As mentioned in earlier Arizona posts, most of our journey took us along the Mother Road, Route 66. The legendary stretch of blacktop is dotted with a combination of still functioning tourist attractions and long forgotten buildings, all begging to be photographed. So, in my concluding Arizona post, I share with you a sampling of the various pieces of Americana we stumbled upon during our trip.
The Plainsman Coffee Shop and Restaurant, Holbrook. Currently for sale.
Pow Wow Trading Post, Holbrook. Currently a smoke shop.
Jack Rabbit Trading Post, Joseph City. Currently operational.
The iconic “Here It Is” sign at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post is a must stop along Route 66, and was built in 1949. The shop itself also offers a range of fun souvenirs, including turquoise jewelry, and the staff is incredibly nice.
Twin Arrows Trading Post, Twin Arrows. Abandoned.
Twin Arrows is an icon of Route 66, so it was heartbreaking to see it in such a sad state. The business lasted until 1995, and the land is supposedly owned by the nearby Twin Arrows Navajo Casino.
Delgadillo’s Snow Cap, Seligman. Currently operational.
Delgadillo’s Snow Cap was built in 1953 by Juan Delgadillo of mostly scrap lumber. It’s a combination of true Route 66 history and kitsch, but the staff is incredibly friendly, and the food is good!
Supai Motel, Seligman. Currently operational.
Frontier Motel and Restaurant, Truxton. Currently for sale.
As of 2011, the Frontier Motel was recently refurbished, according to the book Ghost Town os Route 66, however, today it sits fading away in the Mojave sun with with weeds and bushes growing around it. It currently has “For Sale” and “No Trespassing” signs.
Hackberry General Store, Hackberry. Currently operational.
Antares Point Ranchero, Antares. Currently operational.
Hill Top Motel, Kingman. Currently being refurbished.
Located just across the street from the El Trovatore, the Hill Top Motel was built in 1954, and became infamous when Timothy McVeigh stayed there in 1995 prior to his bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. It is currently, and thankfully, being refurbished.
Oatman Hotel, Oatman. Currently operational.
I really wanted to visit Oatman because I had heard it was a town that was nearly overrun entirely by wild burros. And I love me a burro. So I really pushed for us to go. I’ll start by saying the road to Oatman is perhaps one of the scariest, yet also one of the most beautiful I have ever been on. Old Route 66 twists along the edge of the Black Mountains with some of the turns taken at only ten miles per hour. As for the town, it’s a tourist trap for sure, but just why is it populated with burros? While the town of Oatman was founded around 1906, and was named after a pioneer family attacked by Native Americans (just which tribe is up for debate) in 1851, it wasn’t until 1915 that gold was discovered, starting a small gold rush to the area, complete with the iconic burros accompanying the many miners. When the gold dried up in 1942 the miners released the burros into the hills, and today their decedents roam the town. They walk down the middle of the road without a second thought, and lurk for tourists with food, as several shops sell burro food for visitors.
The Oatman Hotel, which also has an ice cream counter and saloon, has long since been said where Clark Gable and Carol Lombard spent their honeymoon, however it has been outed as a myth.
Honolulu Club, Yucca. Abandoned.
Cafe, Yucca. Abandoned, but has “No Trespassing” signs.
Whiting Brothers and Motel, Yucca. Buildings bulldozed.