So as part of my 50 things in my 50th year I have ventured to the USA to the Nevada, Arizona states.
I have judges an AAU bodybuilding show which I have not done before. The American Athletic Union is an esteemed organisation supporting grass root sport in the USA. It stopped bodybuilding some time ago when the sport became a business. The AAU now recognises that by working with organisations like the DFAC with like ethos and desire to reintroduce the sport and kudos of bodybuilding it can thrive as part of the strength agenda. So tick ✅ to taking part in the resurrection of the sport I love with an incredible organisation.
There are some things in life that just seem incongruous. The dry Arizona landscape does not lend itself to a mental image of London Bridge. But as you drive towards this iconic construction you cannot imagine what you will find. The bridge was dismantled in 1967 and auctioned.
By 1971, it was reborn in a new planned community of 8,000 people … in Arizona. Robert McCulloch, founder of the Lake Havasu City, won the old bridge with a $2,460,000 bid at the City of London’s auction in 1968. McCulloch then spent another $7 million to have it moved to the community he established in 1964.
The image of the stone bridge in this Arizona community is a strange one. The bridge spans an expanse of beautifully clear water to an island and is surrounded by iconic British sights. A red telephone box, a British pub, fish and chips, 🇬🇧 flags.
Amazingly on my return to the UK on BBC news was a video story of the bridge showing it being rebuilt in America. Lake Havasu did not exist then as a town which is weird. The whole idea was to create a feature around which to build houses and attract people and it worked. It even crosses a man made river.
Robert Murdoch had some confidence and belief; and I have a ✅ for seeing London Bridge in another country.
Although at this point in the day I did not realise it I had achieved my tick ✅ for driving on Route 66. When a bypass was built some time ago the old Route 66 was forgotten but local people have worked hard to earn it historical status and revamp the small towns and attractions along the way. We went from Havasu to Kingman and the Route 66 museum.
The history of colonising the states is amazing and this museum not only charts Route 66 but the development of the area, it’s a must to learn about the Indians, early settlers and developers, inventors and engineers.
The jewel of the day and one that took me back to my childhood was a visit to a real cowboy town. The town of Oatman in Arizona is amazing. Preserved as it was in the days of the Wild West and gunslingers it hosts a herd of wild burros daily who come down from the hills to receive food from visitors. The burros are seven dents of the ones used in the mines and set free to roam when the mines were closed.
From Fast Fannys to the post office the buildings have been preserved and although it contains its fair share of tourist gubbins it was the highlight of my day and I would certainly go back. At set times a gunfight takes place on the Main Street (all in the name of charity which is a great reflection on the town and its inhabitants) a 10/10 for Oatman and a ✅ for being a cowgirl in a real cowboy town.
Four ticks today and I’m only two days into my trip.
1 ✅ Judge an AAU bodybuilding competition in the states
2 ✅ Visit a London icon in a different country – London Bridge Lake Havasu
3 ✅ Drive on Route 66 in the USA and dream of the open road and freedom
4 ✅ Be a 🤠 cowboy (girl) and visit the wild west and a cowboy town.