Archive for the Route 66 Category

Route 66 Trip again

Posted in Random Thoughts, Route 66 on June 26, 2009 by MrZip66

I’ve had the flu all week.   I’ve felt like shit.    Was originally planning to go with my brother Pat through Nevada to test our our tents and do some riding, but it wasn’t meant to be.  I’m still not anywhere near 100% and it was raining in Salt Lake we blew that off and made big plans to hit route 66 up next week.

4th of july weekend.   Pat will come down thursday night to St George,  then friday morning the 4th we’ll blitz to kingman and show him some of my favorite places on route 66 toward Albuqerque.    I’m pretty stoked.   Pat is my brother, he’s blood, and he’s a damn good friend.   We get each other, and we ride like banshees.
More to come….

Advertisements

Iron Butt changes…

Posted in Random Thoughts, Route 66 on May 11, 2009 by MrZip66

My riding buddy can’t find his green card, so theres a good chance I might not head to Canada.   I’d really like to make that run, but if not, I’ll head to either Oklahoma City by myself, or Amarillo with my brother Pat.    We may end up getting our Iron Butt 1500, which is 1500 miles in 36 hours.      Hell, we may do it in 24.     More details forthcoming.
Either way I’m going to do it.  I’m ready.   I’d love to do it with Clint to Canada, but if I can’t my goal is to hit new parts of route 66 with my good friend and brother Pat, who is an Iron butt and hardcore rider in every sense of the word.     He’s #1 on my list of people to ride with.   We both do alot of miles, both love the road, and both will do whatever it takes.   At the end of the long days, we both love a good glass or two of scotch and a fine cigar, and this route will warrant all of those.

To see things I’ve never seen on the mother road will make it a perfect trip I’ll think about for a lifetime.

RoadRunner’s Retreat

Posted in Route 66 with tags , , on April 28, 2009 by MrZip66

I’ve always been fascinated with Amboy California. Roy’s may very well be my favorite place on Route 66. I once met its owner Buster Burris, and he was nice enough to sit and talk to my wife and I and talk about route 66.

Just East of Amboy and before Chambless is Roadrunner Retreat. It’s a ruin of a place that begs questions of it’s story. It does to me.

The roadrunner retreat is as classic as Roy's

The roadrunner retreat is as classic as Roy's

I can’t find alot of information on the Roadrunner Retreat.   Today I found some clues.

Vintage 1950's Postcard of Roadrunner Retreat

Vintage 1960's Postcard of Roadrunner Retreat

This section of route  66 was bypassed in 1972, and not much later it began to dry up.   I’m sure RR could tell us some stories.   Do you have any?   I’d love to have pictures and info on this place.  there’s just not a lot on the internet.

Roadrunner Retreat 2008

Roadrunner Retreat 2008

Today I contacted the Northern Arizona University Library and they gave me a picture of  this awesome area:

Roadrunner Retreat in 1989

Roadrunner Retreat in 1989 - The Expressway Diner.

Roadrunner Retreat 2005

Roadrunner Retreat 2005

Amboy survived for years.   Even though Buster Burris bulldozed much of the town to avoid having to pay taxes on it after the 1-40 bypass,  Roy’s stayed open for almost 25 years.   Buster was tougher than boiled owl.

I don’t know how much longer Roadrunner Retreat lasted.   I’d love to know it’s story.  I’ve been here probably 8-10 times, and I don’t know anything about it.   If you know ANYTHING about this cool place, stories or history, please post or email me at MrZip66@gmail.com .

2 Riders injured on Oatman Road

Posted in Random Thoughts, Route 66 on April 27, 2009 by MrZip66

Sad Deal….Authorites say two motorcyclists were injured in a head-on collision in western Arizona Thursday.

According to Mohave County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Patricia Carter, the accident happened on Highway 66 about 12 miles east of Oatman.

She said that at about 12:45 p.m. Anthony Clark, 42, of Las Vegas was traveling eastbound on a Harley Davidson motorcycle and crossed left of the center line.

He struck another motorcyclist, Justin Goodman, 37, of Las Vegas, who was also riding a Harley Davidson traveling westbound.

Both men were thrown from their motorcycles, Carter said.

Clark was transported to Kingman Regional Medical Center and Goodman was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas by Careflight.

Both motorcycles were towed from the scene and the accident is under investigation.Both motorcycles were towed from the scene and the accident is under investigation.

Full Story

Route from the 1969 Movie Easy Rider

Posted in Easy Rider, Random Thoughts, Route 66 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2009 by MrZip66
Captain America and Billy didn't screw around.   Get out and ride.

Captain America and Billy didn't screw around. (click picture for more Info)

I’ve had quite a few questions via email about the route that Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda rode in the 1969 Movie Easy Rider, and for the last couple of years I’ve ridden and researched it.   The movie cemented me as a rider for life at a young age.  Anyway, here it is.   Since it’s a movie, it hops around a bit, but here’s the route:

If you do this trip, do it right.   A couple of tips: First off, Don’t sell coke to finance your trip.    If you do, don’t tell anyone.   Definitely don’t put coke in your gas tank, because It’ll lower your gas mileage.    If you want to go to Mexico and pretend to buy coke in an old truck, knock yourself out.   Put it in 2 motorcycle batteries and go sell it to Someone who looks like Phil Spector in front of the runway at LAX.    Phil would probably still buy it from you, but he’s busy now with his murder trial.   Don’t be offended if he fails to calls you back.   That’s how Phil rolls.

LAX then

LAX then. The deal is done, count the cash and head out of town...

LAX from Easy Rider Today

LAX from Easy Rider Today

This is looking west toward runway 25L.

This is looking west toward runway 25L.

Runway 25L today.

Runway 25L today.

(Special thanks to Wild Bill Carr for taking time to take  the “today” shots and info)

Technically, you could start at LAX, but the real riding started in Death Valley.     They we’re caging it in LAX.   If you know the whole story of Billy and Wyatt they we’re headliners, baby.     They had a stunt riding side show and decided to bust out, make a run for the big cash and go looking for America.

Start out in Ballarat.   Ditch the watch

Start out in Ballarat. Ditch the watch

Start out by going to Death Valley.  Ballarat, Specifically.  Ballarat is a pretty cool place, with it’s own bit of history like the gravestone of Seldom Seen Slim, and the Barker Ranch where Charles Manson family laid low after the nights they made the history books.   Tex Watson’s  truck is still there.    Supposedly there’s hippie graffiti still inside, but I didn’t look that close.

Chuck Manson's Ride.   He was a dick.   Serious Dick.

Chuck Manson's Ride. He was a dick. A Serious Dick.

Be sure to take your watch and chuck it by the side of the road because if you’re going on this ride, You need to disregard time.   It’s Easy Rider man, don’t screw this up.

From there, head down through Boron California (Home of 20 Mule Team Borax and the Movie Erin Brockovich).  Be sure and stop at the museum there in Boron, it’s actually pretty cool.    Then head to  Barstow.    From Barstow,  head east on 1-40, staying on as much of Route 66 as possible, because that would be the route they took since 1-40 wasn’t officially designated until 1984.    In 1969, it was all route 66 baby!    It’s pretty well marked and If you need more mappage of what the road was like in the route 66 heyday, there’s quite a bit here.    I ride it at least 3 to 5 times a year, and it’s pretty well documented on this site.   Kick the tires and look around.

Anyway, head toward Amboy.   Stop at Roy’s and get gas, because you know they stopped there with 2 gallon Peanut gas tanks.  Roy’s is one of the coolest places on the mother road.   Take some pictures of the 50’s retro sign and head on down the road.   Roy’s is a route 66 original and is in the process of getting resurrected to it’s former glory.   Roy’s is the Shit.

Harley Davidson, Meet Roys - Amboy Route 66

My FLHX in Amboy. Roy's is a Route 66 Classic. Captain America And Billy would have surely gotten gas here.

Keep riding through Route 66,  stay to your right and get back on Interstate 40.  head up through downtown needles and back onto 40.

If you want to check out a cool scene from the movie get off past needles at Park Moabi.   All the buildings are gone now, but you’ll recognize this scene:   Ride it.

Park Moabi Exit after Needles you'll recognize this Scene.

Park Moabi Exit after Needles you'll recognize this Scene

Get back on 1-40 (Route 66 from 1966 to 1974) and cross the Mighty Colorado river at the state line.    You’ll notice the bridges there even though theyve changed a bit since 1969.    If you don’t, rewatch the credits of the movie again.   You should recognize it  immediately if you’re paying attention.   This was the part  of the movie that I knew I was an Easy Rider fan for life.   Bust out your Steppenwolf, and dig where you are going.    You’re an Easy Rider.

Keep going on 1-40.   At Kingman, get off the freeway and follow the signs to ride the longest un-interrupted stretch of Route 66 that still remains today.   It ran from the 1920’s untill 1979.     It’s well marked, just follow the signs.

Easy Rider Through Route 66

Take Route 66 Through Kingman. You can't hardly miss it.

The place where Billy and Wyatt fixed their bike tire and had lunch was supposedly in Valentine Arizona.     I’ve found no evidence of this, but it makes sense, since Valentine is an Indian Reservation (“my wife’s a catholic, ya know” – Remember that scene?)   Granted, this was on Day two of the movie, and you still haven’t gotten through the movie credit part of the ride, but that’s how movies go.  Valentine is on the Hualapai Indian Reservation and is on route 66.   The terrain also looks the same.

Head through Valentine, stop at the Grand Canyon Caverns (its cool), then  go into Seligman.  Stop at the Snow Cap at the edge of town and eat the best hamburger with the best service you’ve ever had.  The Snow Cap has been there since the 50’s.   It’s another route 66 icon.    Don’t get on the freeway yet at Seligman, ask any local where Crookton road is and head down that instead to stay on what was route 66 until 1979.    It’s what Captain America and Billy would have done.

Get off the freeway and ride through Williams Arizona when you see the signs.   Williams is the last town to be officially bypassed in 1984 by interstate 40, so you gotta see it.   It’s still got the flavor of how it was in 1969.  You’ll dig it.   Get back on Interstate 40 East when you’re done, and head on down the highway…

"hey man, you got a room?"

"hey man, you got a room?"

Pine Breeze Inn

Pine Breeze Inn Today - (Click image for more pictures of the Pine Breeze Inn)

By the time you hit Bellemont, pull off.    Get some free coffee at the Harley dealership, stop at the bar and grille next door and see the original No Vacancy Sign hanging as you walk into the bar.   Since I’m giving you this information completely free of charge,  I think it would be a nice touch for you to order a Guinness in the name of Mr Zip, flirt with the bartender and head a quarter mile up the road to the Pine Breeze Motel to see where billy and Wyatt we’re denied a room their first night.   The bartender gal there is a sweetheart, and I’m fairly short and reasonably ugly.   You’ll do better than I did.

The Pine Breeze Inn

The Pine Breeze Inn - You may be able to sleep where Billy and Wyatt Couldn't

Ask the bartender if you can pull out a sleeping bag at the Pine Breeze, or ask the current proprietor at the Pine Breeze if he’s there.   If you want to be hardcore you’ll sleep a few miles up the road by a campfire; If you want to stay where Dennis and Peter stayed, get back on the freeway and head the 10 miles into flagstaff and stay at the Americana Inn.    You have a choice:  Stay where Billy and Wyatt camped in the movie, or stay where actors and crew in real life slept.   Either way, I don’t care.   If you’ve come this far, you’re obviously a biker I’d love to ride with.   It’s ALL good.   You’re goin’  down to Mardi Gras to get you a Mardi Gras Queen.  Start yourself a fire and kick back.

The film crew stayed at the Americana Inn

The Easy Rider film crew stayed at the Americana Inn

500 biker points if you sleep by the side of the road.   If you’re a rich urban biker in your new Harley leathers, playing easy rider for the weekend, stay at the Americana Inn.     This is an easy Rider Journey, man up and sleep under the stars.   When you get to New Orleans you can get a real room and bust out some of that cash and get a groovy dinner.  Right now, you gotta start this out right.

Funny story.   Peter Fonda told the story of staying the night at the Americana Inn and his arms we’re so stiff from ape hanging on a hard tail all day, that he couldn’t pull his beer up to his mouth.    He’d also put his leathers in the bathtub and soaked them down to give them a more weathered look, so at the end of the day his legs we’re black from the dye.

Route 66 ends where Interstate 40 cuts it off not far past the Pine Breeze inn, so double back and head East on 1-40 towards Flagstaff.  Get off at Deer Farm exit and road and ride up through Parks Arizona to get back on old 66 and ride down the main street in Flagstaff a few miles later if you really want to stay true to route.     Turn North on highway 89 at Flag.    When you see the sign for  Sunset Crater, head east there and  Ride up through Waputki National Monument, Pick up a hippie (there may be one, I don’t know for sure).  Queue “I wasn’t born to follow” on your ipod for the full effect.

Camp at Wupatki National Monument, start a fire, climb on ruins, and bring bail money.   Hopefully the hippie is an attorney.

Camp at Wupatki National Monument, start a fire, climb on ruins, and bring bail money. Hopefully the hippie is an attorney.

You’ll need to ride clear through Waputki, double back and get back on 89 and head south to stop at the Sacred Mountain Gas Station.   It used to be a gas station, but now it’s the home of someone.   He’s a nice guy.   He will more than likely tell you some good stories.     He may not.    Either way, you’re on an adventure.   Tell the hippie he owes you a tank of gas.

Sacred Mountain Gas Station from Easy Rider

Sacred Mountain Gas Station from Easy Rider

Sacred Mountain From Easy Rider Movie

Sacred Mountain Gas Station Today.

From Sacred Mountain, head north.    Hit “the weight” by the band and listen to it as you ride.    Its a great song.   Turn at hwy 16o and ride through Monument valley at dusk if you time it right.     In the movie, that road ends up at Wupatki, but in real life it’s doesn’t.     You’re probably not riding a hard tail chopper, so keep going until you hit Farmington New Mexico and crash for the night.    Drink beer, laugh, do whatever.   At this point you’re well into your easy rider trip.

If you want to be hardcore and drop off the hippie, you’ll have to swing a bit wide and head into the Malibu hills in California and look for a commune.  Mulholland to be exact.   Good luck finding one.  Dennis Hopper wanted to film at the New Buffalo Commune, but  Wavy Gravy and his people  weren’t into it, so the recreated the commune in Malibu.   Look for Dan Haggerty.   If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you haven’t watched the movie Easy rider and you’re a pussy.    Put your Mike’s Hard lemonade down, Turn your bike around, and head back to LA.    Go eat sushi and buy yourself a Vespa.

You knew this guy smoked alot of weed.   Too much.

You knew this guy smoked alot of weed. Way Too much Weed...

Grizzly Adams can ride.   Can you?

Grizzly Adams can ride. Flat out. He was also one of the guys on the crew that watched and took care of the 2 Easy Rider bikes. (click for more info)

Head into Taos.    There’s several scenes in Taos, including the scene where they head into the commune, as well as the location where they shot the inside jail scenes.    I’m not sure of the jail location.    The opening scene where they bought the drugs in the truck at the cantina was shot here as well (not in Mexico).     Lots of Easy Rider in Taos.

From Taos, head into Las Vegas New Mexico.    Parade without a license here, because thats where that scene was shot.   The outside of the jail, and the spot where Jack Nicholson (George) took his first drink of the day was here as well.

The Jail in Easy Rider from the Movie

The Jail in Easy Rider from the Movie

The Jail in Las Vegas NM from Easy Rider Today

The Jail in Las Vegas NM from Easy Rider Today

Take some Jim Beam With you, for obvious reasons.  Toast to ol’ D.H. Lawrence (the crew supposedly slept on his grave the night before in Taos)  NIC NIC NIC FUT FUT FUT!…… INDIANS!     That’s right, you know what I’m talking about.      Dream of the finest whorehouse in the south at Madam Tinkertoys House of Blue Lights.   These are no porkchops, these are Grade A Prime…

The “If you wanna be a bird” sequence by the Holy Modal Rounders was filmed through Coyote New Mexico.

Remember, stop somewhere while listening to “don’t bogart that Joint” and pee on the side of the road.   Anyplace will work.     Also: You better not be wearing fingerless gloves and assless chaps man, not on this trip.

The rest of the route is a bit Hazy until you hit Morganza Louisiana.    In 1969, the film crew was advised against being a long hair in the South, but Dennis Hopper was determined to do whatever he wanted film wise, so they went anyway.     Not much is filmed in Texas as far as I can see, so head toward Morganza.     If you can find the Cafe in Morganza where the young girls and the sheriff and rednecks we’re, you’re a better man than me, because the locals who knew the place said it got torn down a couple of years ago.   There’s a couple of buildings that look really close to it, but the bones don’t quite match up.   Either way, it’s pretty easy to get a feel of 1969 Morganza.

Did anyone else think this kid was a 100% pud in the movie?   Yeah, he's a pud.

Did anyone else think this kid was a 100% pud in the movie? Yeah, he's a pud.

The rednecks in Morganza were the real locals.    Dennis told the crew to tell them that he, Jack  and Peter had raped a girl outside of town before they started filming to get a real reaction of hate from them.   One thing to remember, is other that a loose premise, Easy Rider wasn’t scripted.   They made it up as they went, and most of the cast would tell you that Dennis Hopper was generally insane in those days.    Dennis later said when they rode off from the Cafe scene that was the one time they were scared and wondered if they pushed it too far.    They’d heard stories of long hairs getting whacked in Texas and Louisiana.    You shouldn’t have the same problem, unless you get way out of line.   Head south.

Head south out of Morganza,  Hit the 190 and then west till you hit Opelousas, then south.   If you’re ready, you’ll have Jimi Hendrix Queued as you hit Franklin Louisiana.    Remember the song?  Thats right old-schoolers, if a six became a nine.   Find the bridge, stop, and queue that puppy for proper listening.

I want to thank my Cajun Friend Johnny for the modern day pictures of Franklin.    You sir, are the man.   I owe you a round of beers Man.

Our Hero's riding down the streets of Franklin

Our Hero's riding down the streets of Franklin

Franklin LA Today.   Looks good to me

Franklin LA Today. Looks about the same...

Ben Franklin Store from the Movie.  Remember these?

Old Theater, then Ben Franklin Store from the Movie. Remember Ben Franklin?

Old Theater and Ben Franklin Today.  Do you see it?

Old Theater and Ben Franklin Today. Do you see it?

Downtown Then...

Downtown Franklin Then...

Downtown Franklin Now...

Downtown Franklin Now...

One more Shot.

Old Courthouse, Franklin Louisiana Then...

Old Courthouse, Franklin Louisiana Then... (notice the newer building behind the old ones)

Old Courthouse is gone.   This is how it looks like today...

Old Courthouse is gone. This is how it looks like today...

Then head on into New Orleans.   Go to where Mardi Gras is.    Now its time for Madam Tinkertoy and Groovy Dinners.   Its Mecca man!  You’ve reached the Glory Hole.   Party like a rockstar, do whatever you do, because tomorrow you’re going to get shot by a short redneck with a Goiter on his neck.    I’m not trying to be  a downer, I’m just sayin’.      It could happen.    You’re almost there.

The scenes in Mardis Gras we’re filmed a month after Mardis Gras had ended.  The parade scenes they shot with friends and some stock footage.   Watch the movie again and you’ll notice.    They also shot these scenes first.   You may have better luck with Mardi Gras then they did if you time it right.

While you’re in Nawlins, pull out your 80’s CD of Tony Basil singing “mickey”.   C’mon, you know you have one.   In 1969 she played a prostitute in Easy Rider.   In the 80’s, she was a one hit wonder with fat cheerleaders.     Hey Mickey!

Easy Rider Ended in Krotz Springs Louisiana.

Easy Rider Ended in Krotz Springs Louisiana.

Once you had your fill of New Orleans, Double back and head towards Krotz Springs Louisiana.   You’ll notice the Levees on LA 105.    That’s where this great movie ends, only you’ll survive.   Now’s the time to bust out a cigar if you have one, because you made it to the end of the movie.    Call a loved one and tell em you’re coming home.   Queue the ballad of easy rider and head on out of town.   You’re gonna retire in Florida Mister!   If a man with a goiter shows, get the hell out of there.

This thread is over.   Im going to end it all of a sudden, just like my favorite Movie, Easy Rider.   Don’t blow it.

Adios, amoebas.

Adios, amoebas.

Plank Roads

Posted in Route 66 with tags on March 31, 2009 by MrZip66
I bought this from a Rack at Roy's in Amboy in 1991

I bought this from the Postcard Rack at Roy's in Amboy in 1991 from Buster Burris. The Picture was taken in 1956 of a Plank Road that crossed the desert in California before pavement.

Plank Road Picture from 1963

Plank Road Picture from 1963

Plank Road in 1941

Plank Road Picture taken in 1941

Old Post Card of a Plank Road

Old Post Card of a Plank Road

To Learn more about Plank Roads and when/why we had them, click here.   Another Good Link is here.

Flashback: 1991 Arizona Route 66

Posted in Route 66 with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by MrZip66

Labor Day in 1991 was an opportunity for my new bride and I to take a little road trip on the mother road once again, so friday night after we both got off work we headed down to Needles.     I remember listening to Cassette tapes of Roxette most of the way down in our 1986 Mercury Lynx and having a helluva time.

Back then I considered “sleeping in” was waking up at 6 AM, and was able to talk my wife into heading out early and fitting in a trip to Lake Havasu which was not far away.     We woke up, went to the El Garces Harvey House in Kingman, took a few pictures and headed down the Freeway to Lake Havasu.

66 Motel at Dawn

66 Motel at Dawn

After a short visit to Lake Havasu, we headed back north and up to Topock.      The road between Golden Shores and Oatman was gravel back then, but it was just good to be on the mother road again and before long we we’re in Oatman Arizona yet again.    To this day, I’ve never been on Interstate 40 to Kingman.   We always go through oatman because the pull is too strong.

Oatman Arizona

Mrs Zip in Oatman

We spent our Saturday  afternoon in Oatman and then into Kingman to crash for the night and head out again to see more Route 66.   Robyn and I had done this route a year earlier on the Magna, but It never got old.   Besides, we still needed to find our bridge we’d been looking for from the picture.    Maybe this time was our lucky day.

On the way down from Oatman we passed by cool springs, which we’d seen before.   I was surprised to see it had been rebuilt, but not very well:

Cool Springs was being prepped to blow up for a movie

Cool Springs was being prepped to blow up for a movie

I wasn’t sure why.   Old windows we’re put in to look old, and the back of the building wasn’t finished.    I was in construction at the time, and hadn’t seen this kind of a building method before.    Last time we’d seen Cool Springs, it was just a foundation and a couple of stone pillars.   Even so, it was cool to see something happening with this part of the mother road.

We rolled into kingman and got our room at the Quality Inn, which seemed like a really route 66 friendly spot in the road.   In 1991,  so many Arizona route 66 towns still seemed to be figuring out how to rebound from being bypassed.   Kingman didn’t quite have the route 66 pride it has today, so when we saw the Quality Inn Showing Route 66 Signs outside, we figured we’d give it a try.    We also knew by our route 66 newsletters that the owner was part of the state route 66 association.     The quality Inn puts a plaque on the door of the famous people that had stayed there, and our room was Will Rogers Jr.    Good enough for Us.

Mrs Zip and I at the Quality Inn in Kingman

Mrs Zip and I at the Quality Inn in Kingman

The Next morning we woke up early again and headed out to hit the mother road again.    It was a beautiful September Morning as we stopped by a place we didn’t think too much of at the time, and I remember my new wife wondering why we stopped at the Hackberry General Store:

This is what it looked like in 1991:

Hackberry General Store in 1991

Hackberry General Store in 1991

Hackberry General Store in 1991

Hackberry General Store in 1991

This is what it looks like today:

Hackberry General Store 2008

Hackberry General Store 2008

It’s neat to see how someone fixed it up and it’s been a viable business for quite a few years now.   Route 66 is doing good again!

I’ve probably said on this site a million times what got me into Route 66, so forgive me if I say it again.    I was reading a Motorcycle magazine in the late 80’s that had an article on Route 66.   It had a picture of a place the author visited on his bike that had a mature tree growing out of an old bridge that struck me.   I wanted to find that Bridge.   I showed my future wife who is always up for a road trip adventure, so we set out to find that bridge.    We looked for it before we we married and still hadn’t found it.   We only knew it was in Arizona.

Crookton Road East of Seligman

Crookton Road East of Seligman

I’d gotten pretty good at following old abandoned sections of roads while Driving.   I started looking down washes and riverbeds this run to see if I could spot our bridge.   After we got back on 1-40 on Crookton Road I spotted it out of the corner of my eye before we hit Ash Fork.    I told Mrs Zip and we knew we were close.   We got off at the next exit and tried to double back and after a mile of dirt roads and crossing railroad tracks in our little car, we doubled back to the crookton exit and found the cinder alignment of Route 66 that was active from 1920 to 1965.   We pulled up and saw our bridge!

Partridge Creek Bridge Route 66 - 1920-1965

Partridge Creek Bridge Route 66 . This was Route 66 from 1920-1965

Once we basked in the glory of our road finding skills, we got back on the freeway and headed into Ash Fork to find the answer to another more recent mystery:

Ash Fork Arizona Universal Soldier Set

Ash Fork Arizona Universal Soldier Set

In Ash Fork, they were clearly filming a movie.   We’d been this way before and aside from being the Flagstone Capital of the world, its a pretty sleepy town.   When you see massive semi trucks from hollywood and movie sets, you recognize it immediately.    We talked to one of the security guards watching the weekend sets to find out that they were  filming for a Jean Claude Van Damme Movie Called Universal Soldier.     That explained Rebuilding of cool springs!     We took spome pictures and headed on up the road toward Williams.

What it looked like in the movie

What it looked like in the movie

Cool Springs Blowing Up.

So I might as well show Cool Springs blowing up too...

After Williams, I could see what I know know is an old abandoned 1931 section of the National Old Trails Highway, which eventually became route 66.    Because of the rain, we couldn’t get back to it, so we got off at Devil Dog and searched for it on that side of the freeway.    We found it.

Devil Dog Culvert, built in 1922 till 1932

Devil Dog Culvert, built in 1922 till 1932

We drove around as much as we could see here and saw where future alignments and improvements in excavating bypassed Devil Dog in 1952 till I turned into Interstate 40 in 1984.

Old Arizona Route 66 Alignment meets New

Old Arizona Route 66 Alignment from 1952 meets It's Replacement

From there, we drove up to Parks to drive yet again another old alignment of the mother road.    Parks Arizona to this day is still one of my favorite Sections of Route 66.

Parks Arizona 1931 Alignment of Route 66

Parks Arizona 1931 Alignment of Route 66

Parks alignments are interesting.   From the turn of the century to 1984 this section of mountainous route 66 changed many times, sometimes for only several feet.   The general store and post office in Parks between 1931 to 1932 changed the front door of their establishment from the south side to the north side becuase the new road moved to the other side of them.   The pavement there is still in good shape but the forest is slowly taking it over.    Its one of the best sections of the entire road called route 66 I think.

Once we we’re done screwing around in Parks, for some reason we decided to double back.  I don’t remember if we got the motel room for 2 nights, or we wanted so see something we missed, but in any case we headed west again.    We had the added bonus of going through seligman again to have our 2nd hamburger ever at the snow cap if we hurried.

I’m pretty happy that in my 20 years travelling route 66 I’ve been able to meet some of its most colorful and enterprising people.   Angel Delgadillo is regarded as Route 66’s “angel” for his efforts to bring the mother road back into the world’s consciousness.    If Angel is the Angel, then his brother Juan is the clown.     He was truly one of a kind, and regardless of your day he had the ability to put a smile on your face with his antics.   If your heart was somehow made of stone enough to resist that, his hamburgers would certainly do the trick.

Juan Delgadillo in 1991

Juan Delgadillo in 1991

Juan Passed away in 2004 after working all day at the restaurant he built from scrap wood 50 years earlier.   It was a sad day.   Juan made everyone smile, and was a pure nutjob that built his local business in the middle of nowhere into a place that people would travel the globe to come visit, and thats no exaggeration.      I am proud my wife and I got to see the master at work several times, and am proud to say that the beat goes on with his kids.   I’ve taken my daughter there, and she laughed too.

For a good article on Juan Delgadillo, click here.

From the Snow Cap it started raining again, and we drove the whole way to Kingman in the Rain and it was just a nice trip.     I’ll always have the picture in my head of racing the Freight trains down to kingman in the pouring rain.    We stayed the night in Kingman again.   Tomorrow was labor day monday, and we’d need to head home again.

The next morning, we doubled back to Oatman.   On the way there, we passed cool springs again and the Universal Soldier guys must have worked that weekend, because the cool springs movie set had been blown up.     I wished I’d taken a picture of it.   Everything was swept off the road and in piles.

Wild Burros in Oatman Arizona

Wild Burros in Oatman Arizona

We stopped in Oatman again, petted the burro’s and had some food at a cool old restauraunt built out of plywood that I’ve never seen since (it was built around Joshua Trees), then made time to get to Topock,  Needles and then Home.

Colorado River Route 66 Sign near Topock

Colorado River Route 66 Sign near Topock

It was a great route 66 Trip that I’ll always remember.