"Grand Canyon State"
Here starts beautiful, infinite and deserted roads of Arizona. No living soul, no cellular range and very hot. You need to experience it, at least once in your lifetime.
Oatman AZ, where burros walk around the streets and look into the tourist’s cars. They used to work in silver mine, dragging trolleys with this ore. Today, burros are fed by tourists with forage which you can buy on the spot. They are a great attraction of this town. But watch out where you are treading!
Walls in both restaurant and bar of Oatman Hotel entirely covered with dollar bills. There’s only a little space on the ceiling left.
Upstairs, in this over hundred years old hotel, Clark Gable with Carole Lombard – the movie stars from the 30s – spent their honeymoon. They say they used to come back here several times.
We go up on Sitgreaves Pass – elevation 3550 feet (1000 metres above sea level).
Visitor Center in Kingman AZ where you will get all kinds of tourist’s information. Visitor Centers are usually located on the borders of the states and in each, not necessarily bigger, town. It’s worthwhile dropping in to get map of the state, plan of the town and leaflets of attractions along the way. You have a possibility here to refresh yourself and get to know a lot of interesting things. That’s exactly here in Arizona where you really need to drop in, because this state issues a very special passport. You collect stamps from determined places on Route 66 in it. After travelling the whole Route in this state – and this is the longest section among all the states where Route 66 goes through – you will get a special certificate.
El Trovatore Motel in Kingman with world’s longest map of Route 66, on which Tasmanian Devil rushes...
Trovatore means traveler in Italian. This motel was built at the end of the 30s by the owner of Sal Sagev Hotel in Las Vegas (read this name backwards :-) ).
Having heating, air conditioning and modern decor it was luxurious for its time. Many celebrities have stayed here including Charles Bronson, Jane Russell and James Dean.
Hackberry General Store it’s one of the most wonderful places on Route 66. It’s a shop in Hackberry AZ with amazing collection of souvenirs to look at and to buy. You have no chance to get out from here empty-handed. And you have no chance to forget this atmosphere.
They used to tank up here not only gas, but water also – according to the warning on the board: 300 miles of desert ahead.
Route 66 in Arizona was called Historic US 66 in 1988 – how did it come about and thanks to whom? We will get to know it in Seligman.
Angel and Vilma’s Route 66 Gift Shop in Seligman AZ is the one of the most important places on the Route. It’s possible that if it weren’t for Angel Delgadillo – a barber from Seligman – we would watch Route 66 only on old photos today.
Angel comes from Mexican family who settled down right here in Seligman 100 years ago. Angel’s father opened his own barbershop, where Angel – although 88 years old now – still cuts hair and shaves. Route 66 used to ran next to the windows of Delgadillo family. Then it was moved a couple blocks over and it leaded clients on their trip straight to the salon. Delgadillo family, thanks to talented sons, out of nine children, who were playing in the band, survived the hard times of Great Depression in the 30. After the war, this town has flourished thanks to the tourists mainly, who came here via Route 66. Unfortunately in the 70. they built the highway which bypassed Seligman and exactly at 3 o’clock pm on 22nd of September 1978 traffic in this town has stopped. Angel remembers that moment till today. The town started to die out, businesses went bankrupt and there was no help from anywhere. Angel couldn’t stand that situation. In 1987 he called a meeting of a dozen or so persons and they formed Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona. Thanks to their persistence first the section of the Road between Seligman and Williams was called historic and then went another, till the whole Route 66 in Arizona was called historic. Soon the other states has followed an example and so the Route 66 came back to the traveler’s maps.
Snow Cap is a cafe at a distance of more than 10 meters from Angel’s Gift Shop. It was opened by his brother Juan – a great joker and pretender. At the back of the cafe, necessarily with ice cream in your hand bought in Snow Cap, you can see with your own eyes what a man Juan was... ;-)
There’s no lack of shops with a lot of souvenirs and curios in Seligman.
Four locomotives pulling 100 railway wagons with double containers, one on top of the other. You can see it often at Route 66 which was built along the railway tracks connecting East with the Wild West.
A lot of surprises awaits for you in Williams AZ.
John Moore became a sheriff after he arrived to Williams in the 80. To snap the town out of an apathy he came up with the idea of a shooting show just like in the Wild West time. At the beginning in the centre of the city, then in the railway which goes from Williams to the Grand Canyon – a “real” armed robbery. We asked him how did he come up with such a great idea and he said: “I don’t know. I must have seen it in some movie.” :-)
A figure of a lumberjack is a symbol of Flagstaff AZ. It appears in names of local brewery, pub and student newspaper (there’s a big college where more than 20.000 students attend).
Flagstaff is the highest point on Route 66 – 6910 feet, that’s 2106 metres above see level. But because it’s on a plateau, you can’t see this height. Although you can feel it – the temperature is changing quickly. In the night there was 26,6 degrees Fahrenheit (-3 degrees Celsius), in the morning 50 degrees Fahrenheit (+10 degrees Celsius), and in the afternoon 77 degrees Fahrenheit (+25 degrees Celsius).
Flagstaff is an excellent excursion base, e.g. to the famous Grand Canyon in the north and to the beautiful Sedona in the south.
Scary shop window attracts clients to this shop. Inside you will find charms with a dragon or a snake sign, AC/DC t-shirts, pipes. The owner of this really cool shop is fan of horror movies. He is supposed to have a house full of such “vampire toys”.
“...I'm a standin' on a corner in Winslow Arizona
Such a fine sight to see
It's a girl my Lord in a flat-bed Ford
Slowin' down to take a look at me
Come on, baby, don't say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me
We may lose and we may win,
though we will never be here again
So open up I'm climbin' in, so take it easy...”
One of the most famous songs of Eagles inspired the inhabitants of Winslow AZ – of which sings the band – to create a real corner of the streets where you can stand and take it easy, as Glenn Frey induces. The bronze statue with a guitar in his hands is Jackson Browne, the author of the song (he wrote it in 1972). In the window which is painted on the wall “reflects” the girl in a red flat-bed Ford. This truck is really parked on the street. At this unforgettable corner you will hear loud music of Eagles which come from two gift shops. The band of all time and small town on Route 66 – Americans know how to arouse a great excitement in millions of people.
Dar’s Route 66 Diner just round the corner serves delicious food. We met there a cook who laughed at us because our eyes were popping out when we got this huge portion of ordered meal ;-)
La Posada Hotel was built in 1930 in Winslow by Mary Colter – one of the best architects in the USA, and one of not numerous women in this field of art at the turn of the 19th and 20th century (the other of her works are Desert View Watchtower in Grand Canyon and Painted Desert Inn). Due to its splendor, restored today by new owners, this hotel has been put on a list of vintage buildings. To the building in Mexican style you can walk in straight from the railway station or through the garden from the main street. Gates made of wrought iron, heavy furniture made of wood, stone floors, big paintings on walls (painted by the new owner – an artist at the same time) – you can go round this hotel and admire it greatly.
Jack Rabbit Trading Post is a shop in Joseph City AZ. Across the street there’s a huge billboard – a well-known sign on Route 66.
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook AZ – the second rare possibility, during the journey on Route 66, to spend a night in tepee. Unluckily, as we found out on the spot, all the tepees had been already booked and taken for this night.
Indian shopping centre near Painted Desert. In this region is a lot of Indian reservations, who usually earn their living manufacturing jewellery. We met American Indians from different tribes: Apache, Cherokee, Hopi, Navajo, but today, after years of assimilation with white men, you can’t recognize them unless you start to talk to. Then you will hear: “... as they say in our Apache tribe...”.
Old Indian weather rock:
- If rock is wet – it’s raining
- If rock is white – it’s snowing
- If rock is moving back and forth – it’s windy
- If rock is hard to see – it’s foggy
- If rock is casting a shadow – it’s sunny
- If rock is cold – it’s cold out
- If rock is warm – it’s warm out
Old Indian never wrong!
Route 66 used to run through Petrified Forest from 1926 till 1958. It’s the only one park in the USA which has Route 66 within its boundaries.
These drawings on rocks in the park, in a rough approximation, are likely made by ancient tribe of Anasazi.
Million years ago the nature turned the wood to the stone. That’s an odd feeling when you reach your hand for a wood which you see – for a rough and warm bark, but in actual fact you touch a stone – smooth and cold.