e started our excursion down Route 66 in Rolla, Missouri and finished 8 days later in Needles, California. It truly was an adventure with every town, every mile of the road, every curve offering up something new for us to experience. Somewhere I read 'Step back into a bygone era'. Believe me that's just what happens. Route 66 spans the United States from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. During the 1930's, 40's and 50's it became 'The Mainstreet', for travel from the Midwest to California. Named the 'Will Rogers Highway' and described as the 'Mother Road' by John Stienbeck in 'The Grapes of Wrath' this road has a history like no other highway in the world. Now bypassed by 5 Interstate highways and decommissioned by the federal government, much of this magnificent road and it's history still remain waiting to be rediscovered by those who will venture down its path. Although much of Route 66 still remains, there are some sections that are no longer driveable or that lie buried under the Interstates.
he towns, the people, the diners, the tourist traps, the Souvenir shops, the Great Depression of the 1930's, the Dust Bowl, all of this and more are what give Route 66 it's rich intriguing history. Quite honestly, words and pictures simply can not entirely convey the thoughts, sights, and feelings this trip seems to evoke, it must be experienced. So cruise through the rest of our journal. We hope you enjoy it and that it will inspire some of you to take your own cruise on Route 66.
ctober 4th through the 16th 2002 is when we took our trip. We chose October for the month to take our trip thinking we would miss the heat of summer yet have nice weather in the 70's, maybe the low 80's in places and we weren't disappointed. Our plan was, 9 days on Route 66 with one of those days being a side trip to Phoenix. Leaving us 3 days for our return trip to Minnesota from Needles, California.
Friday October 4th
oday was just a travel day, we drove from our home in Minnesota to Jefferson City, Missouri where we spent the night at the "Best Western Capital Inn". The "Best Western Capital Inn" provided us nice clean and comfortable accommodations for our first night on the road. We had supper at Johnny's Bar B Que which is at the Capitol Inn. They had a rather interesting buffet that included Sauerkraut, several barbecued meats, potatoes and vegetables. Definitely not what WE are accustomed to, but none the less it was very tasty and we would recommend it if you ever stay in Jefferson City. We also investigated the bar, it also was an interesting establishment, quite obviously a rather popular local watering hole.
Saturday October 5th - Jefferson City, Mo to Springfield, Mo.
his morning we both woke up anxious to get on the road even our continental breakfast was not as relaxed as it could have been. Leaving Jefferson City we continued on US 63 to Rolla, Missouri where we met up with the fabled highway. Although we had done some reading, spent time planning some things of interest to see and do and made Motel reservations for each night of our trip we never could have dreamed the adventure we were about to embark upon.
e gassed the car up in Rolla and decided it was time to get out the maps and book and figure out where we were to go from here. We were made aware of some of what was in store as we left Rolla and joined Route 66 on Martin Spring Dr which is the 'Outer Road'(we call it a frontage or service road). Just as you leave the edge of town, as the road curves left you hit a short stretch of old concrete Route 66. Almost immediately you feel like you have passed through some kind of time warp to some long past era.
ur first real treat came as we entered the 'Devil's Elbow' section just south of Arlington Mo. This section is a 4 lane divided section of 1940's concrete complete with the lip on the edge. It's actually known as the "Hooker cutoff" as it is a bypass of the original Route through "Devils Elbow". We pulled over and stopped, almost in awe, we could almost see vintage vehicles passing by. After winding along this beautiful stretch of old 4 lane you cross the Interstate and come into Waynesville.
aynesville is neighbor to Fort Leonard Wood, I imagine the Army must have moved lots of men and equipment along Route 66 at one time. Remember "S & H Green stamps"? Well, we do and I couldn't help but stop and take a picture of an S & H Green stamp sign on top of a little grocery store in Waynesville. Between Waynesville and Lebanon Missouri we stopped and took a picture of an old iron bridge that was pretty narrow. Neat bridge but how did those big old cars of the 40's and 50's pass on these bridges?
n down the road in Lebanon is the "Munger Moss" motel a mainstay on Route 66 in Missouri and a MUST place to stay if it fits into your schedule. Just outside the town of Philipsburg were the remains of an old diner with this old truck slowly rotting away out front. Both of them monuments to a time when these small communities thrived.
n Springfield we spent the night at the "Best Western Rail Haven" Motel another Route 66 original and a MUST place to stay. Starting out as cabins and later being rebuilt into a motel when Glenstone St was widened to 4 lanes. Being in Springfield Missouri early in the afternoon we just had to spend a couple of hours at Bass Pro Shop. We cruised up and down Glenstone a couple of times, lots of cool neon to see here at night.
Sunday October 6th - Springfield, Mo to Stroud, Ok.
t started out a cloudy morning, but it's not raining! We stopped to see the "Shrine Mosque" before we left Springfield. Apparently in it's day it was like the Ryman auditorium was in Nashville, hosting the top Country music talent of the day.
Just had to stop and take a picture of another old bridge just south of Paris Springs, Missouri. Then another treat, more old concrete to drive. The road between Spencer and Heatonville, Missouri is a real cool stretch of old narrow concrete 66. We stopped and I stood in the middle of the road to take a picture.
e stopped for gas at a Conoco station in Carthage, Mo and Judy had to take a picture of the flying farm implement sculpture they had erected. Just another roadside oddity to grab your attention. Carthage is a real interesting town, it is a real mixture of history from the 1800's and 1900's. The county courthouse is a castle like structure that you can't miss going through town. It's the home of the "Boots" motel where Clark Gable once stayed. Carthage boasts one more thing, it's the home of the last operating Outdoor Theater on Route 66. Joplin, Mo was next, we cruised through town and headed for the Kansas border.
Green Stamp Sign
Munger Moss Motel
Original 30's Concrete
66 Drive In
Sunday, October 6 2002
s we left Missouri we followed the "Old road" into Kansas past the closed processing plant at "Hells Half Acre", It's all that remains of the Zinc and Lead mining that was once done here. At the time we didn't realize what this was. The mining really devastated the land. We crossed the curved bridge over the railroad tracks into Galena, Kansas. Being Sunday morning Main street in Galena was pretty much deserted, we cruised slowly through town and with no signs of life we headed down the road to Riverton.
n Riverton, a must place to stop is the Eisler Brothers store, it's been there since 1925, but being Sunday morning it was closed as well. So, on we went to discover the "Rainbow Bridge" next. This old concrete bridge built in 1925 is just a gem to see. If only they still built things that way! We drove on through Baxter Springs and made a bee line for Oklahoma.
Rainbow Bridge Sign
Rainbow Bridge Sign 2
Kansas Historic 66 Sign
Sunday, October 6 2002
rossing the border into Oklahoma the terrain becomes a little more rolling and grassy as we passed through the tiny towns of Quapaw and Commerce. In Miami(pronounced "Miamah") we noticed the traffic lights are still suspended from cables in the center of the intersections and the Main street has peninsulas of sidewalk jutting out into it at the corners so you kind of zig zag your way through their downtown. Miami is also the home of the Coleman Theater built in 1929.
n down the road after going through Dotyville and Narcissa we stopped in Afton to see the Afton Station, but it was also closed, so we took a picture and continued on. At Foyil, Oklahoma we took a little side trip to see the "Totem Pole Park". It was built by Ed Galloway in the 1940's as a tribute to American Indians. Some of these concrete Totem Poles are absolutely huge !
t Catoosa we stopped to have a look at "The Blue Whale" water park. Constructed in the early 1970's it is no longer in operation, but it has had some restoration done to it and it is open for visitors to walk through. I can see where it would have been a welcome way to cool off on a hot summer day. We took the Interstate around Tulsa and in hind sight we probably should have followed Route 66 through town and found a vintage place to eat or have a soda.
e decided to try Norma's cafe in Sapulpa but it was closed and For Sale so we kept going and decided to find a place to eat in one of the next towns. Between Kellyville and Bristow we spotted the first oil well on our trip. It wasn't pumping, can it be cheaper to buy foreign oil? Maybe it's been pumped dry. The Rock cafe in Stroud, Oklahoma was closed for renevotions, so we ended up eating at the restaurant at our Motel.
Monday, October 7 2002 - Stroud, Ok to Shamrock, Tx
efore leaving Stroud this morning we had breakfast at the Specialty House family restaurant, a good place to eat if you can't eat at The Rock cafe. We took a short detour through Davenport, we drove down Broadway of this little town. The speed limit is 15mph and for good reason, the street is cobblestone and so rough any faster and we would have ripped the exhaust and transmission off the car.
ur next stop was in Chandler, a really quaint, clean, quiet little town, it's The home of the "Lincoln Motel". We strolled along Main street, visited the Museum of Pioneer History and stopped for an Ice cream cone at the Ice Cream parlor next to the Museum. Just west of Chandler the soil turns red and we noticed that there is red dust on just about everything. This part of Route 66 between Chandler and Arcadia, Oklahoma has some of the nicest banked wide sweeping curves, a real pleasure to drive.
rcadia is the home of the "Hillbilly" cafe, we wanted to have some lunch there, but it wasn't open yet. Arcadia also has the famous "Round Barn" built in 1898 that has been restored to it's original splendor. As we left Arcadia, just outside of town we notice a whole field of Long Horn cattle, neither one of us had ever seen any before except in the movies. We decided to take the Interstate around Oklahoma City and hook back up with Route 66 West of the city.
ukon, Oklahoma is the home town of Garth Brooks. It was lunch time so we decided to cruise down Garth Brooks boulevard and find Harry's American Grill. Harry's has a unique southwestern atmosphere and some really good TexMex food. Continuing down the road the terrain becomes flat around El Reno, with lots of scrubby vegetation and you can see forever. Route 66 through Calumet and Geary was a little tricky with the directions on our map. We managed to figure it out and made it to Bridgeport where we crossed the "Pony" bridge that goes over the Canadian river. It's named for the 38 arches or "Pony's" it has.
he section of Route 66 between Bridgeport and Hydro is more old concrete with the lip on the edges. Narrow lanes and lots of dips that we kept scraping the mud flaps on. It's interesting how the road hugs the terrain instead of the road bed being built up to flatten it out. Hydro is the home of Lucille's station, Lucille passed away in August of 2000 and the station was closed. Lucille's was sold by auction on Ebay in the fall of 2002. Hopefully the new owner will restore Lucille's station for future roadies to appreciate and enjoy. As we headed down the road towards Weatherford and Clinton we really noticed how the "Click Clack" of the tires on the old concrete road has a rhythm all it's own.
linton, Oklahoma is where the Oklahoma Route 66 museum is. It's a fabulous museum that traces the history of Route 66 as you walk from room to room with the aid of a cassette player they give you when you go in. At the end of the tour there is an excellent movie called "Route 66: An American Odyssey." And to top it off they have a fabulous gift shop ! Keep your eyes peeled for the yellow Monster Volkswagen Beetle on the right side just outside Clinton! Our next stop was in Elk City at the National Route 66 museum. Unfortunately they close at 5 pm and it was a little later than that when we got there. So we took a few pictures and headed for the Texas border.
Oklahoma Historic 66 Sign
Miami Traffic Lights
Totem Pole 1
Totem Pole 2
Totem Pole 3
Totem Pole 4
Totem Pole 5
The Blue Whale
Vintage 66 Station
Hillbilly Cafe 1
Hillbilly B & B
Arcadia Round Barn
Oklahoma Route 66 Museum
Judy National Route 66 Museum
Kachina Doll 1
Kachina Doll 2
vening was closing in as we drove into Shamrock, Texas. On the drive from the Oklahoma border you really see the desolation left behind by the Oil business drying up and the bypassing of Route 66 by the Interstate. Many of the little towns are nearly ghosts. Businesses look like whoever owned them one day hung a "Closed" sign in the window and walked away. There is an older alignment of Route 66 that runs parallel to the current alignment through this section Some of it looks like you could drive it, but in many places there are trees and shrubs growing up in the middle of it making those spots impassable. We were ready to get to our Motel and have some supper after a long interesting 11 or 12 hour day on the road. After checking into the motel we went next door to a little cafe and had supper. Forgetting we were in Texas I ordered a double cheeseburger. What I got was a bun with 2 hamburger patties that together probably weighed a pound and a half! It tasted wonderful though, good and greasy. The french fries were equally as good.
Tuesday, October 8 2002 - Shamrock, Tx to Santa Rosa, NM
hamrock is the home of the "U Drop Inn cafe" it was closed for renovations. Just outside Shamrock was a field of cotton growing, it was the first time either of us had seen a cotton field. As we drove west we really started to notice more weeds growing up through the cracks in the road. I know it's a sign of age and deterioration, but it seemed to add character as well. The drive across the Texas panhandle is really kind of sad. Towns like McLean seem deserted as you drive through them, so little prosperity in what were once thriving small towns. In McLean the Texas Motel and restaurant stand empty and down the street an old gas station slowly crumbles away with time. On the way out of McLean on the left is an old Phillips 66 station and tank truck that have been restored. They stand there like a testament of prosperous times long past.
pproaching Groom the famous leaning water tower came into site. It looks pretty strange, but it was intended to attract attention and draw travelers into town. We stopped at the Golden Spread grill in Groom for coffee and discovered their "Fried Pies". They look like a huge turnover and are actually baked not fried, they are absolutely fabulous! If you're ever in Groom, Texas you have to stop in and have one. As you leave Groom the "Largest Cross in the Western Hemisphere" stands to the north of the highway, it's pretty impressive in its own right.
e didn't stop in Amarillo, but we did follow Route 66 through town and there are quite a number of interesting looking antique shops along 6th st. Just outside Amarillo is the Cadillac Ranch, 10 Cadillac's buried nose down in concrete. Built in 1974 I guess it's a monument to the decadence of the time. Adrian, Texas is the midpoint of Route 66 and home of the Midpoint cafe. Interesting little cafe and gift shop. We each had a bowl of their stew or vegetable soup (they called it both)and corn muffins. It was amazing! We understand they have great burgers too. Heading out of Adrian you have to join the Interstate for a few miles to the New Mexico border. Just outside Adrian, Texas the terrain changes very abruptly as you enter Mesa country. It's amazing to see! The terrain is flat and you can see forever and in the blink of an eye you are in Mesa country. Leaving the Interstate at exit 0 we drove through the ghost town of Glenrio, Texas. There's not much left of Glenrio and the road through town which is part of route 66 is dirt or gravel but very drivable. I'm not sure that I would drive a big RV on this stretch, but for a car or SUV it's just fine to drive if it's dry. Glenrio straddles the Texas/New Mexico border, so hello New Mexico.
Old Route 66 Sign
Old Route 66 Texas
U Drop Inn Cafe
Old Gas Station
Phillips 66 Station
Leaning Water Tower
Golden Spread Grill
Sign A Bug
he section of dirt Route 66 between the Texas border and San Jon, New Mexico is kind of fascinating, as we drove along we talked about what it must have been like many years ago driving this same stretch in an old Model T ford. Out in the middle of the desert, nothing but hard sandy soil and scrub brush as far as you can see. People must have felt awfully alone out here. I know we felt alone, but some how the desert has a beauty all it's own and there are hardy souls that do call it home. About half way to San Jon we had one moment to break the silence as Judy screamed as we drove right over a Tarantula trying to make it across the road. We didn't hit it, but it must have been an awful fright for that poor little spider. Passing through San Jon the road becomes paved again and we headed for Tucumcari.
ucumcari Tonight! the town with 2000 motel rooms the signs once said. Also known as the town that's two blocks wide and two miles long. Home of the Blue Swallow motel, Palomino motel and Tee Pee Curio's all Route 66 originals. After leaving Tucumcari Route 66 crosses to the south side of the Interstate and after a short distance crosses back to the north of side the Interstate going through a very narrow tunnel under the Interstate. Now don't get me wrong, we had room on either side of the car, but if you're driving an RV stay on the Interstate! We stopped and took a picture of the tunnel and then headed for Santa Rosa where we were staying for the night.
anta Rosa is home to the "Fat Man" made famous by the billboards that used to advertise the Club Cafe. The Club cafe is closed, but the legacy of the "Fat Man" has been carried on by Joseph's bar & grill. Santa Rosa also has the "Blue Hole" a sink hole some 80 feet deep that has THE most beautiful, clear sapphire blue water. We checked into our motel and then went to Joseph's bar & grill for supper, the atmosphere said Route 66 and the food was ok. Tomorrow we head up the Santa Fe loop of Route 66. Which was the earlier alignment of Route 66 that was later bypassed by the current alignment that goes straight west between Santa Rosa and Albuquerque.
Wednesday October 9th - Santa Rosa NM to Grants NM
s we headed north toward Santa Fe we started seeing small herds of Pronghorn antelope scattered across the grassy areas on either side of the highway. They're the first Pronghorns either of us had ever seen in the wild. The scenery was beautiful and ever changing as the road went up in elevation. We stopped in the tiny Pueblo(village) of Tecolote, New Mexico to see an old Iron Bridge which was part of the old alignment of Route 66 before it was paved. It never ceased to amaze us how people navigated that old dirt highway. Down the road near Pecos, New Mexico is the "Pecos National Monument" It's the remains of a large indian Pueblo and two Spanish missions on the old Santa Fe trail. We spent about an hour there and it was very interesting and worth the stop.
anta Fe was busy to say the least. As you drive into town on "Old Santa Fe Trail" which becomes "Pecos Trail" the street narrows as you drive into the "Plaza". It was midday as we drove though there and there were people everywhere, the street was extremely narrow. We wanted to stop, but couldn't find anywhere to park. Many of the buildings are Pink adobe and are literally almost at the edge of the street. We wound our way through the city and found a family restaurant on the south side where we stopped and had some lunch. We know we missed seeing some really neat things by not stopping in the "Plaza" area and spending some time so we decided we need to take a trip just to see Santa Fe someday.
ext was a little side excursion to the bottom of the La Bajada hill which was part of the pre 1932 alignment of Route 66 before it was paved. It's one mile of road that has 23 hairpin turns and drops over 800 feet. We found our way to the tiny village of La Bajada, but because the ruts in the road were too deep we were unable to drive all the way back to the base of the hill. But if you wish and are driving a 4 wheel drive vehicle you can drive up to the base of the hill or park next to the old bridge and walk back to the base of the hill. But, be warned! If you are driving a 4 wheel drive vehicle it is NOT recommended that you try to drive up the hill as the road going up the hill is not in good shape.
ntering Albuquerque what runs across the road, but a Ringneck Pheasant ! In New Mexico ? Anyway, we cruised through the city and headed west. After having to join the Interstate for a short distance, we took the Laguna exit onto an absolutely superb section of the old two lane 66. The Mesas and rock formations were absolutely beautiful, all colors of the rainbow and all different shapes. On to Grants where we spent the night.
Thursday October 10th - Grants NM to Flagstaff AZ
eading west out of Grants, New Mexico the scenery is spectacular as Grants is in the heart of Mesa country. At Prewitt NM are the Red Rock Cliffs, Beautiful rusty red colors, they stand out majesticlly against the blue New Mexico sky. Just west of Thoreau(pronounced "Threw")you cross the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide is a dividing line that runs along the Rocky mountains from Canada to Mexico. Rain, snow and rivers West of the Continental Divide all drain to the Pacific ocean and rain, snow and rivers East of the Continental Divide drain to the Atlantic ocean. Next, we Stopped in Gallup to see the El Rancho hotel which since the 1930's has been the home away from home for many movie stars when they were on location filming movies. Just West of Gallup you pass Fort Yellowhorse. It's a movie set that was built for the 1950 Kirk Douglas film "The Big Carnival". It's also an indian trading post that was operated by Chief Yellowhorse who passed away in 1999, the trading post is still in operation with signs boasting "See a live Buffalo".
New Mexico Historic 66 Sign
Tee Pee Curios
Tunnel Under Interstate
Pecos Pueblo Mission
Pecos Pueblo 1
Pecos Pueblo 2
Red rock Cliffs
La Bajada Hill
El Rancho Hotel
El Morro Theater
fter crossing the border into Arizona, Route 66 crosses to the north of the Interstate and becomes mostly a dirt road with a few short sections of old blacktop. The road crosses the Querino canyon where we took a picture of the remains of the Querino canyon trading post. Then we crossed the Querino canyon bridge and on the other side we had to stop and wait for a herd of wild horses to slowly wander across the road. This section of road is pretty rough we averaged about 10 miles per hour. We continued on to Chambers where we had to rejoin the Interstate.
ust west of Navajo, Arizona is the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. We were really impressed with the beauty of the Painted Desert, It looks as though the colors have been air brushed on to the hills and cliffs. As far as the eye can see, it's beautiful and eerie, almost mesmerizing. The Petrified forest was really something to see as well although personally we found it less interesting than the Painted Desert. We spent almost two hours at the park and it was well worth the time. We ate lunch in the cafeteria at the park visitors center and the food was pretty bad.
was standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona … As the Eagles song goes, Winslow is a neat little town. If you plan a trip on Route 66 make sure to make reservations to stay at the La Posada hotel in Winslow. The La Posada was the crown jewel of the the Fred Harvey railroad hotels. This beautiful old hotel is being painstakingly restored and is absolutely fabulous! We toured the hotel and wished we could have stayed the night. Next we stopped in the Old Trails Museum and spent nearly an hour there I think. The woman who was there was fascinating with her knowledge of the history of Winslow, the railroad, the La Posada hotel and the area in general. Plus it's the only place you can get an official "Standin' on a Corner" t-shirt. Back on the Interstate we headed for Flagstaff. We spent a lot of time on the interstate today, in eastern Arizona much of Route 66 lies buried under the Interstate so there are only small fragments of the old two lane road left. At Winona we rejoined the Old road for the drive into Flagstaff. About 15 miles or so out of Flagstaff you really notice how the landscape has changed from the brush,sand and rock of the desert to grassy with lots of pine and cedar trees.
lagstaff or Flag as it is known by roadies and the locals is the largest city on Route 66 in Arizona. As you drive into town on Santa Fe Avenue you are greeted by motel row along with the Museum Club, a Route 66 icon since the 1930's. Believe me at night the neon is something to behold. We stayed at the BestWestern Kings House Motel on motel row. What we didn't know is that motel row is built right across the street from the railroad tracks which are busy 24 hours a day. The motel is not far from a large intersection so train horns bellowed regularly all night long. We spent two nights in Flagstaff because we spent Friday on a side trip to see friends in Scottsdale.
Friday October 11th
he drive to Scottsdale gave us our first taste of driving down mountain grades so it was an interesting drive. Scottsdale and Phoenix were nice. I'm not sure either one of us were impressed enough to decide to retire there though. But we had a really nice time in the 3 or 4 hours we spent there with friends. Then we headed back up to Flagstaff(literally) because we had a date to go to the Museum Club and go dancing.
hat can I say, the Museum Club is a one of a kind! Those that say it's the best roadhouse on Route 66 are not lying. In fact I think it has to be the best roadhouse we've ever been in. Talk about unique, it was originally built by a taxadermist to house his collection of stuffed animals Many of which still hang on the walls and beams of this cool old building. When you walk in the door you are greeted not only by a friendly bouncer, but a huge fireplace. The night we were there the fireplace was well stoked and it must have been 80 degrees in there. We sat in a booth at the edge of the hardwood dance floor, which has a tree trunk in each corner and one in the middle. All for support I guess. Anyway we had a couple of drinks a few dances and watched some of the colorful locals having a good time.
Saturday October 12th - Flagstaff AZ to Needles CA
t was hard to believe that this was our last day of cruisin' Route 66. But, before we got started on the last leg of our trip we had to drive up to see the Grand Canyon. The drive up to the Grand Canyon was beautiful, the sky was clear and the temp was in the 30's or 40's. The Grand Canyon itself was totally awe inspiring. We were totally amazed by it's size and grandeur. We spent about an hour there by the time we stopped at the visitor center and bought a souvenir coffee mug. But we had to get back to Flagstaff and continue our journey.
eading west out of Flagstaff through Bellmont and Parks we returned to some more of the familiar two lane and gravel road we had driven on earlier in the week. Particularly Deer farm Road, but a few miles before Williams, Az we were forced to rejoin the Interstate. At Ash Fork we exited the Interstate at exit 139 and headed west on Crookton road. This is the beginning of a long stretch of two lane Route 66 that stretches all the way to the California border. Wow, what a cool stretch of road. All along the way you can see remnants of earlier alignments of route 66.
olling into Seligman you're Blasted with an almost gaudy retro facade. Old cars dot the street and parking lot of the Snow Cap drive in. Down the street "The Rusty Bolt and Thunderbird Indian Store" is decorated outside with mannequin's on the balcony and 50's music drifts through the air. The owner of Angel's Barbershop, Angel Delgadillo is the driving force behind the movement in Arizona to preserve Route 66. We stopped and strolled down the street and looked around a bit. Just as we were getting ready to leave a group of Corvette's rumbled into town and stopped. Four of them, all different years starting in the mid 60's. What a cool sight to see.
eaving Seligman the next 90 miles of road to Kingman are a drivers dream. You literally get lost in the road cruising along at a nice easy speed. what a dream of a road to drive on! It's one of those stretches of road where your mind can really wander and ponder how cool it would be to be driving this in a '57 Chevy or better yet a 1960 Corvette. We still had to make it to Needles, so we cruised through Kingman and turned west on the Oatman road.
have to say a couple of things about the Oatman road. If you are driving a motorhome or if you simply can't tolerate mountain driving, then stay on the Interstate. The stretch of road from Kingman to ed's camp is pretty benign. But once past Ed's camp you start the decent to Oatman through Sitgreaves pass. This was the absolutely best part of the whole trip for me. For Judy, it was probably the part best forgotten. We are talking 20+ miles of narrow steep road that snakes through this pass down to Oatman with blind hairpin turns, switchbacks and no guard rails! At 15 mph, the fastest I wanted to go in our car it took awile to snake our way down into Oatman. Where I announced "Lets Do that again"! And Judy said "Then leave me here"!
e didn't stop In Oatman as it was close to 5 pm by now and we still needed to get to Needles. The year before while at a Family reunion in Laughlin, Nevada Judy and I drove over to Oatman and spent all afternoon there. It's a tourist attraction now. But once was a bustling mining town. We ate at the Oatman hotel and saloon and watched the old west shootout from the old wooden sidewalk. The town is filled with souvenir shops and has it's own herd of wild burrows that wander through town begging for carrots from the tourists.
rossing the desert from Oatman to Needles, California has to be the most desolate stretch of the whole highway. It was also kind of a bittersweet feeling driving this stretch as we both knew our adventure was really over and that in the morning we would start our trip home to Minnesota.
Route 66 Querino Canyon
Painted Desert 1
Painted Desert 2
Painted Desert 3
La Posada Hotel
Twisters Soda Shop
The Rusty Bolt