Saturday, June 25, 2016

Arizona May 2016 Westward Ho! The Last Leg to CA Historic Rte 66 Seligman, Kingman AZ and down to Ehrenberg

And so we started the last leg of our westward journey to California...

Rte 66 was not part of my childhood, as I neither lived on the mainland US nor traveled from Chicago to California, least-wise by car. Don does not recall if, when he and his parents and sister drove from San Diego back to NY they did on Rte 66 but they may have.  In any case, since I am the planner and it was "only"one of those things "in the states" I'd read about and since researching our travels it kept popping up as a "thing to do" I figured we might as well visit some of the towns on it on our drive from Williams to the CA border and see what we could.  Seligman, AZ would be the first stop but I knew nothing of it.  We pulled to the side of the road when we got there, having driven by a slew of very "touristy" stores and restaurants, and walked back into town.  Since it was Memorial Day (my timing was impeccable) a number of the stores were closed, including a 60s museum that looked interesting.

The people strolling the streets seemed to be mostly foreigners (I heard French, German and Brazilian and a smattering of Spanish and even some Punjabi) and I reflected on the fact that so often, in our national parks as well as places like these, the majority of tourists seem to be foreign.  Are we just so bombarded with things and stuff that we are jaded and no longer interested or is it because, just as when we travel to foreign places we do things and go places that locals don't?  I suspect it's a combination of both.  ButI do hop as we go through summer that we'll see more American families in the National Parks and other NPS sites.  They truly are wonderful and an incredible resource.  The one overriding sentiment expressed by the foreigners we speak to is that we are so lucky to have these open and free spaces.  Aside from the fact that this country is larger than most of theirs' there are very few that have as varied and as many public lands. But, I digress...

The story of how Rte 66, "the Mother Road", became Historic Rte 66 and the small towns along that route recovered after I-40 became the main east-west route is another inspirational one and due, once again, largely to one man.  Angel Delgadillo had seen plenty of change through the years but it was his efforts and vision that brought Seligman back to life. While the area may be very touristy and tacky in a historical way there is no doubt that without this man's hard work it, and many others, would be ghost towns and families who'd lived there for generations would had have to have moved on. This is an excellent article about the man and his dream.

Angel Delgadillo's Barber Shop

We poked our heads in a few places and bought a few trinkets (I get bumper stickers and lapel pins and postcards in most places) and then went to the Delgadillo's Snow Cap for lunch.  The staff was fantastic; cracking jokes, taking orders and working "faster than the speed of light" to get meals out to the many hungry hordes that descended upon the place at the same time that we did.  The chocolate milkshake was probably all I needed (chocolate really is all I ever need) but I enjoyed the old fashioned cheeseburger that was cooked perfectly, as well.
Delgadillo's Snow Cap's awesome staff-well, one of them at least

After walking around the yard for a bit we made our way (waddled) back to the MoHo and headed west again toward Kingman.  At this point we could have taken Rte 66 instead of I-40 but with the MoHo and the car and curves and winding roads we decided to play it safe.

Now, as I said, it was Memorial Day and since we'd already eaten we didn't need more food so our stop in Kingman was brief.  I went to the visitor center and was able to find some information for our return trip in the fall and Don and the pets spent an enjoyable and breezy shaded respite under a tree where trains passed by about every 10 minutes.  Then we put the pets back in the MoHo went and explored the old steam engine and caboose and then got back on the road.

The trains went east and...

they went west

And one sat in the same place

I-40 would take us over the border to Needles, California where we passed through "agricultural customs" entering CA- a process that entailed our answering questions, any of which we could have lied about, but didn't- then headed south on CA-95 and then back over the Colorado River into Ehrenberg, AZ.  We got gas and then after a bit of confusion finally found the boondocking space we'd read about and set up for the night.  A huge sandy area with a few bushes, the Dome Rock Mountains in the distance it was blissfully quiet and private. Both pets loved being there and wanted to be out after dark and Cadbury sat mournfully staring at the door when we brought them in.  He was up early the next morning, with Phoenix who got me up to watch the sun rise, and then after breakfast we set out to California.

Sunset and its colors on the hills

Happy pets

 Sunrise and the early morning light

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, your photography is spectacular!! And you writing is fabulous. I look forward to every posting. Is Santa Barbara on your itinerary? I know Carol Huber (Cavanaugh's) and we would all love to see you. Did you ever think of joining the Elks Club? Most of them have places for RVs, and I understand they are pretty reasonable. We have one 2 blocks from us.


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