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On the Road - Finally

We were supposed to be driving to Phoenix first thing.

But before that, we had to get the cats settled, which basically means making sure they had extra dishes of fresh water, plenty of kibble, and even a couple of dishes of tinned food. They'd eat good today, but then have a couple of nights of inattention.

We got out the door by 10:30, with a quick stop at the local Texaco for me to check the tyre pressure. It was a bit high - I'd been generous last Sunday when I stopped for petrol and topped up the air pressure in preparation for the journey.

It took about an hour to get to Hoover Dam, which was very impressive. One day I would like to stop and do the engineering tour, but not today. Across the State line and on the other side of the river (in Arizona) we stopped so that I could take off my jacket - it was getting warm in the car - and also took a few pictures.

We stopped at Kingman for an early lunch of Chinese food at the "House Of Chan". (Lisa observed that this had the same name as a favorite restaurant of her dad Stan's back in New York.) We also topped up the gas tank at this time.

About halfway between Kingman and Wickenberg we whizz past the town of Nothing, Arizona. Yup - it's called Nothing. The population is claimed to be 4. (See http://henrysworld.com/roadtrip/Arizona/nothing.html.)

We then drove to Wickenberg and stopped for coffee and leg stretching at an Espresso joint on the main street.

Somewhere on the road between Wickenberg and Phoenix I remember passing a sign that said "Surprise! City Limits". This is a real place (http://www.surpriseaz.com/).

It was getting dark and we still had a way to go, heading South-East. There was a great sunset going on to our right.

We were following instructions from Yahoo! Maps, which avoided taking us on freeways and instead directed us to take an older, major road called Grand Avenue which ran from the outskirts of Phoenix right into the center of town. It did this by literally running diagonally down the grid of streets, giving us 6-street intersections: two streets crossing at normal right-angles, then Grand Avenue charging through at 45 degrees.

So that was a bit nerve-wracking.

When Grand Avenue finally gave out, we were deposited in the center of town, where we got lost. It wasn't our fault! It turns out that Phoenix has a mirror image thing going on - a street called "Central street" with parallel streets running 1st Ave, 2nd Ave, 3rd Ave, etc to the West, and 1st St, 2nd St, 3rd St, etc, to the East.

Our hotel was on 2nd Ave. We were on 2nd Street. We didn't know any better.

We got out and walked around, and a nice lady (who was presumably getting herself home after a day of work) told us how to get to our hotel. It wasn't far away.

After we checked in and parked the car in a nearby parking building ($7 per day) we showered, got into bed, and watched "The West Wing" on TV.

I was knackered, and fell asleep very quickly.