Road Trip Part 2

Saying goodbye to your loved ones is never easy and today I leave sad but in one hour I will be so happy because I will be with my Canadian Family and campground friends!

As my brother and I leave my son and daughter-in-law in Tucson we make our way west on I-10 to Casa Grande, Arizona.  We head to the Desert Springs Ranch where we will be having brunch with some people I love dearly and haven’t seen since Covid started.

Oh the excitement!  The smiles, the never ending hugs, the laughter, brunch, mimosas and afternoon margaritas.   I  wish I had more time than just one day but I will take what I can get and be very thankful.

L to R :  Wendy, Kathy, Trent, Me Val and Hilda together again!!!!
Val makes the best margaritas EH!
A beautiful day to be with this bunch!  Jason & Karly also showed up and I think the girls enjoyed the sunshine!
The Gangs all here!!

Saying goodbye to these sweet people was hard as the sun sank into the western sky.  My brother and I headed to Maricopa, Arizona for our nights stay at the Ak-Chin Casino.  Wow what a nice place.  A little on the pricey side but very luxurious. Pet friendly too.

The next morning we were on the road by 9 and on our way for a long day of sightseeing.

We drove up and around the south end of Phoenix to highway 303 then to highway 60, otherwise known as the Joshua Tree Parkway.  The only place to see an abundance of Joshua Trees without going to the National Park which is in California.

The Joshua Tree is not a cactus but a type of yucca species
Soon these white buds will bear beautiful white flowers.

Heading north we connect with I-40 and down to the west of Kingman, Arizona to the exit that will take us to Oatman, Arizona.

Maybe you have heard of this old mining town tucked away in the Black Mountains?  One thing it is known for is that it is on part of the original Route 66.  The other,  more important thing it is know for is the burrows that roam the streets freely.  But first a potty break!  HaHa!

In a fork in the road, sits a lowly toilet called the Route 66 Rest Stop!
Oatman, started as a small mining camp, when two prospectors struck 10 million in gold and the town grew to about 3500 people compared to about 102 today.
Yes! Those are burrows!
You have got to just love this place!
If your looking for new buildings here you just won’t find them but you will find burrows or maybe gold!
The name Oatman is for Olive Oatman.  Olive was a young girl from Illinois. She was taken captive by Indians in 1851 as her family was massacred making their way west.  In 1856 she was released from Fort Yuma.
The old jail and the entrance to a mine.
Inside the mine.  We didn’t find any gold.
People like to eat in Oatman and the burrows like to shop!
HaHa my brother walking beside one of the locals

We had a great time in Oatman, but the afternoon is dwindling away so it’s time to go see the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Lake Havasu is, to me, just a really wide part of the Colorado River. By the way that is California on the other side of the lake.
The London Bridge, purchased by Robert McCullough in 1968 from the city of London, England
Really amazing that the bridge was literally taken apart brick by brick, each brick numbered, then put back together here in Lake Havasu.

We have traveled to each planned destination today and now we head to Kingman, Arizona where we will spend the night in a great Route 66 city.

We are staying the night in a true Route 66 hotel, it’s now the Ramada, and the rooms are right out of a 50’s movie and the outside…well take a look for yourself!!

This is the pool at the Ramada. The entire hotel had all these paintings on the walls, columns, wherever you can imagine! I won’t comment on the following pictures, just enjoy the trip back in time!
This is a picture of the hotel lounge.
This was 4 sides of a telephone booth.

Now let’s explore the rest of Kingman!

You can drive right through Route 66 at the Arizona Route 66 Museum which is right across the street from Mr Ds
Love me some neon and a Pink Cadillac! Locomotive Park is also across from the Route 66 Museum.
Two water towers that stand near downtown Kingman are over 100 years old. They were going to be destroyed but the city people got together and saved them from that.
Famous Route 66 Motels
Murals in Kingman
Interesting mailbox!

Now that we have driven around Kingman and we visited the Museum it time to head east!

We will be taking the original Route 66 to Seligman, Arizona with a few interesting spots along the mother road. The interstate is so overrated, give me the side roads any day!

An old Indian School and old gas station.
These places along the road are priceless. Big Green Tiki Head in the middle of the desert!

Who remembers reading the Burma Shave signs on road trips with your parents?

Welcome to Seligman, Arizona

Did your family own a station wagon?
Copper Cart Emporium store front          and Commodore Perry Owens
Older Route 66 Motels.  Do you know the difference between a Motel and Hotel?
Seligman Businesses
Route 66 Motel and General Store
The infamous Roadkill Cafe
The Old Jail and another store with a cool mural on the side.
Inside the Copper Cart
The Copper Cart is a pretty big place!
We found the Snow Cap and had a really good chocolate malt! We asked the owner where the Dead Chicken was and he showed us! The Dead Chicken is the new name of the old Snow Cap!
Not sure that toilet is up to standards but then everything here is unique!
Mural of a 1967 GTO and the garden behind the Dead Chicken aka Snow Cap

Leaving Seligman for a quick drive through Williams, Arizona then onto Flagstaff, Arizona for the night.

Williams is a bit more modern and closer to the interstate. If you ever want to see the Grand Canyon and do not want to drive, stay the night in Williams and take the Grand Canyon Railroad up! It’s a great trip too!

As we near Flagstaff we get a glimpse of the San Francisco mountain range and Mount Humphreys.

Must be cold up there!

It did seem to get colder the closer we got to Flagstaff, Arizona and the Mountains got bigger! We will spend the night here at the Econo Lodge and wake up early to get all we have planned into the day.

By the way the Econo Lodge was clean, comfortable, affordable and pet friendly!

Flagstaff, a Route 66 town and a college town! Very busy place for sure!

Some of the old Hotels and Motels
Some murals
Largest Log Cabin in 1931 with a large tree trunk entrance with an interesting bar/museum inside.
Walkup Skydome on the campus of the Northern Arizona University home of the Lumberjacks
The Lumberjack on the left is not a muffler man but a Lumberjack all the same. The Lumberjack on the right is an original muffler man and sits outside the Walk-up Skydome at NAU
More beautiful murals around Flagstaff
Finding the Bicentennial Moon Tree. This was not an easy task. It sits near an outdoor patio at an elementary school. The idea of Moon Trees, trees grown on Earth from seeds carried on Apollo flights to the Moon, germinated in Flagstaff, which at the time was a center for astronaut training. That makes the “Bicentennial Moon Tree” in Flagstaff — planted on April 30, 1976, according to its sign — an extra-special member of an already exclusive club. Even more exclusive because it still has its original wood sign, and they are far less common than the Moon Trees themselves, which numbered in the hundreds (58 are still growing in the U.S.).

It’s going to be a beautiful day! We head north from Flagstaff for the city of Page, Arizona for our first stop of the day.

Horseshoe Bend which can be found on the eastern most side of the Grand Canyon.

Admission is $10.00 per car
It was around 9:00 in the morning so there was a shadow but at least the sun was shining on a cool 50° day in March
It is worth the half mile walk!

We drove into Page for some coffee and breakfast sandwiches and drove to our next destination outside of Page to tour Antelope Canyon.

There are several different tours you can take of the slots canyons. We took one of the lower X canyon. I took so many photos and all are beautiful shots. I hope you enjoy the ones I decided to post.

Tony & I

What a great tour! Our Indian guide was very friendly and informative.

My brother told me that there was one thing he wanted to see on this trip and that was the place where they took the picture that is on front of the Bob Segar Ride Out album that he has. I told him “I know exactly where that is”! So I took him to Monument Valley, Utah.

How did we do? The top picture is the album cover and the bottom is mine but we didn’t have the color on the north side as to the position of the sun being on the south side.
These are from the south side!

As we head north to Mexican Hat we see the rock formation after which the town is named for.

MAs we drove along the highway we took a left turn into the Valley of the Gods. This is a 17 mile dirt path that leads you through mesas, buttes, mushroom rocks and towers. Each with a different name.

Cell reception was not the best so it was hard to download a map of the entire area. Definitely a great drive to explore, stretch your legs, hike or have lunch. Best part, it’s free!

We head to Cortez, Colorado where we will be spending the night. We stayed at a roadside motel called the White Eagle Inn. It was clean and pet friendly and definitely in need of a face-lift, but comfortable all the same.

We woke the next morning to this!

That my friends is not white sand!

In Cortez we found a Dennys and had a great breakfast. We also found some great murals.

We set out wondering if our first destination would even be open because of the weather.

The snow fell and we drove!

I had gone to Four Corner in 2020 but because of Covid it was closed. I had checked Google and it said they were open and when we got there they were!

There we are in four states at once! Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona

We left Four Corners and continued our journey south to Gallup, New Mexico. It snowed the entire time we drove. Thank goodness the pavement was warm enough to melt the snow.

This is a scary sign!

As we drive through Gallup, another Route 66 city, we visit some interesting places.

Some vintage places along Route 66
A mural at a veterans memorial and The El Morrow Theatre
A statue of an Indian Chief, A Cowboy Muffler Man, a giant Yellow Kachina and a statue of a Navaho Code Talker
This is the Galloop which is much more impressive up close than from the I-40. Also a neon sign and Sun Daggers at a downtown Gallup public square.
A few murals

I will tell you that my brother has been a lot of places, but what? He has not been to the Cadillac Ranch??? We are going to fix that!

Ohhhh I am telling Mom! Always spray cans of paint to put your name on. Of course the Cadillac RV Muffler Man!

As we travel on, the sky’s around Albuquerque, New Mexico were beautiful as it had stopped snowing.

Counting down the miles into the darkness of night we reach our last destination for the day. The Road Runner Lodge in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Oh my gosh! Of course it was a Route 66 Motel but let me tell you…the Best place we stayed thus far on this road trip. The door was left unlocked for our arrival, the old radio in the corner was playing vintage talk radio and commercials, there were doggie towels to wipe the girls paws, doggie snacks, vintage looking bedding (very clean and comfy) an old metal TV tray with a couple of waters and moon pies. This place was amazing!

The top picture is the Road Runner Lodge where we stayed. We had breakfast at a restaurant across the street from the hotel that was very good. A couple of early morning murals
More murals that just take you there
As you can see we were snowed on again last night. Route 66 welcome sign, a big bison and the LaCita Sombrero
More sights around Tucumcari
Last evening when we arrived in Tucumcari I knew I would be greeted by NEON! These Motels are beautiful at night with the Blue Swallow being one of the most photographed of them all.

We are only a few days from home so we will be driving through the Pan handle of Texas through the majority of Oklahoma.

We did stop at Russell’s Travel Center in Glen Rio, New Mexico. They have a free car museum, sundries, snacks, drinks, gifts and a restaurant.

Midpoint Cafe, Adrian, Texas
Route 66 Museum, Elk City, Texas
Leaning water tower in Groom, Texas

We did stop in McLean, Texas and visited the Alanreed Museum there. It was huge and the sweet lady who was there gave a great informative tour.

Shamrock, Texas
Visitors center and Cafe. This too is a building that is regularly on post cards. If you have ever seen the movie Cars this building resembles the tire shop.
This is a great stop! The people were very friendly and allowed pets in!

As we head into Oklahoma I see on my Google map a one room jailhouse that must surely check out.

The one room jail house in Texola, Oklahoma. It was really a sad place. The bottom picture is a fence made out of junk! Yes junk! No zombies getting in!

Forging ahead through Oklahoma we didn’t make any stops except for dinner at Cracker Barrel in Oklahoma City. We were ready for this day of driving to be finished and found a hotel in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Today we drive Route 66 into Missouri with our destination hotel being the Holiday Inn at Six Flags St. Louis. But first can we find a Starbucks? HaHa

Starbucks in hand, here are some of the sights we seen today.

Route 66 Museum and 1930’s Phillips 66 Gas Station in Chandler, Oklahoma and the giant Indian Chief in Edmond, Oklahoma
Illuminating giant Coke bottle in Acadia, Oklahoma, a huge Gas Pump and bowling sign in Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Murals in towns along the way
In Catoosa, Oklahoma you will find the Blue Whale swimming hole and park.
An old merry go round, mushroom garden and a ship also reside here.
Your Nuts if you don’t stop at The Nut House! Their specialty is nuts but the also have fudge, 66 Cola, unique gifts and a Cafe.

Here we are on the road again and there is one more stop in Missouri to check out. Remons Candy Factory and the World’s Largest Gift Shop in Phillipsburg, Missouri.

Good thing we only had 45 minutes to shop or we would have been there for a while. Just sayin’

As we are driving across I-44 we notice these interesting signs…you know we had to stop and see what it was all about!

Really?! Yes Really!
What can I say, we were curious!
It was a pretty neat place but the best part was how you were greater when you entered a shop and what they said when you were leaving! Hysterical!

This is our last night on the road and to be honest, I am ready to be home and not in a car!

The Holiday Inn at Six Flags is like a castle! Very clean, pet friendly, kid friendly and comfortable.

Last Day! We are stopping at the arch in St Louis. I have been up in it before but Tony never has. It is now a National Park so I can get my hiking stick medallion.

Always majestic and always beautiful.
My brother’s picturs he took from the top of the Arch

Another road trip in the books. It was good to have Tony along. We returned just in time for his 62nd Birthday.

Making memories one mile at a time!

** This blog is dedicated to my travel buddy, my brother, my friend, Tony **

2 Comments

  1. My friend, thank you, you will stay young and make a lot of folks happy in person and through your words and pictures.
    I only shared a little time with you but I would do it again it was very special.
    Always,
    John

    Like

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