Why is this picture blurry you ask? Well, do you ever drive down a two-lane asphalt road on a hot day and see that distorted mirage down in the distance in front of you right above the road? This is just like that. It is so hot here now we are getting the heat shimmers inside Mali Mish. OK, not really, but you get the idea.

waking up for our last day in arizona.

We decided to start heading down towards the I-40 and begin to head our way back to California. Right as the road from Grand Canyon meets the I-40 is a little town called Williams, Arizona, also known as Gateway to the Grand Canyon. We stopped briefly there to get a quick breakfast before heading west.

williams, az.

We had looked at several places to spend a few nights along the Interstate so we wouldn’t have to go home just yet. Small towns in Arizona like Kingman, Arizona or just on the other side of the border is Barstow, California were both options where we contemplating staying to see some local attractions for a couple of days. But that plan was quickly abandoned when we looked at the weather report and it showed a heat warning all along the way with temperature exceeding 115 in some places.

going back to ca.

We don’t have much of a choice at this point. Looks like we are headed straight home.

historic route 66.

Once we got back on the I-40, we were driving along the historic Route 66 once again just as we were in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. Arizona has several interesting stops that still have vintage Route 66 memorabilia to see. Our priority at this point though is to figure out where we can take a break with the kids without baking in the sun.

One of the ideas we had was to find a campground with hookups and just pay for the night so we can connect to their electricity for air conditioning. Even if we decide to not stay the night, we can at least get a long enough break for the mid day heat to break before heading back out.

Marlene looked at our options and decided to call the KOA in Kingman, AZ. The campground operator actually agreed to let us pay a partial fee to just stay for the afternoon. They have never done that for anyone before but I think they realize this intense heat is a good enough reason to make a small exception for us. We pulled in and got all hooked up in one of their sites for just $20.

koa for the afternoon.

The girls were happy to get out of their car seats for a well deserved break. We made some sandwiches and Ava got to watch a little cartoon via their cable TV hookup.

too hot to be outside.

Our $20 even got us entry into their swimming pool for us to cool down and feel like we are still on vacation for just this one last time.

last time for a swim.

Back in the mish, Mila got to nap in the bed instead of inside the van while driving down the road.

quick nap.

Ava is usually full of energy and bouncing off of the walls but the heat has zapped her right into a TV watching vegetable.

we even have cable.

“OK, we are ready to go now!”


As the sun slowly crawls across the western sky, we got back on the road to finish the rest of the journey back towards California. Before leaving Kingman, we got to drive by and check out the once popular Route 66 Hill Top Motel with its newly restored sign.

restored hill top motel sign in kingman.

And for those of you from the California, this is a sign that home is definitely near. I have not seen an In-N-Out burger since we flew back home for Easter back in April.

sight for sore eyes.

Here is what Ava’s view looked like for the last 4-months as we drove across country.

ava's perspective of our trip.

And this is what Marlene’s view looked like when she turns around to check on the girls. Look at all that gear behind their seats!

marlene looking back at the girls.

And of course, Yoda and her cushy little pet carrier is where she spent her time while on the road.

yoda on a drive.

As we crossed back to California, we came across something we have not seen while crossing any other state line. An agricultural check point. For some reason, California really doesn’t want fruits and vegetables to come into the state. Or maybe it is a front for an immigration check point.

california ag check point.

Our last stop before sunset is at a little town called Needles, CA. There we took another break for dinner before completing the last leg of our trip.

needles, ca.

Welcome back to California Mila! By now, you have spent more of your life on the road than at home.

where are we going?

“What? It is almost over? NOOOOOOO!!!!!!”

over and out,


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