Since we were so close, Kyle and I both decided we had to see the Grand Canyon. We wren’t giving up on Route 66, but this was a side trip that we had to do. After, we headed back to Flagstaff, Arizona, to pick up 66. We pulled off in Kingman, Arizona, to grab some dinner at Denny’s, not wanting to spend any more time looking around for a place that already seemed to have nothing but chain restaurants. It was here, under the high ceilings of Denny’s, peopled by truck drivers and motorists, where we did head off The Mother Road to see what the big deal was about Vegas.
We both awoke early and wanted to visit the souvenir shop we’d been seeing advertisements for since the last 900 miles. Here It Is! The Jack Rabbit Trading Post—a tchotchke shop with item after item of its iconic rabbit silhouette. They were out of their cherry drink, which you still can not imbibe there today, but at one time they were famous for. I must’ve snatched up over $100 worth of the black bunny, in addition to a flat of bottled water—Kyle and I were getting ready to head into the Mojave.
We were on a mission to get to the Grand Canyon by noon, and after creeping up Route 180 to AZ Route 64, and passing signs for “Nice Indians” selling “genuine Indian Goods,” we saw inner workings of our world.
The Grand Canyon is not a place that one can describe—it shouldn’t be described. It’s somewhere every American should go.
Kyle and I drove back down to Flagstaff and then took Route 66 to Kingman, Arizona. The sun was setting and we debated on whether to bunk down in the last large city before L.A., or to truck on and hit Needles, California. While I was eating a cheeseburger in an oddly quiet Denny’s, Kyle suggested we drive to Las Vegas.
While the sun glowed just below the Rocky Mountain horizon, we drove to Hoover Dam, and on to Vegas. We arrived at 1:00 a.m., but didn’t go to bed until 7:00 a.m. Kyle and I met for breakfast in a steakhouse, and for once both of us agreed—this place was too much.
But we didn’t want to leave yet.