Yes mom, we are in California…you can start the celebration! However, we won’t get to your place until Monday. We only traveled about 50 miles today to Needles. Last night I saw that Needles had a Passport America park which is only $12 per night…so we are going to stay for two nights at Fender's River Road Resort.
I think we really scored with this Passport Park. look at all the space and grass we get, and that 5th wheel is the only other RV near us. The dogs are going to LOVE that lawn.
In the picture to the left you can just see our rig to the right…down that short drive and to the right is what they call “River View Sites”. They cost a bit more, and don’t qualify for Passport America discount.
And the Colorado River is nice, the park does have a boat ramp, but I don’t see anyone boat trailers around, and it also has a couple of nice view points…
….like this one above which includes a covered area to keep the hot son off of you during the summer. Needles gets very hot during the summer, with average temps of 110 degrees highs in July.
The picture to the left is the small motel, and the right is the club house. In between the two is a row for about six or seven RVs, and to the right of the club house is room for another 3 or 4 RVs.
The park is old, but is well kept (considering the grass is green in a state where watering grass is nearly illegal.) But the trees are well kept, the club house is in good condition…but you know me and the word “resort” in place of “park” when it comes to RV Parks. However, in this case, I make a huge exception. Fender’s is located on the original Route 66, it has been here when Route 66 was “the highway”. Before Route 66 there was the National Old Trails Road, the first coast to coast highway….and Fender’s is located on that portion of Route 66 which is also part of the National Old Trails Road. It offers an older style of “resort” because it is more of a historic resort. And Rosie, the manager, is as good as they come in helpfulness and personality. She has managed Fender’s for seven years now, if I heard her correctly. Knowing we had two dogs, she suggested we take the spot we are in instead of one between the motel and club house….and wow, what a difference that makes in our stay.
Needles was founded in 1883 because the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway crosses the Colorado River here. Got its name from the pointed mountain peaks on the Arizona side of the river, as shown below in this picture I got off the Internet.
Like many of these old towns that were along Route 66, Needles embraces the memories this legendary route.
All along the historic route in the town are signs, paintings, names with “Route 66” in them.
And there are many others not shown, including the 66 Motel, and the remains of Carty’s Camp hidden in the back of the motel, or the Carty’s Camp Shell Station. Needles has survived because the Interstate runs right through it…but it has not thrived. I had to travel back into Arizona towards Bullhead to get grocery’s at a Safeway because Needles does not have a true grocery store. Part of this might be because of California’s higher minimum wage, the removal of plastic bags, regulations on eggs which has forced the price up over $5 per dozen and numerous other rules and regulations that California has established. Regardless, the Bashas’ Grocery Store closed their Needles store in May 2014 because it was not profitable to operate any more. By the looks of things around town, other business have struggled too, yet there are also signs of new homes, new motels, and a new Dollar Store….like other towns, there has been a rebound in the economy.
Tomorrow night we plan to make our contribution to the local economy by eating at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant, which has been in operation since the 1970’s, but prior to that it was called Lynn's Broiler, which opened in the 1950’s, but was pretty much destroyed by fire. Rosie said it was one of the better places in town to eat….but I doubt it will be as good as the Salmon dinner Marcia is cooking for us tonight…which is why I drove over into Arizona to go to Safeway.