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Since last winter went so swimmingly, let's try it again! TFS has very graciously opened her home in the west San Fernando Valley to me again. This time her daughter AS (and dog and cat) are there too. Two women + two dogs + two cats = not my usual solitary winter again. Huzzah!
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2014.05.04 Route 66 in Western Arizona


On Route 66 in western Arizona. A historic road. A hot day. With burros!


We're stepping off I-40_AZ for a while, to drive one of the old sections of Route 66 . There are two legs to this detour, the first from Seligman, AZ to Kingman, AZ , which is where most people stop and re-enter the I-40 to get home. The more adventurous traveller parallels the I-40 for a short while and then onto the second leg through more-challenging terrain and less road maintenance on Route 66 (AZ) Back Country Byway (also known as Oatman Road).



1st Leg : Seligman to Kingman


    It was already warm when we turned off for Seligman. But I wanted a coffee so we stopped at a gas station for a pit stop and then up the road to Seligman. We didn't know what we'd find there. Turns out, a little bit!






Seligman touts itself as the birthplace of Historic Route 66 , and says the stretch from it to Kingman is the longest remaining stretch of the old Route. It's got some shops and eateries maintained from yesteryear. We shopped for trinkets and enjoyed some air-conditioning.

5 labelled roads for 2 routes































Drat! A bug on my

camera lens. I'll try

to clean it off as I

drive. Good thing the

road is flat and

straight and not  

busy! Also good that

TFS is so, so trusting

that I'm not going to

exit the road, and

perhaps life, while

I do other things.

Ahh there we go.

Clear lens again.







    It's an easy 1+ hour drive. There's some terrain and elevation, but nothing to tax the casual traveller. Speed limit is 65 mph (105 kph).
I could get away with 90, but 80 was the right speed to see what there was to see: not a lot. Another of the benefits of off-season travel. Early on there were a few stretches of Burma Shave signs early in the first 1/3 of our east-west route, but after that nothing.

Now to the end-point of the first leg: Kingman, AZ . We just passed through, but Kingman is popular with outdoors enthusiasts and people who like to party outdoors in the desert heat or the Colorado River .





Welcome to Kingman


2nd Leg : Kingman back to I-40 ( I-40_AZ ) the long way

Up and over rock

with a bit of wiggly in the middle.
    Now we get into some interesting terrain and road and enter the Mojave Desert . After driving parallel to I-40_AZ for a few miles, we are out into a valley with fewer and fewer signs of anyone. Then, some terrain that makes driving (and photographing) real fun.









left onto Oatman Hwy





















Now here's a sign one doesn't see on roads often, if ever: Burros Crossing. We'll see why shortly.    

Watch for Asses!























A look ahead Where we're going.

A look back to where we came from.






Over the top, down into the next valley.    













old Studebaker
This is a popular driving route for recreational drivers: bikers and old-car enthusiasts. Mostly Thunderbirds and Corvettes, today, at least four of each. Not many other vehicles though.









Now, about those Burro Crossing signs... We saw one burro about a mile after the sign. I thought I had a picture but with the twisty road and surprise of seeing one I guess I didn't. That's going to change.

It's Oatman, AZ ...

We entered Oatman from the north, probably the least-busy entrance. We drive through the town and park near the south entrance. It's the busiest place we've been today. It's an easy day trip from Las Vegas, NV and most people come in through here.

around the corner, some life

Oatman, Arizona, Elevation 2700 Feet

Oatman was founded about 1906. By 1931, the area's mines had produced over 1.8 million ounces of golf. By the mid 1930s the boom was over and in 1942 the last remaining mines were closed as nonessential to the war effort.

Burros first came to Oatman with early day prospectors. The animals were also used inside the mines for hauling rock and one outside the mines burros were used for hauling water and supplies. As the mines closed and people moved away the burros were released into the surrounding hills.

The burros you meet today in Oatman, while descendents of domestic work animals, are themselves wild -- they will bite and kick. Please keep a safe distance from them. Wild burros are protected by Federal Law from capture, injury or harassment. Help protect these living symbols of the old west.








    Time to park and have a walk-around    








    Funky place! Not as big or artsy as Jerome, AZ but an old mining town
somewhere hot. And today was hot. You can feed the burros, or not. You can buy trinkets, or not. I didn't notice any restaurants, or bars. We made our way back up the road we drove in.

Named for a migrating pioneer family attacked and killed by Indians near Gila Bend, Arizona, in 1851.

Some fifty mines operated in the Oatman area from its beginning in 1904 and through 1931. The Oatman district produced $36,000,000 in ore.

Population of Oatman at its peak was estimated to be more than 10,000.


Oatman Arizona and its Burros
Oatman was founded around 1906 as part of Arizona's richest gold mining area. Oatman was reborn in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a tourist town. The main attraction was the wild burro herd. The burros roaming the Oatman area are descendants of the burros from the mining ventures of earlier times.

If it were not for these burros, in all probability neither you nor this plaque would be standing here today. People from all over the world come to visit, feed, and take pictures of the burros.









These two thought TFS had something tasty.    





That's up and down the main street of Oatman, shopping for trinkets, enjoying air-conditioning where we could find it. The burros are not threatening, but we were warned that they're conditioned to think that anything carried in a bag is food. This place is a driving-for-the-guys / shopping-for-the-gals destination.

When we returned to the car, these ones were admiring the fine German styling of our ride, no doubt.



A real poker face.



This fellow was carrying bags, and a burro trotted out to get friendly.

    An hour of burro-ed time and we have some Route 66 (AZ) to complete. Most people head north toward Las Vegas, NV . We head south to I-40_AZ . Less crowded. W-a-a-y less crowded.

Notice, not a single ass reference. :)

The Desert after Oatman
































A whole lotta HOT nothing back there. When TFS got cell reception she reported it was 102°F (39°C) somewhere nearby. We saw (and passed) only 2 other cars. Scenic, desolate, and sublime. I like it.
    A right turn
onto I-40
for California.


Now we complete our trip from Flagstaff, AZ .

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Flagstaff to Los Angeles
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Back in Los Angeles

     Valley    Route 66 in Western Arizona   
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Document ENU/KFIK/0.3:2014.06.11    A branch of The BRIDGE Tree