From Los Angeles to Williams, Arizona.
We got off only half an hour later than I had hoped, which for this family is nothing short of remarkable. The weather report mentioned storms, and we’d had a bit of rain here overnight, but we hoped to drive through the worst of it and be into sunny skies for most of the trip. This turned out to be the case. We went through quite a cloudburst on our way to the high desert, but after that, the weather was windy but otherwise fine.
Naturally, I had caught a cold right before we left and was heavily into sneeze-and-sniffle mode, but when we stopped in Barstow for lunch I got some nose spray and some Ricola drops, both of which helped a lot. And we stocked up on tissues before we left!
The scenery between here and the California border varies between spectacular and spectacularly boring. I happen to like desert scenery, but between Barstow and Needles, there’s just not much to look at. Once we crossed into Arizona things got considerably more interesting, but of course at this time of year the sun went down early and the last three hours or so of the journey were in the dark.
The trip takes about eight hours when you factor in rest stops, meal breaks and so forth. It’s a comfortable day’s drive, and the roadside facilities seem to be spaced just about right. There was one long stretch in Arizona where the highway department was repairing several bridges in a row, and one rest stop was “closed for repairs” (with no evidence of any repairs under way) but that turned out not to be a problem.
When we got to Williams, there was a light sprinkle of snow in the air. The Grand Canyon Railway company runs what they call the “Polar Express” during the holiday season as well as their usual daily trains to the Grand Canyon, so by the time we hit the hotel parking lot, every space was full! We had to lurk around a while till the riders of the early Polar Express train unloaded and piled into their cars to go home, and since that involved wrangling a lot of children with associated paraphernalia, we oldsters just had to be patient. The hotel had obviously gone to a lot of trouble to decorate the whole area (including the train depot) for the holidays, and they’d done a great job with the lights and inflatable figurines (including a Grinch with his dog) and so forth. So at least we had a lot of pretty lights to look at while we lurked in the parking lot.
The dining room was still open when we finally finished dumping all our stuff in the room (we’d been a bit concerned about this) and we had our first buffet dinner. I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat the food at that place, but it was reasonably good and there were a reasonable number of choices.
The hotel bed was clean and comfortable, and even we waterbed sleepers had no problems with it. They had put some kind of mattress topper on, which made the transition from waterbed to regular mattress a bit easier. We forgot to turn on the heater in the room, which meant we had to snuggle up for warmth. This is not a bad thing. 🙂
Fell asleep easily that night. No surprises there!Hope you'll recommend my posts via your favorite social media. Just don't copy the material as your own.