Monday, June 21
Kingman, AZ – Holbrook, AZ
I got up early, while the family slept and walked around the Ramada hotel and took pictures of all the different paintings on the wall. It took almost thirty minutes to see them all. Although the hotel may not be an original Route 66 hotel, the artwork more than makes up for it and if you’re in Kingman, stop by and check it out, there’s a lot of art to see.
On the way out of town we stopped at the El Trovatore motel and I took some photos. It was built before WWII and has the world’s longest map of Route 66, which is painted along the front of the building and across some of the motel rooms. They also have Looney Tunes paintings on one of the other motel buildings as well.
From there we visited the Powerhouse Visitor Center that contains a small Route 66 museum as well as a small museum of electric cars. The electric cars were a favorite of my son and they had some pretty unique samples on display.
Outside the museum a huge steam train was also on display. One of the wheels was as tall and wide as I was and my son couldn’t understand how they could make a train so large; he was convinced it was a fake train.
On the way out of town we stopped at Beale Street Brews Coffee Shop for some caffeine and then it was back on Route 66.
Outside of Kingman we paid a visit to the Giganticus Headicus, a neat looking A-frame shaped gift store that has a giant green head outside. The giant head reminds me of Squidward’s house from Spongebob. Inside, along the back wall was a row of tables with some large windows that provided a great view of the landscape behind the store.
Just down the road from Giganticus is the famous Hackberry Store with plenty of old cars around to photograph. Inside is a plethora of souvenirs.I bought another Route 66 passport, but this one is strictly for the state of Arizona and therefore it has more stops in Arizona than the other passport i’d bought.
Continuing down Route 66, we visited The Cavern Inn and it had even more old cars out front to photograph. They have a store, a motel with a pretty blue swimming pool, mini golf, and they even offer tours of a large cave. You can also spend the night in the cave! We didn’t have time to do the cave tour so instead we went inside their store. It was funny to me, no one bought anything in the store except for Rylan, who bought five tiny Slim Jims for a snack. There is also a small museum of antiques and other interesting old stuff in the back of the store.
From there we took Route 66 to Seligman. We ate lunch at the famous Snow Cap and John Delgadillo joked with us while we ordered our food. Some of the jokes:
“I’ll have a burger.”
“No, you have to pay for it.”
“I’ll have a burger and a fry.”
“Just one fry? Like one giant French fry?”
Of course there were more jokes and pranks but I won’t spoil them for you. It was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had ordering food at a restaurant.
After lunch we visited Angel Delgadillo’s famous barber shop/gift store. Angel is credited with getting Route 66 classified as Historic Route 66 and creating renewed interest in the old Mother Road. We checked out a couple of the other nearby stores while my mom and daughter went walking further down the street, past a row of houses until a pit bull charged at them and they turned and came back.
Up until this point, Seligman is where we saw the most tourists on the trip.
Our next stop was Williams. On the way there we left the desert and entered a more mountainous terrain complete with large green trees! The scenery totally changed and it was quite beautiful; one minute it was desert and the next it was the Kaibab National Forest.
North of Williams is a recreation of Bedrock, the town from the Flintstones cartoon; but it was too far for us to visit so we had to skip that.
Instead we went downtown and walked around, visiting some of the shops; one of which has the world’s largest Route 66 shield inside. By the rail yard they have a bridge made out of a red box car, which is neat. This town had a lot of tourists but I don’t think it was because of Route 66. Williams is also known as “The Gateway to the Grand Canyon.”
As we were leaving Williams, just South of I-40 the Kaibab National Forest was on fire and the smoke was covering the sky and the highway. It turns out there were over 26 forest fires burning. We were getting evacuation warnings on our phones but had no choice but to keep driving East. The smokey haze obscured the sun for the next couple of hours and provided some rather interesting lighting to our pictures.
Continuing East down I-40, we stopped at the famous Twin Arrows Trading Post to get some pics and explore the derelict store and diner. The hazy smoke from the forest fire made the sky brown and it felt like we were in some sort of post-apocalypse world.
After that was the Two Guns ghost town which was a neat place to poke around. We didn’t have a lot of time so we could only explore some of it.
Next we passed through Flagstaff but the visitor center had just closed minutes before we arrived. We drove through town but didn’t see much Route 66 stuff. I did see a Sizzlers though; I haven’t seen one of those since I was a kid.
Our next stop was Winslow. We had to visit the famous “Corner in Winslow Arizona”, made famous by the popular Eagles song. The town put a real flat bed Ford on the corner as well as a statue of a man standing there waiting. Quite a few people were taking pictures on the famous corner.
Just down the street from the corner is the old La Posada hotel, considered by some to be the most beautiful building in the Southwest. We went in and walked around the hotel. It was really neat and had a lot of galleries, stairways and balconies to explore. One stairway led down to a hallway covered in mirrors which exited into the gift shop.
From there we continued on to Holbrook where we checked in at the Traveler Inn and crashed for the night.
This day was pretty packed with activity. We didn’t get to spend too long in Williams and even less in Flagstaff. If you want more time in Williams I might suggest stopping there for the night and you could spend more there time which would leave more time for Flagstaff the next day if you wanted.