Author: Jennifer Chapin
It’s one of those places you hear about or may have read about over the years, but when you actually plan a trip to go there, it gets more exciting because you are actually going there. Arizona was on my list for many years to go on some interesting and scenic trails. The trip started out on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving heading out from Albuquerque, New Mexico at 6AM. Only two of us were going on this morning: myself in my 2011 Jeep JKU and my friend with his highly modified Grand Cherokee. We took the opportunity to check out some historic things along Route 66, including a fun drive though Winslow, Arizona and with a stop on the corner of Winslow, Arizona as made famous from The Eagles song, "Take it Easy." We stopped at the Wigwam Motel, made another stop at the Meteor Crater, and then stopped for lunch along Route 66. The goal was to get to Kingman, Arizona and then, find a trail to run on Wednesday. More friends would meet us in Kingman, Arizona on Wednesday night.
The last Stop along Route 66 before arriving in Kingman, AZ was in Hackberry, AZ at the famous Hackberry General Store. We got a great picture of the Jeeps in front of the store and checked out all of the Route 66 items in the store along with the collection of License plates on the walls and ceiling from all over the world. As the current President of The New Mexico 4-Wheelers from Albuquerque, I thought, "Why not give them one of our plates?" Of course, we had to remove a New Mexico 4-Wheelers plate from one of the Jeeps, so I asked them to hang it in the store for us. I hope the next time I travel through that I see some other clubs plates there, too.
On Wednesday morning, we found a great trail also known as the only road into The Grand Canyon. It’s an easy trail, but every curve of the road brings you down farther into the canyon with a different amazing view. Even if you are a hard core rock crawler, this too is a can't miss trail. Take Diamond Creek Road into The Grand Canyon, and it’s 20 miles in and out, but you sure can’t beat the views. Remember, you need a permit from the Hualapai that can be purchased in Perch Springs, AZ by the trail start. It's a great trip and a chance to dip your feet or tires in the Colorado River.
Now, for the actual bucket list trip. It’s Thursday morning - Thanksgiving 2016. The rest of our group met us in Kingman, and we headed out to Lake Havasu, AZ. Our goal was to take the harder trail and spend our Thanksgiving at the world famous Desert Bar aka “Nellie E. Saloon” in Parker, AZ. We added a TJ Jeep and a brand new Renegade Trail Hawk to our group. Of course, our entire group was very excited to hit the trail and get to the Desert Bar. The tail starts with a little gate keeper, but of course, not much of a challenge except for our brand new driver and new Renegade.
After enjoying the scenery and navigating some climbs and downhills, we came up through another hill where we could see the towers of the Desert Bar - our goal for the trip. We continued down the hill and back around some curves before we arrived at our destination. It was a beautiful day in southern Arizona, and we lined our rigs up for some pictures and went inside to check out the bar. They, of course, sell merchandise, so we all had to purchase something. Then, we enjoyed a drink and toured the bar, including the unique restrooms.
We enjoyed our Thanksgiving meal in the parking lots with our Jeeps. It was a very special way to spend Thanksgiving with friends and enjoy our Jeeps.
President of New Mexico 4-Wheelers