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.
The bottles are hung from metal poles with ‘branches’
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.
After spending the night in Barstow I got an early start the next morning, stopping before dawn at the Ludlow Cafe.
Driving east from Ludlow I was able to enjoy a great sunrise.
Just east of Ludlow is the vacant town of Amboy, although Roy’s is being restored.
Also near Amboy is the Amboy Crater.
Continuing east was another vacant gas station with an amazing amount of graffiti.
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.
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.
Returning to Route 66 I continued on to Oatman. This town is famous for the wild donkeys that roam town.
Leaving Oatman to the east takes you through some nice mountain scenery.
Once I reached the valley I arrived in Kingman. Kingman was easily the biggest town I had seen since leaving San Bernardino.
I stopped at the Powerhouse Visitor Center, a nice center with a museum inside.
Lunch was Mr D’z – a small diner.
Kingman has a nicely restored rail stations as well.
Just east of town is an airplane boneyard.
As the trip continued east I reached Hackberry, which in reality is a tourist spot with an old gas station.
This entire area has experienced a tourism resurgence since Cars was released, none more so than Peach Springs.
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!
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.
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.