Toady the next part of our excursion begins…
After breakfast with Jim, Judith and I rode over to the National Trails Highway, otherwise known as Old Route 66. Here’s where Judith’s first taste of Old Route 66 starts – she was very excited to now actually be on the Old Mother Road.
This is a long, pretty much straight, stretch of road that is not used much, so traffic was extremely light and we were making good time… That is until we saw the “Rough Road Next 9 Miles” sign. Usually this means the road is bumpy and / or patched, but not too bad. Usually!! This part of 66 is really, really rough and we had to slow down to about 25 - 30 MPH. I need to check, but I think the Calif. DOT must calculate miles using a different standard – this was the longest nines miles I have ever seen.
We finally got our extra long nine miles ticked off and decided to stop in Amboy to check if our fillings were still intact. Judith found a horse and got her first Kicks on Route 66.
The original plan was to stay on Rt. 66 all the way to Kingman. Unfortunately, about 20 miles from Amboy the road was closed for some reason and we had to divert to Interstate 40. The wind was indeed blowing in from the south (right side) and it was a chore to keep the bikes between the white lines. We stopped in Needles for gas and a rest, and then got back on Old 66 on to Oatman.
Oatman is an old Gold Mining town, almost a ghost town in some ways. Many of the residents are a bit like the folks might have been back in the original Gold Mining boom. Wild Burros roam around the town freely. The Burros are wild, but pretty tame, as the tourists feed them. The first Gold Miners used the Burros many years ago. When the mines shut down the Burros were let loose to fend for themselves. The scent in Oatman is – well like Burro poop – it was charming to say the least.
|This ole' gal been around Oatman for awhile|
|No Parking does not apply to Burros|
Kingman is only 25 or 30 miles from Oatman, so were home free when we headed out. The first 10 miles or so out of Oatman is a scenic twisty road that meanders past several old Gold Mines, some of which are back in operation.
|On the way to Kingman|
By late afternoon we pulled into the El Trovarore Motel. The ET was a great find. It was built around 1937 and is still in super condition for it’s age. There were many famous movie stars from the Golden Age of cinema who stayed at the ET. We stayed in the John Wayne room.
The current owners, Sam and Monica are wonderful hosts. Sam has many interesting and funny stories about Route 66 and the surrounding area. He is one of those storytellers that you don’t get tired of listing too. Monica was a sweet lady who always had a smile on her face, no matter how hard she was working to keep everything in order.
We were pretty happy about staying at the El Trovarore.
|Lots of Neon - The tower is about 60 feet tall|
|Good Steak House a couple of blocks from ET|
I had grilled Pork Chops that were delicious