Monday, July 10, 2017

There was a time in America when a family road trip was a very different thing than it is today. There were no concerns about connectivity or cell phone coverage. Heck, you were lucky just to have a t.v. in your motel room and cable was almost unheard of. Drive time entertainment consisted of fighting with your siblings over comic books and actually looking out the windows at the landscape you were passing through, and having control of the window-winder handle made you a King or a Queen. That was also the golden era of the roadside attraction. People would drive miles out of their way to see the worlds tallest thermometer or biggest ball of string. Your job as a child, of course, was to convince your disbelieving parents that a two headed rattlesnake or a shrunken mummy head was actually an educational experience not to be missed.

Even more difficult was getting them to pony-up for a tour through Dinosaur Land or Christmas
Village. More often than not, you watched these wonders pass by with your face pressed to the window, vowing someday to return to Frontier Town to ride in the "Stage Coach Adventure of a Lifetime".

That was how it happened that Joe and I watched with dismay as we zipped past Bedrock City in Arizona so many, many years ago. It was just too much money to spend for something that would only disappoint us, our parents said. Besides, we still have the next museum to see yet today!

Many years later, on our honeymoon in 1999, Joe and I did return to the scene of the crime, only to discover that the attraction was all but closed. A gift shop remained, and a few somewhat sad remnants of the original park were all that was left. We bundled up our disappointment once again and continued on our way to the Grand Canyon. While we did enjoy the rest of our trip, that visit to the scene of Fred and Wilma's demise just seemed to stick with us all these years.

  This year we finally had the chance to renew our old acquaintance with the Bedrock City of our childhood dreams when the first monsoon of the summer season chased us out of our boondocking spot in the mountains near Williams, AZ. Dirt roads, a sudden deluge of rain, and a low-slung GMC motorhome do not play well together at all! We quickly flung things into drawers and closets and made a dash down the hill, only to have the cloudburst catch up to us while refuelling in Williams. What to do now? We decided to visit Fred and Wilma, and Barney and Betty, because they lived just off the highway on a well packed gravel road. So, we called and made a reservation to stay in the small RV park at Bedrock City for two days, which would allow us to hook up to shore power (electricity) to charge up our house batteries. The approaching storm clouds had prevented us from getting a full charge with our solar panels, despite having re-positioned the coach for the best sun.

This change of plans turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip thus far; we had a blast! The park, located in Valle, AZ, has been restored to its former glory, without taking away from the vintage feel of the original. The prices are very affordable, the store is well stocked, and the food at Fred's Diner is good and reasonably priced. Who could resist ordering the Bronto Burger? Certainly not us! The staff is friendly and even cheerfully helped us locate the correct adapter we needed to hook into their power, as we had neglected to bring one. They sent us to the gentleman at the local hardware store, who searched through his entire inventory to locate the correct one for us.
Fred and the Gang will truly make you smile!

On the second day, we took the plunge and decided to purchase the park tour. The entry fee (a reasonable $5.00 when we were there) includes a ride on the train through a "volcano", entry to the theater, and the dinosaur slide (yes, I did!). There are numerous cleverly furnished buildings and characters throughout the park. What a fun day; next time we pass this way, we'll re-live our childhood yet again!

Bedrock City is located on Highway 64 north of Williams, in Valle, AZ, right on the way to the Grand Canyon. They have a laundry, showers, a dump station and potable water available. Don't disappoint your kids or your inner child; just pony-up and go do it!

Five Dollars To Get Into The Park and it's worth every cent!

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