The On Line Newsletter of the Virginia Jaguar Club
January 2011 Volume 10 No. 10
The Lyons Roarby David Harrison, VJC President
Got my Kicks
Hiking Canyon country has been one of my favourite kicks for many years. I got an extra kick this October after visiting the Grand Canyon. I supplied a taxi service to my son-in-law James and his son Sean when they ran across the Canyon in 8 hours. I dropped them on a freezing cold dawn on the North Rim, then drove six hours to pick them up at the South Rim. The Rim-to-Rim trip was 8 miles as the crow flies, 26 miles by trail and 250 miles by road. I had backpacked the canyon extensively in my young and foolish days, but now driving was definitely the smart way to go. It was in the nineties down at the river.
I was designated driver the next day and chose to get my kicks on Route 66, starting at Williams, AZ and ending at Kingman. This is just a fraction of the 'Mother Road', which started in Chicago and ended in Santa Monica. The Interstate system has bypassed the old road and many small towns , but about a third of it remains. Many of the small towns almost died but are now reviving with tourist interest in the many historic and nostalgic remnants of the old road. It would make a great Jaguar road trip though maybe a Chevy or Ford would be more fitting. I saw more old cars on and by the road in 150 miles than many a year. Many of the old service stations have unrestored cars from Models Ts up sitting in the forecourt and displays of old Rt 66 automobilia.
Rt 66 ran through downtown Williams and there is a museum and lots of antique and souvenir shops in what is essentially a railroad town, with steam trains to the Canyon. Seligman seemed more authentic , a small town that is a time warp to the fifties. I got to sit next to Elvis on the back bumper of an Edsel there. The old service station and diner at Hackberry was fascinating, Hackberry itself is sort of a ghost town just a mile off Rt 66, I would have loved to poke around for a day or two but Vegas beckoned. We left Rt 66 at Kingman without seeing the historic downtown, and took the Interstate to Hoover Dam and Vegas. The dam is quite a sight and worth a stop, the new bridge was not yet open, there was a 5 mile line of cars from Vegas at the security checkpoint by the dam.
Some folks do the whole Route 66 trip, all 2500 miles, starting in Chicago and ending at the ocean. I like the desert country and would certainly love to do the New Mexico to California segment, maybe spending up to a week. Maybe even in a Jaguar.