Route 66: Barstow, CA to Kingman, AZ

Route 66: Barstow, CA to Kingman, AZ

September 6, 2015 Categories Camper Van, Road Trips, Travel, USA

Miles driven: 242.3

So, I didn’t drive yesterday. I took the van to a shop and had them check things out. I was right, the thermostat was shot. On top of that, the water pump was leaking and so was the intake gasket. The leaks are obviously why the coolant was low, and it’s probably because the coolant was low that the thermostat became damaged. While they were fixing things, they said my ignition coil was also damaged, which wasn’t honestly a surprise to me. I had them fix everything. I spent more money in one day getting everything fixed than I spent for the first two months of traveling. Frankly, I wasn’t happy about it, but I have a long drive to make and don’t want to get stranded.

Today began perfectly; I wish I could say it ended that way. The drive East from Barstow was my ideal Route 66 experience – simple road, vast landscapes, and almost no traffic. In fact, I only saw four cars in the first three hours of driving today. It was beautiful. It wasn’t until I reached Amboy (about two-thirds of the way through California) that traffic started to pick up, but even then it was only a handful of cars at a time.

Due to a road closure, I missed a pretty large chunk of the Route today not too long after Amboy. I didn’t get to drive through the towns of Chambless, Summit, Danby, or Essex and instead had to take I-40. I think I missed 20 or 30 miles of the road because of that closure.

The weirdest part of today was driving through Oatman, Arizona, as the streets were completely filled with people and donkeys. I wish I was joking, but I’m not. There were jackasses everywhere – some on four legs and some on two. There were too many people there and I didn’t wanna stop. I took a picture, but it was almost out of town and most of the people had cleared away.

The first section of Route 66 in Arizona wasn’t the most fun to drive. It’s apparently the original Route and wasn’t used after the 50s; lots of sharp curves, narrow road, and slow going. It was nice scenery, though.

It was close to 50 miles before I reached Kingman and stopped for gas, at which point I noticed coolant below the engine. I stopped a few times during the day and hadn’t noticed anything prior to that. After spending so much money yesterday getting it “fixed”, I’m not that happy today to see another possible problem. I’m pretty concerned because of how rusty/murky the coolant looks, especially since it’s only a day old. It’s too dark now to get a good look, but I’m gonna check the oil in the morning to see if it looks like there’s any coolant mixing in there and vice versa. I swear if I have a blown head gasket, I’m just gonna set the van on fire. Things are not going my way.

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