Route 66 Day 1-2

October 1st. Armed with Rt 66 maps & guide books by Jim Ross and Jerry McClanahan, Garmin GPS, tools, parts and a lot of other stuff we roared out of San Luis Obispo to begin our grand tour of Rt 66 from Barstow to Chicago in Maryjane our restored 1950 Chevy Fleetline

We’re both suffering a bit of the jitters not knowing what lies ahead and how the two of us will deal with it over the next 14 days. Adventure, Mayhem, Weather, Mechanical Failures, Excitement, Wacko’s, Mysteries, Challenges and more await us.

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Day 1 Barstow to Kingman
We picked up Rt 66 in Barstow after electing to skip the start/end of the mother road at Santa Monica Pier in LA for a couple of reasons. One of which was to avoid the traffic and chaos and second was that much of Route 66 in the LA basin has been altered enough over time to not give us big alligator tears over having missed that section.

Barstow

Barstow

Barstow

Leaving Barstow on rt 66 we drove thru Daggett, Newberry Springs and Ludlow
desert

desert

rt 66

Stopped at the Bagdad Café in Newberry which was featured in the 1987 film of the same name.

rt 66

It was here that we met 2 young guys from Venice, Italy that came to cruise Rt. 66 on Harley’s.

rt 66

Amboy

Stopped in Fenner for gas and met a young couple from Hungary that were touring the Southwest deserts on a Harley. Adventurers and vagabonds abound!

Needles

Continued east where we crossed the Colorado River into Arizona. Passed thru Topock and started the 25 mile journey to Oatman. The road isn’t great, the views are spectacular and Maryjane was up to the challenge. It’s a bit of climb and presented us with some spectacular vistas of the desert below. Rain had passed thru earlier and the sky was broken clouds and brilliant blue. The shadows from the clouds accented the rock formations.

Road to Oatman

OATMAN
Oatman is an old mining town that was founded during the gold rush in 1901 and has wild burros wandering the streets just to add a little more flavor to this throwback town. Made friends with the burros, had lunch, trolled the shops.

It’s Woody the Burro

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The road down to the Cool Springs station from Oatman is steep, winding and breathtaking. Along the way we found a spectacular view point where memorial crosses had been placed overlooking the desert.

rt 66

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Cool Springs Cabins is a classic and well worth a stop. the truck that was the inspiration for Tow Mater in the Cars movie was found here. To our dismay we discovered that Tow Mater had been stolen and is now believed to be in Canada. (Sounds like the basis for a sequel).

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KINGMAN
Cruised on down to Kingman to the famous El Trovatore Motel and got a room that Marilyn Monroe had once stayed in. It seems The El Trovatore motel, which opened in 1937, hosted Hollywood film greats Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean when they were in the area  filming.

 

It was more than a pleasant surprise to find Marilyn waiting for me in our celebrity room.  How lucky can one man be?

 


Kathy trying to hitch a ride with Mr. Magoo

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Day 2 Kingman to Holbrook.

Started off the day with a great breakfast at Mr. D’s (Andy Devine was a Kingman native hence the name Mr. D’s)

After breakfast we ventured across the street for a quick peak at the small Kingman RT 66 museum.  Found this awesome Studebaker on display.

 

Said goodbye to Kingman and headed for Hackberry General Store which is about 25 miles southeast of Kingman. A lot of really cool old cars in varying degrees of decay, antiques and bits and pieces of Rt 66 memorabilia.

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Hackberry General Store

The local girls were shy but I know they wanted me.

Continued on to Seligman which is another one of those old towns that is all about Rt 66. Seligman was on the original U.S. Route 66 from 1926 through 1978, when Interstate 40 bypassed it a few miles south. In 1987 Seligman gained its name “Birthplace of Historic Route 66” due to the efforts of Seligman residents, who convinced the State of Arizona to dedicate Route 66 a historic highway. Seligman was the inspiration for the town of Radiator Springs in the animated movie Cars.

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SELIGMAN

Met a strange character all duded up in cowboy gear with a knife and gun who was there with his horses. Couldn’t quite figure out what his deal was but the man could talk your leg off. A bus load of Chinese tourists pulled in and distracted the boy long enough for us to escape.

Walked the town


Had a great lunch at the Roadkill Café.

Leaving Seligman we reached an elevation of 7500+ feet and found the vegetation suddenly transitioning from desert scrub brush to trees before starting the long descent to Williams.

Passed thru Flagstaff and  continued on to Winslow

 

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WINSLOW, AZ

Winslow, Az.  is a vibrant timeless ’50’s town where we had to stop to see the “Standing on the Corner in Winslow, AZ” statue commemorating the 1972 Eagles / Jackson Browne song “Take it Easy”


If you look carefully you can see the “flatbed Ford” sitting at the curb in the photo.

In the mural you can see the flatbed Ford reflecting in the window and Glenn Fry kissing the “Blond haired girl” in 2nd floor window. There’s an eagle sitting on the window ledge of the next room. How cool is that!

After Kathy’s failed attempt to run away with Mr. Magoo she tried to escape on the jackrabbit at the Jackrabbit Trading Post.  should I be worried?

Like yesterday the sky was filled with a variety of cloud formations that ranged from black to puffy white clouds interspersed with the most brilliantly clear blue sky.

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HOLBROOK

Pulled into Holbrook and checked in to the famous Wig Wam (Teepee) Motel. What a hoot

Had a great Mexican dinner down the street at Roma Restaurant.

So far we’ve met people from Italy, Germany, Serbia, Belgium, Hungary and the UK. and have seen a bus load of Chinese tourists. Oh , and we did hear a couple speaking French in a cafe. There is no doubt rt 66 is an international destination.