Arizona & California – March 2012 – Route 66

I had enough spare time on my spring 2012 trip to Arizona and California to join the European tourists who come to America to drive what is left of Route 66.  I did however, do this backwards of what is the traditional direction (I went West to East).

My trip started by leaving I-15 in Victorville, California. Just after leaving town I reached the dusty crossroads ‘town’ of Bagdad  (although the address is listed as Oro Grande) where there is a Bottle Tree Ranch.

2012 03 13 59 Oro Grande CA Bottle Trees.JPG

 

The bottles are hung from metal poles with ‘branches’

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After admiring the bottles for a while I continued east to Barstow, a railroad junction in the middle of the desert. The highlight of Barstow is the old rail station.

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After spending the night in Barstow I got an early start the next morning, stopping before dawn at the Ludlow Cafe.

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Driving east from Ludlow I was able to enjoy a great sunrise.

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Just  east of Ludlow is the vacant town of Amboy, although Roy’s is being restored.

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Also near Amboy is the Amboy Crater.

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Continuing east was another vacant gas station with an amazing amount of graffiti.

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As I continued on the original route I reached Goffs. The re-routing in 1931 bypassed Goffs. It remains a spot where constant rail traffic passes by.

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Just beyond Goffs is the Arizona border. Because Route 66 doesn’t go completely through, I detoured onto the interstate, and took a brief side route to Lake Havasu City to see the London Bridge in the middle of the desert.

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Returning to Route 66 I continued on to Oatman. This town is famous for the wild donkeys that roam town.

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Leaving Oatman to the east takes you through some nice mountain scenery.

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Once I reached the valley I arrived in Kingman. Kingman was easily the biggest town I had seen since leaving San Bernardino.

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I stopped at the Powerhouse Visitor Center, a nice center with a museum inside.

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Lunch was Mr D’z – a small diner.

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Kingman has a nicely restored rail stations as well.

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Just east of town is an airplane boneyard.

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As the trip continued east I reached Hackberry, which in reality is a tourist spot with an old gas station.2012 03 14 Route 66 Road Trip 146 Hackberry Arizona.JPG

 

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This entire area has experienced a tourism resurgence since Cars was released, none more so than Peach Springs.

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By mid afternoon I reached Seligman, home of the Snow Cap Ice Cream stand, as well as a plethora of kitschy businesses. It is a favorite stop since it sits where Route 66 comes back close to the interstate. Seligman is worth a number of photos!

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As I continued east from Seligman I started to leave the desert look, and began to see more evergreen trees. By the time I reached Williams I was in a forest of trees.

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As evening approached I reached Flagstaff, where I spent the night. While there wasn’t much to see along Route 66, just knowing that I was able to spend a couple of hundred miles on it made it all worthwhile.

I look forward someday making the entire trip from Chicago, starting in the east.