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home : opinion : opinion April 28, 2016

3/11/2013 6:00:00 AM
Letter of Thanks: Steve Mader

I just spent 17 days in the U.S., my first visit, and of that time, 14 days driving doing a road trip in my rental car. I started my journey from Santa Monica, L.A, to Vegas, to Hoover Dam, onto Route 66 from Topock to Flagstaff, onto Highway 89 up to Page and Antelope Canyon, south again down 89 to Tuba City. Then a return drive out to Monument Valley, back into Flagstaff, onto picturesque Alt 89A from Sedona to the historic former coal mine town of Jerome, and eventually back to L.A.

I created a blog site, http://arizonatrip.wordpress.com/ and updated with daily posts including pictures, and would have to say it was a brilliant road trip. I encountered along the way friendly, curious and courteous people in your amazing, multi-dimensional terrain state of Arizona - the reason for my travels.

From the engineering marvel of Hoover Dam (I did a one-day light aircraft, helicopter and walk at South Rim tour from Vegas), to the iconic Route 66 and Kingman's Mr D'z diner, straight out of Happy Days (waiting to bump into Ritchie Cunningham), Oatman, and other towns along Route 66 including the beautiful town, Flagstaff, and Antelope Canyon and Marlboro Man, Monument Valley, Sedona, etc., has to be the most amazing natural scenery and historic small town's experience I've ever encountered. It was much more rewarding an experience than I could have wished for. I drove 3100 miles in 14 days and love your freeways and state highways enabling big miles in a short time, but was in no rush, with well marked signage and highway exits, no tailgating from motorists, zero road rage experiences and only encountered courteous behavior on the road. Driving from Flagstaff to Sedona through winding mountain passes and snow fall across the landscape and trees was a memorable experience, as if I was driving through a Snow White enchanted storybook.

I thought I'd share my experience. Please feel free to visit my blog for anyone interested in my photos and daily journal keeping during my time in your amazing state.

Steve Mader

Brisbane, Queensland,


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Article comment by: KDM online reader

KDM: Why is the photo missing of Route 66 on the webpage of the full letter, or is it a generic stock photo you have on file? [Editor: Sometimes we use thumbnail images for the home page that are not displayed with the article.]

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: So Glad You Visited

Thank you for visiting Arizona! My daughter and I plan another summer road trip down Rt 66. We just love it here.
Also planning a trip to your-neck-of-the-woods someday. We talk about going to Oz all the time.
Did you have a hard time learning to drive on the 'wrong side' of the road?

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Dad always said

My father spent his war years in the south Pacific. He said many times. If you can ever visit Australia do IT.

I hope I get to in my time.

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Mr. Mader's site was great. The pictures were amazing - I especially loved where he did some in color and the same ones in sepia.

Forgot about some of our beauty so now planning to take a grandkid to a couple of these places I had actually forgotten about.

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Very Cool

I checked out his blog site last night. It was really cool. I would definitely recommend taking a few minutes to check it out.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Thank You

Thank you Mr. Mader for your glowing letter about our state. It is indeed beautiful. Many think it is just desert, but those of us that live here know better. I can't wait to check out your site.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Mr. Mader:

What an absolutely wonderful letter. You couldn't have mapped out a better trip in this area and yes, from Flagstaff down to Sedona is absolutely stunning, one of my favorite drives, then on to hanging off the cliffs in Jerome. God has richly blessed us with great beauty - you sometimes have to seek it out around here but well worth the search.

Hope the little ice cream shop was still in Jerome for all to enjoy. Been a while...

Hoover Dam is a marvel. My little Irish Grandfather (family from County Belfast) was deemed the Father of Hoover Dam, having come up with damming the Colorado in a dream one night. He fought for years as a state Senator and Founder of this paper to get it through. It is indeed a marvel - a shame it cannot be seen from the new highway.

In return for your kindness, my Navy husband spent a lot of time in Australia, fell in love with it and said were he not an American, he would become an Australian.

For myself, you have many wonderful Australian authors and I always watch for them along with stories of Australia.

Well I remember Colleen McCullough (Ladies of Missalonghi and much more), wonderful Thomas Keneally (Shindler's List (Ark) and more), Patrick White's The Tree of Man.

And old author Nevile Shute who often wrote of Australia and WWII. Wonderful stories.

I will definitely go to your site. Thanks for sharing. Hope you come again.

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