Day One

First Strange Encounter:

Stopped in Yucca, Arizona at the Dinesphere. Weird! The sphere, surrounded by mini alien ships, is actually a house with four stories. There is a small store on-site that advertises the best beef jerky, but there was no beef jerky to be found. We did find Spam by the slice in foil packets though. I guess that is close enough to jerky. The gentleman running the store was also the owner of the sphere. When I left to go take pictures my mom made the mistake of asking the man if he had any children. The ensuing conversation made the trip to the Dinesphere one to beat.


He explained to my mother that he had no children, didn’t want any, but his wife had three. One was a lawyer in California, one a disabled vet and she also had a daughter, Anna, but she was a retard. My mom was unclear if he was using the word retard as an expression, or if she was truly inflicted with a disability. He also explained to my mom how he used to have a German Sheppard, but he died chasing coyotes. Now he had an orangutan as a pet that lived on the fourth floor of the sphere. Makes you wonder if it’s actually his wife.

Background on the Dinesphere (from a postcard purchased at the store):

In 1972, the Dinesphere, a 40-foot diameter geodesic dome located along Interstate 40 in Yucca, Arizona, was built as a restaurant-nightclub for a real estate development called Lake Havasu Estates. Although Lake Havasu is located 40 miles south of Yucca, out-of-state buyers were tricked into believing that the development offered lakeside recreational activities and sold plots for approximately $3,000 each. When the scheme was discovered, the developers absconded with the money leaving the buyers with a title to nothing more than dirt and sagebrush. The Dinesphere sat abandoned until Hank and Ardell Schimmel bought it in 1981 with hopes of turning it into an RV park. The present owner (*notice they don’t offer names) bought it in 2005, made considerable renovations, and named it “Area 66” because of its futuristic attributes and proximity to Route 66. Although the Dinesphere itself is not open to the public, a small store exists on the site that specializes in beef jerky with a taste that is out of this world. (*or just non-existent).

Second Strange Encounter:

Stopped in Holbrook, Arizona off I-40 at Stewart’s Petrified Wood. We wouldn’t normally have stopped there but for the enormous cartoony replicas of dinosaurs eating mannequins. At Stewart’s you can buy meteorites, petrified wood, arrowheads and the like. You can also feed the ostriches. I am still a little unsure of why they have ostriches.

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