Continuing on with my journey with my wife across the southwestern United States, we said our final goodbyes to our good friends from Australia and departed Hoover Dam. From the dam we continued South on Highway 93 towards Kingman, Arizona.
We planned to drive the length of Highway 93 to Wickenburg, Arizona to spend the night there before continuing on the next day to our final destination of El Paso, Texas.
The mountains along the highway from the dam continued to be covered in snow with dark ominous clouds threatening to drop more snow at any minute from the east side of the road:
However, on the west side of the highway we had some stunning views of the Colorado River:
The river is really quite scenic in this area as it twists and turns through these rugged mountains that comprise the border between California, Nevada, and Arizona:
However, it didn’t take long for the northeastern Arizona desert to become scorched Earth again once the highway got away from the river:
However, even in the extremely dry areas of the desert there was always snow capped mountains that could be seen:
Even some snow capped plateaus:
As we got closer to Kingman, Arizona there was actually even more snow visible on the desert floor:
Some of the mountains along the highway were covered in a thick coating of snow:
Maybe the storm just hit here harder then other areas or possibly the elevation here near Kingman is a bit higher then further up the road near the dam?
Just outside of Kingman it looked like another storm was about to hit so I made no stop in Kingman and just kept driving south to hopefully avoid the snow storm:
Our plan was to keep taking Highway 93 south towards Phoenix and find a place to spend the night along the way. For a short stretch we had to actually drive west on I-40 from Kingman to continue on Highway 93. Here is what the weather looked like at the intersection of I-40 and Highway 93:
The clouds were getting thicker and more ominous, but fortunately as we continued to travel south down Highway 93 the weather improved and we were rewarded with some stunning high desert vistas along the way:
The scenery in what is known as the Big Sandy Valley was just stunning:
According to a marker along the road, this valley was first explored by the Spanish Conquistador Espejo in 1582. The scenery down this valley just continued to get better and better the further we drove:
As to expected my wife and I found nothing of interest, in Nothing, Arizona if you can believe it:
Passed Nothing the highway became surrounded with Joshua Trees:
The Joshua Tree is actually an oversized cousin of the yucca plant that is also found all over the American Southwest. These trees are slow growers by only growing an average of 3 inches a year. With such short growth every year you would think the larger trees that stand up to 15 meters tall would be extremely old. However, since Joshua Trees do not have tree rings in their trunks it is impossible for scientists to tell how old they really are. It is expected that the bigger trees are up to a thousand years old.
They are some interesting trees to see and they cause this portion of Highway 93 to known as the Joshua Tree Highway:
The Joshua Tree Highway eventually took us to Wickenburg, Arizona which by the time we got there it was dark and we decided to go find a hotel. It was a long day of driving, but if you are going to take a long road trip anywhere you can’t beat driving across scenic Arizona.
Next Posting: Arizona’s Southeastern Desert