road trip : london bridge , az

My friend Willie grew up in London . I asked him if he’d seen the London Bridge .   ” In London “,   he said . So we spent a couple of years thinking about making a road trip to Lake Havasu , Arizona , to see the bridge . It had been shipped over , stone by stone , to this remote desert city in the 1970s . Isn’t it amazing  1. that someone in London would think about selling the sinking bridge , and 2. that someone would buy it and rebuild it in an isolated Arizona town ?clocks 032

We talked about it all , Willie , Nancy , Ada and I , over breakfast at Uncle Kenny’s Restaurant in Havasu . ” The locals eat there  “,  the woman at the motel had told us . The eggs and hash were good . The place was crowded . There was another suggestion for breakfast at a place on the other side of the bridge . We had dinner across the bridge the night before . We were staying at the Bridgewater Motel near the bridge . There was a twenty year old  aerial photo of the Bridgewater Motel and the London Bridge in the  reception area  of the motel and nothing else was  around other than desert . Nowadays the area is crowded with roads and motels .clocks 031

We had stopped  at the Bagdad Cafe in Newberry Springs east of Barstow for lunch on our way to Arizona . The place is on a lonely stretch of the old Route 66 . It’s been cult -famous since the movie Bagdad Cafe , from 1987 .

. Lots of devotees pilgrimage there from all over the world , especially France . The Bagdad Cafe has a thick guest book where hundreds of pilgrims have written their adoring comments . We were the only customers on the Saturday we were there . The man working the table called back into the kitchen : ” Better light the grill “. We had our momentary doubts ,  but they served a good lunch and we were happy that we stopped by .clocks 016

Ada and I were in Lake Havasu a few years ago . The idea to go there to see the bridge had been an afterthought . We were headed back from the casinos in Laughlin , Nevada .  I suggested a short side trip . Summer . The ride through the desert  wasn’t short . Don’t go to Havasu in the summer . The temp must have been 120 . We got out of there quick after a hurried  look at the bridge . It was too hot even to consider taking a dip in the lake . clocks 020

A man at the Bridgewater Motel told Willie that  the place is full of snow birds in the winter and that a younger crowd takes over in the summer . We were sharing Havasu with the snow bird crowd . We would have fit in , except that we hadn’t come from  snow .

On our trip home we detoured to Kelso , deep in the Mojave .  Kelso is now just a train station  . The station is a museum now and a cafe . A freight train went by just as we arrived . The tracks climb a steep hill moving northwest up toward Nipton and Baker .

It’s good to get away once in awhile , to explore .Nipton Hotel 001clocks 082clocks 084

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