Start: What an amazing day. Much of this day was to be spent on the road in solace, untested by traffic congestion and red lights. But the hot sun would be the biggest obstacle of the day, so we stocked the car with a cooler of ice and water.
The “Long” part: The road really started to take shape after that. Very long stretches of road expanded past the horizon under a perfectly blue sky. We passed many abandoned gas stations, motels, and some forgotten towns. At one point, we found one of the original spans of the route that no longer was maintained and was not clearly visible on the maps. Parts of the road had been washed away, and much of it was broken, but those are the little surprises we are hoping to find all along the way!
“And”: After leaving California, the road took us through Oatman, AZ. This old mining town turned Wild West with gunfight reenactments and wild donkeys roaming the streets. It’s a total tourist trap and COMPLETELY worth visiting. But the REAL attraction is what we were about to find a few miles to the east.
The “Winding” part: To the east of Oatman is Sitgreaves Pass, the longest tangled string of hairpin turns and steep mountains that we have ever seen. Incredibly beautiful mountain faces towered over us for a good hour (we stopped frequently to take pictures, lots of pictures). It’s a drive that can not be described in a few short sentences, so you will just have to save your money and rent your OWN convertible. TOTALLY worth it!
Stop (many, many stops): Once clear of the mountain we continued east through more populated areas. Here we began to see the nostalgic sites of Route 66 with little soda fountains and neon motel signs, just like you would find in a book. My parent’s youth still lives in places like Kingman and the Hackberry General Store.