian Walkway on the new bridge! Beautiful View! From the Dam, you can get a visual perspective of just what a magnificent engineering feat it was to build the bridge AND the Dam! It's massive yet simplistic in design. They built the bridge from both ends to meet in the middle. They only had a 1/2" tolerance to make it meet correctly. The actual final measurement was 3/8 of an INCH! They inserted a slab and the bridge was complete! The bridge is only about 30 miles from Las Vegas. If you're in Vegas, you owe it to yourself to go see it. http://www.hooverdambypass.org/
From there, we doubled back about 75 miles to Kingman and picked up Historic Rt 66 East to Peach Springs. We passed several places that have been written up on roadfood.com like the Huckberry General Store and the Frontier Motel & Cafe but didn't stop. Peach Springs is the Capital of the Hualapai Indian Nation. The reservation is over One Million Acres in size and the Tribe operates the West Rim of the Grand Canyon Sky Walk. http://www.grandcanyonskywalk.com/
In looking at the AZ Map, I thought Peach Springs was fairly close to the Sky Walk. Wrong again Fry Bread Breath! It's about 125 Miles from Peach Springs to the Sky Walk because the dirt road shorter routes were washed out by recent rains. I told you it's a Big Butt State! From the most popular South Rim of the Grand Canyon to the West Rim is over 200 road miles! 125 as the Crow flies.
We stayed at the Hualapai Lodge, a very nice, relatively new, nice hotel owned by the Hualapai Tribe. Many Visitors use this as a jump off point for hiking the Canyon trails and rafting on the Colorado River. The staff was overly nice and accommodating. Our room was spacious, very clean & modern. NOTE TO MAYOR AL
-- you would love this place! The mainline of the BNSF Railroad is 30 yards out the back of the hotel and the trains go by EVERY 30 MINUTES night & day
AND, they blow their whistles for the crossing near the Lodge! The Hotel provides ear plugs if you want them! I just took my hearing aids out and slept like a papoose!
We ate at the Hotel Restaurant, The Diamond Creek Inn. The menu offered a nice selection of Regional items along with Steaks etc. I had the Pork-Green Chile Stew with a side order of Fry Bread. It was OUTSTANDING! The stew was full of Green Chile flavor and the pork was lean & tender. The Fry Bread was the best I've ever had. Light, fluffy & flavorful. a Squirt of Honey topped it off. The Bride is a meat & potatoes Gal so she had the Roast Beef Dinner with Mashed Potatoes & Gravy + Green Beans. I tasted her large portion of Roast Beef. It was thin sliced, very tender and very flavorful. The potatoes were real, not boxed. Very Good. She had a piece of made-from-scratch Custard Pie that was delicious. Since it's on the Reservation, no Booze served here. You need to stop at a Gas Station before you get on the Reservation to get your beer. To Bee Continued!