If you decide to enjoy the journey as well as the destination and you go along route 66, you might just be greeted by a donkey in your car window in Oatman, Arizona. You’ll have to go through the town at a steady 5 mph and you might just get a lot of donkey slobber on your car but I promise you… it will be worth it.
The idea was to drive from LA to the Grand Canyon to see one of the natural wonders and to stay in a house booked through VRBO that was a wonder in itself. The drive can be an easy 6-7 hrs along the freeway but we’re not in any rush so almost as soon as we crossed the Colorado River into Arizona we got off that damn freeway and onto historical route 66. Now, I have to admit, some of this road makes you appreciate the ease of the freeway. It can be rough in areas and you’ll rarely get up to a good speed but then you find yourself in a little town like Oatman and you wonder why a whole bunch of cars are stopped and is that a donkey in the middle of the road?! Then you wonder how anyone could ever possibly choose the highway over donkey town??
There’s also still some great little old diners along route 66. We stopped in a town called Kingman and ate some old fashioned diner food at Mr D’z Diner. The bacon cheeseburger was a good old fashioned American thing of beauty and the country fried steak was not bad either (although, not the best we’ve had in the US!). They make their own tasty root beer and the service was faultless, our wonderful server even let us bring our little pooch in out of the cold. It was about as American as it gets even having a life sized Elvis decked out in tinsel and old signs covered the walls.You could possibly be saddened by the old highway at times, it’s gone from having many thriving businesses to just a few stores that are mostly just pimping out the highways dereliction for the tourists. There are a lot of abandoned buildings, houses and stores. You can almost see the ghosts of the place it once was, a place of dreams and success. Where many people would have put all their savings and heart into restaurants, motels, hotels, stores that would have served the many people coming through on the busy route 66. Now, rust and vegetation take over old buildings and cars. Kid’s graffiti cover old buildings that have been half torn down or just fell under the time and the elements. You could be forgiven for thinking that this decay is somewhat beautiful.