This page is going to be a two-parter. The first part will deal with the portion of the trip from Seligman to Kingman, and since it was interrupted with my side trip to Las Vegas, the second part will deal with the portion from Kingman to Barstow, California.
Before leaving Seligman I stopped at Lilo's again for breakfast. I ordered the Route 66 Special. I was expecting the IHOP size meal (two eggs, two pancakes, two strips of bacon and hash browns) but the meal was so large it came on two plates! Great food, but way too much.
Along the road out of Seligman are several Burma Shave-like signs. One of them said: Proper Distance / To Him Was Bunk / Until They Pulled Him / From Some Guy's Trunk.
My next stop was in Hackberry. There is a beautiful Route 66 Visitors Center and general store. This is a great place, part of which is preserved like a museum, and the store section has lots of memorabilia for sale. I finally broke down and bought my Route 66 road sign here. They also have some cool vehicles parked out frontincluding an old Corvette.
After Hackberry it was on to Kingman and my detour to Las Vegas, which, as I said earlier, I won't describe here. Not because I'm hiding anything but because it would bore you to tears.
Driving back to Kingman after my jaunt north I was debating whether to resume my trip west or whether to stay in Kingman for the night. My decision was made for me however, when a God-awful noise came from my radio and a severe thunderstorm warning was issued by the National Weather Service. So, I head for Mr. D'Z Route 66 Diner. This place is mentioned in my guide books and well it should be. All pink & aqua vinyl and 50's memorabilia. I'm going there for breakfast too! Turned out the storm was nothing like the one at Meteor Crater but I'd already booked a room.
I'm staying the night in Kingman and I'll continue this page tomorrow...
Well I returned to Mr. D'Z for breakfast, received a nice meal and wasn't disappointed. After breakfast I toured the town a bit and waited for the Powerhouse Visitor Center to open at 9 o'clock. It was worth the wait. The Route 66 display, especially the portion dealing with the Depression Era with quotes from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, and accompanied by many photographs, was especially moving.
My aim for the day was to reach Barstow, CA. The distance is not far and I thought I'd be killing time to make it last. Boy, was I wrong. I only drove 380 km (236 mi) but it was winding twisties mixed with long open straightsperfect for the MINI. So, it ended up being a full days drive, and was the type of drive I signed up for. I love driving on an open road through remote, open desertunfortunately there is not much of it on Route 66.
I wasn't prepared for Oatman. I had read that there were wild burros roaming the streets but after driving 40 km (28 mi) of slow, winding mountain roads I was greeted by hoards of people, cars and burros. The town is only about 100 yards long but every spare space held cars parked everywhere. And, periodically, through traffic would be stopped and a bank robbery and gun fight was reenacted. The guys were really expert at the fast draw. Of course, there are quite a few craft and souvenir stores.
One thing I have noticed as I drove through New Mexico, Arizona and the start of California is that the American's have a beautiful country but they don't seem to appreciate it. Route 66 is littered with bottles of every description, cans, foam cups and other trash. Too bad. Outside of Oatman, on a hillside road, I stopped to take a photo and a water heater had been tossed over the side.
I had to enter California on the Interstate as Route 66 ended abruptly. It was only a few miles however before I could get on 66 again. While on the Interstate the outside temperature reached 44°C or 111°F!
I kept my eyes peeled for any signs of the town of Bagdad but it has been totally erased. The movie,The Bagdad Café however, was actually filmed in Newberry Springs and the café used in the film was renamed to match the movie. An excellent film and certainly worth a rent. So, I stopped for a nice piece of apple pie and ice cream and chatted with the owner who had lost her son and husband only a year before, three months apart. She was quite taken with the MINI and sat in it and said it would be perfect for her needsmaybe a new MINI owner?
After the stop for coffee and pie I headed into Barstow for the night. Tomorrow will be the last day of my Route 66 drive and I'll end up at Santa Monica pier.
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