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Our Big Trip Across the Western US - September 2015

Travel Map

We departed Flagstaff about 7:30 AM with a cool 56 degrees as we headed west towards California. The trip out of Flagstaff was uneventful and the terrain changed quickly as we began our descent from the approximately 7000 foot level. We did not have a travel guide for Arizona so had to keep an eye out for road signs to present us with something interesting to break up the driving. Our first stop came as we found a road sign promising Arizona travel information and it led us to the Ashfork Route 66 Museum. This structure was one of the many original maintenance and construction garages used along the old route and really presents a nice stop with plenty of information about Ashfork and Route 66.

The museum is displayed nicely with a wide open feel of the old garage and there are several vehicles as well as other displays depicting an earlier day in Ashfork. This fire truck was one of two at the museum, the other being out front of the building.

We don’t often take the camera inside a museum but in this case a display of historic buildings caught Dan’s eye and the attendant was happy to allow us to take pictures. What is so interesting about this display is that each 1/32 model of a building has an accompanying photograph of the structure. The photograph may be the current condition of the building or as it was in an earlier day. The detail is amazing and the entire main street of town is modeled.

Our next stop was in Kingman Arizona, another historic Route 66 community. We drove through town to view the layout, this rather striking set of tanks and water tower required some quick picture taking out the window of the car. There was no parking on this four lane but traffic was light so we did not get in anyone’s way.

Kingman, like so many other towns along the old Route 66 have made a great attempt to offer the flavor of what the appearance of the old route would have looked like. This diner, Mr. D’s Route 66 Diner, caught our eye even though we did not think it was anything original in nature. We did not stop but in looking at their web site it looks like they have really caught the era in their décor.

The terrain really changed fast as we left Arizona and crossed the desert. At one point we thought we were seeing smoke from all the wild fires in northern California but as it turns out it was rain. And not just a sprinkle, it really came down for a while. We were unable to stop to take a picture but there was a perfect rainbow in front of us that was a complete arc. It rained hard enough to make puddles on the hard packed desert soil and we were only too happy to get closer to Riverside where there was something green and growing.

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