California 2021:
Day 7 - Route 66: Arizona


Bundlings.com: [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

California 2021: [Day 1 - Chicago] [Day 2 - Route 66: IL] [Day 3 - Route 66: MO] [Day 4 - Route 66: OK] [Day 5 - Route 66: TX] [Day 6 - Route 66: NM] [Day 7 - Route 66: AZ] [Day 8 - Route 66: CA] [Day 9 - Route 66: CA] [Day 10 - Los Angeles] [Day 11 - Los Angeles] [Day 12 - Palm Springs] [Day 13 - Joshua Tree NP] [Day 14 - Death Valley NP] [Day 15 - Las Vegas] [Day 16 - Zion NP] [Day 17 - Grand Canyon North Rim] [Day 18 - Toroweap, Grand Canyon] [Day 19 - Page, AZ] [Day 20 - Durango, CO] [Day 21 - Great Bend, KS] [Day 22 - St. Louis, MO] [Day 23 - Heading Home]

Saturday, November 6, 2021: It was still dark when we left the hotel in the morning which gave us time to get gas without wasting precious daylight.
With a full tank and a clean windshield, we checked out the Muffler Man named "Dude Man" on top of a used car dealership on the way out of town.
We passed this gigantic vase statue, another member of the Great Big Pottery Project, made a breakfast stop at McDonald's, and drove west on Route 66.
This small canyon had a white horse standing on the lip, and we pulled over to get a better look. There are several horses in this canyon, including ...
... this beautiful white horse, ...
... and these two, and the one on the right is a baby.
We passed the Teepee Trading Post at the Arizona border.
It was empty at this early hour.
We crossed over to the south side of I-40 and saw this abandoned service station in Lupton, Arizona before following the Route 66 signs onto I-40 West.
Almost fifty miles later, we left I-40 and entered Petrified Forest National Park. Route 66 used to run through lands that are now under the protection of the National Park Service, so to see that section, we had to enter the park.
The first part of the park is the Painted Desert, which is absolutely stunning. There are so many colors visible in the early morning light. Just beautiful.
The Painted Desert Inn went by, ...
... and we arrived at the Route 66 exhibit inside the national park. We had stopped here in March, but it it didn't have the significance then that it does now.
These telephone poles stretching into the distance marks the original Route 66 roadway. The road ran through the park from 1926 until 1958.
The exhibit contains an interpretive display, the grill of an old car (sorry, we don't know which kind), and the remains of a 1932 Studebaker.
The exhibit is really well done.
Here's a close-up of the Studebaker.
There is a pathway from the exhibit down to the base of the telephone poles that stretch off to the southwest, so you can actually stand where Route 66 ran through the park. So very cool.
We reversed course and backtracked out of the park since we had previously visited it, stopping at the Whipple Point overlook for a quick rest. We also stopped at the Painted Desert Inn on the way out to recycle all of the cans and bottles that we had accumulated on the trip so far. It's so nice that the National Parks have recycling.
The entire trip into the Petrified Forest National Park and back took just under 45 minutes, and it was well worth it.
Back on I-40, we could see the telephone poles that marked the original alignment of Route 66 off to the north side of the highway.
We got off I-40 and onto I-40 Business as we neared Holbrook, Arizona. We passed the Sahara Inn, ...
... and the 66 Motel, before heading under the highway and seeing ...
... a Dairy Queen with an original neon sign from 1958.
There were lots of vintage signs to see in Holbrook, including this one from the El Rancho Motel and Restaurant.
The Pow Wow Trading Post advertised rocks for sale. Holbrook is near where the road through the Petrified Forest National Park ends, so there are lots of opportunities to buy petrified wood and rocks in the area.
Joe and Aggie's Cafe had this mural showing the map of Route 66 as well as all of the shield emblems from all eight states that make up the route.
We saw this Arizona scenic byway sign under the Route 66 sign and the America's Byways sign.
We headed west on I-40 Business, passing Brad's Desert Inn, ...
... and Wigwam Village #6, which is now styled as ...
... Wigwam Motel. The tag line says "Have you slept in a wigwam lately?"
This part of I-40 in Arizona was designated as part of the Purple Heart Trail, a symbolic system of roads and highways intending to honor recipients of the Purple Heart medal.
Outside of Holbrook, we got back on I-40 very briefly before getting back off again, just long enough to see the Geronimo Trading Post, and then we got back onto I-40.
We were back off I-40 again to go through Joseph City, where we saw this historic marker placed by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. This one marks the site of the Old Fort, built by Mormons who settled here in 1876. It is the oldest Mormon community in Arizona.
This Mormon pushcart statue was a little bit farther west down Route 66.
We crossed under I-40 and saw this Adopt-a-Highway sign sponsored by Jack Rabbit Trading Post, which was coming up.
These billboards used to cover hundreds of miles in both directions on Route 66.
The "HERE IT IS" sign is iconic, ...
... as is the Jack Rabbit wearing a saddle.
Debbie's quick eyes caught this VW Rabbit in the parking lot, complete with rabbit ears, nose, and "HERE IT IS" license plate.
The frontage road comes to an end just past the Jack Rabbit Trading Post, ...
... and this abandoned service station.
Ten minutes later, we were back off I-40, across the Little Colorado River, and headed to ...
... Winslow, Arizona. We were here earlier this year, but hadn't paid much attention to the Route 66 attractions then.
Earl's Motel caters to travelers of Route 66 and enthusiasts of the Eagles song, "Take it Easy."
We had to go past the "Standin' on the Corner" monument, even though it was on the eastbound side of Route 66.
There were at least two flatbed Fords in town.
It took several looks at this Route 66 sign to realize that the silhoutte is an automobile axle, not a shake weight.
We left Winslow at the western end and got back on I-40.
We made a quick stop in Two Guns, Arizona, to take a look at the Canyon Diablo bridge and the other ruins in the area.
Debbie tried to identify Sunset Crater among the hills to the north of the road, but was unsuccessful.
We exited again at Twin Arrows, Arizona, ...
... and crossed south of the highway to look at the iconic arrows, ...
... and the abandoned service station with its grafitti. We backtracked and got back on I-40 and continued west.
We exited I-40 again at Winona and passed the Walnut Canyon Bridge, a truss bridge that carried Route 66 traffic from 1926 to 1949. The bridge can no longer safely carry vehicles, but it is still used for bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
Debbie squealed with delight when she saw this slide on the south side of the road, but it was on private property so we couldn't get any closer. We thought that it was a rocket slide like the one she enjoyed as a child, but it appears to be a different style. Still, it was exciting to see this close kin to the rocket slide she loved.
We continued through Winona to the outskirts of Flagstaff, stopping at our current favorite Del Taco in the west for lunch.
We referred to the Route 66 signs as "pellets," like the rewards that mice get for following the correct path in the maze. They let us know that we were on the correct route and that we hadn't gotten off track somewhere.
There were lots of classic Route 66 buildings visible, including the Museum Club, ...
... El Pueblo Motel, ...
... Western Hills Motel, ...
... Whispering Winds Motel, ...
... and the Downtowner Motel.
Debbie noticed this Route 66-specific Arizona license plate on a green Camaro that passed us.
We saw this Route 66 logo for the second time this year on a coffee shop just before stopping at Target to buy ...
... a pair of NASA-branded sleep pants for Tom and two pairs of fluffy socks for Debbie. The day before, our friend Jess had messaged us that she had seen these pants at a Target in Indiana and that they were the "softest pants ever."
Pellet. We followed Route 66 out of Flagstaff and back onto I-40.
We got off the highway in Bellemont, Arizona, to check out the abandoned Richfield service station that was used in the movie, "Easy Rider."
A movie poster for "Easy Rider" is visible in the door of the service station.
Back on I-40, we could see Brannigan Park to the north side of the highway, which was part of the early Route 66 alignment, but is now gravel. Just to the west is the highest point on the entire Route 66 at 7320 feet.
Debbie was using our trusty Route 66 Arizona map to decide when we needed to get off of I-40 and off onto accessible stretches of the older Route 66 roadway. There isn't much of the original roadway that is still accessible in Arizona, but we tried to drive every bit of it that we could.
One of the accessible sections is in Williams, Arizona. It was the last section of Route 66 in Arizona to be bypassed by I-40.
The Dairy Queen in town has a vintage sign.
We looped back through town on the eastbound leg of Route 66 specifically to go past the Highlander Motel where we stayed on a trip here in December 2018.
The town is small, adorable, and embraces its Route 66 heritage.
There were Route 66 signs on many businesses, including the Arizona Motor Hotel, ...
... Cruisers Cafe ...
... and Route 66 Gifts.
We passed Pete's Gas Station Museum, an abandoned service station with both Shell and Mobil gas pumps out front.
We got back on I-40 outside of Williams, and back off again ...
... in Ash Fork where we saw the Copper State Motel, ...
... and this historic marker, which details the history of the town and its transition from a bustling town on the Sante Fe railroad to its current state of decline.
There was a set of Burma-Shave signs as we left town, ...
... and a Route 66 shield painted on the roadway, ...
... and the Route 66 shield on the crossing street signs. Following the Route 66 signs led us back to I-40, which we followed until ...
... we took the Crookton Road exit toward Seligman.
We were on the longest stretch of uninterrupted original Route 66 in Arizona. Here's another set of Burma-Shave style signs.
We could see the original roadbed to the south of us. It was just a dirt track that paralleled the paved road.
Occasionally, there were abandoned telephone poles visible next to the dirt road, just like the section in Petrified Forest National Park.
Most of the Burma-Shave signs were designed to humorously remind motorists to drive more carefully, placed by the Arizona Department of Transportation.
This one was a repeat from one we had seen in Illinois, one of the only repeats we saw on the entire trip.
We entered the town of Seligman, ...
... and stopped at Delgadillo's Snow Cap, a Route 66 icon.
Their building façade advertises malts, tacos, burritos, and dead chicken.
The entryway is covered with signed dollar bills that people have left to mark their visit. Many were from the very recent past, and the oldest that we saw in harder to reach areas only dated back to 2012. We wondered how often they had to pull down the bills to make room for people to leave more.
We ordered two shakes, a chocolate malt for Debbie and a pineapple shake for Tom, ...
... and headed out to the picnic area in the back garden.
There were a handful of people here, but we were the only ones in the garden area, which was nice.
We finished our delicious shakes and got back on the road.
There were more classic Route 66-themed businesses in Seligman, including the Copper Cart, ...
... the Supai Motel, ...
... and the Historic Route 66 Motel.
If Daisies are your
Favorite flower
Keep pushing up
Those
Miles-per-hour
Burma-Shave
Cattle Crossing
Means go slow
That old bull
Is some cow's beau
Burma-Shave
You can drive
A mile a minute
But there is no
Future in it
Burma-Shave
We approached Grand Canyon Caverns outside Peach Springs, where we had stopped on a previous trip.
The sign at the abandoned service station said Radiator Springs Gas, from the Pixar movie, "Cars."
Debbie kept looking northward, looking for signs of the Grand Canyon, and finally she saw the South Rim visible to the north and east.
Maersk! It's easy to spot the ones that we've seen previously.
It's hard to tell if this service station in Truxton is abandoned, or if it is a currently operation station.
We continued to admire the scenery of the Arizona desert.
In Hackberry, we passed the Hackberry General Store, which appeared to have a restored gas pump from every brand that was ever present on Route 66.
A little while later we passed the Route 66 Antares Visitor Center and Gift Shop, which features a green statue named "Giganticus Headicus" out front.
The scenery is so beautiful in the west. It really is.
We saw this awesome Grand Canyon National Park Centennial sign as we entered Kingman, Arizona.
We were surprised that this Route 66 Motel didn't have rooms for $66, just to get another 66 into their sign.
Little Debbie needs drivers. This is a national emergency. Do not interrupt the flow of Little Debbie snack cakes to stores in America.
We stumbled upon Kingman 66 Fest, which was celebrating 95 years of Route 66. It was on November 5th and 6th, and we just happened to be there on the last day. You can go to 66fest.com to check it out for yourself.
The sign for the Hill Top Motel looked brand new.
We could see the towering sign for the El Trovatore Motel from quite a distance before we could see the motel itself.
Here is the El Trovatore Motel, which is where we were staying for the night. However, we weren't stopping there just yet.
We entered into the historic downtown of Kingman, ...
... which billed itself as the Heart of Historic Route 66.
We passed more historic buildings, including the Hotel Beale, ...
... the Brunswick Hotel, ...
... and the Trails Garage, which featured a sign for Packard automobiles with the tag line, "Ask the man who owns one."
We drove to the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area outside of town with the intention of doing a hike to see the Monolith Gardens. Once we saw the condition of the trail (rocky and long), and considered our current state (tired and old), we decided that we'd be better off if we just headed to the hotel.
We stopped at the Arizona Route 66 Museum to take a picture of their mural, ...
... and to drive through their Route 66 sign.
The Route 66 mileage post had only three unvisited destinations left for us: Barstow, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles.
We passed the Kingman train station, ...
... Arcadia Lodge, ...
... and the Ramblin' Rose Motel. We stayed here in December 2018 when we visited Grand Canyon West.
We arrived at the El Trovatore Motel just after 4 PM.
There were a few other guests already here, but it didn't seem overly crowded.
The entire façade of the motel is a Route 66 map.
It really is well done.
We were in room 109, ...
... the James Dean room.
It was a nice comfortable room, with a king-sized bed, ...
... and plenty of daylight visible around and under the door. Despite this, we didn't have any problem with bugs or keeping the room the right temperature, so it just added to the historic ambiance.
The bathroom featured what can only be described as a shower cave, ...
... and a bathtub luggage platform. Both were unique in our hotel experience and added to the vintage charm of the place.
The rooms on the other side of the parking lot had their own mural theme, which appeared to be inspired by Looney Toons cartoon characters.
We got a nice picture of the sunset on the El Trovatore tower before having some freeze-dried shepherd's pie for dinner.

Day 8 >


California 2021: [Day 1 - Chicago] [Day 2 - Route 66: IL] [Day 3 - Route 66: MO] [Day 4 - Route 66: OK] [Day 5 - Route 66: TX] [Day 6 - Route 66: NM] [Day 7 - Route 66: AZ] [Day 8 - Route 66: CA] [Day 9 - Route 66: CA] [Day 10 - Los Angeles] [Day 11 - Los Angeles] [Day 12 - Palm Springs] [Day 13 - Joshua Tree NP] [Day 14 - Death Valley NP] [Day 15 - Las Vegas] [Day 16 - Zion NP] [Day 17 - Grand Canyon North Rim] [Day 18 - Toroweap, Grand Canyon] [Day 19 - Page, AZ] [Day 20 - Durango, CO] [Day 21 - Great Bend, KS] [Day 22 - St. Louis, MO] [Day 23 - Heading Home]

Bundlings.com: [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy