A couple of months ago during a school break, my mom and I were eager to go on a road trip to put responsibilities behind us. We had thought of many possible options, but after not settling on a specific choice, we put my dad in charge of determining where to go. His choice: A road trip that would take us along the old Route 66 through parts of Arizona and California. At first, I was hesitant given the fact that I was concerned about getting carsick on windy, curvy roads, but I decided to join in and see some of the historic Old West. Taking the desert scenery along our drive, I found Route 66 had plenty to enjoy including some unexpected surprises. If you’re planning on taking this drive through Arizona or California anytime soon, I’ve got a few memorable moments to inspire you for your next road trip:
- The most charming place might be one you didn’t think you’d enjoy so much. When we arrived in Kingman, Arizona, it seemed the town was not only small, but fairly empty. Since it was Thanksgiving, I didn’t expect to see tons of people out and about, but I thought there might be more to the town. We unfortunately weren’t able to see the Route 66 Museum, but I did enjoy our stay at Ramada Kingman. I didn’t anticipate finding so much charm and nostalgia in a hotel, but the hotel’s murals and old cars in the restaurant and lobby paid a nice homage to the historic highway route.
- Some small towns contain origin stories bigger than they are. While the town of Oatman is mostly a tourist town with a very small population, the wild burros keep the town moving and continue to captivate visitors. Many had a mind of their own and were not perturbed by human tourists. In fact, one baby burro stood in front of our car, transfixed by it. But it’s not just the burros that are intriguing about this Old West town. Originally named in honor of Olive Oatman, a young woman who was kidnapped by an Apache tribe and rescued, Oatman has also provided the setting for many movies. The Oatman Hotel also served as a honeymoon suite for Clark Gable and Carol Lombard. Oatman may be a small town, but it’s filled with many stories and characters.
- When it comes to this road, expect the unexpected. Many times on the road, I can look ahead and know what to expect in the next few miles. The section we drove on Route 66 had more twists and turns than you could ever expect. Having lived in the Southwest and in the mountains, curvy and twisting roads are nothing new, but I didn’t anticipate them along this old desert highway. Just outside Needles, California on our way back to Las Vegas, we were greeted with Joshua trees and small hills that made my stomach jump a little. If you need a path with new surprises, Route 66 is the one to take.
Although taking a road trip with your parents on an old highway may not sound like the most fun, there is always something to discover along Route 66. The changing scenery and historic towns will add to your visit and keep you entertained. When it comes to this Old West road, always be ready for something new and unexpected.
“Oatman, Arizona” Desert USA, 2017.
This post is a part of Sweet Inspirations hosted by My Sweet Things, Repurposing Junkie, A Crafty Mix, The Boondocks Blog, and Kreativ K, Weekend Travel Inspiration hosted by Reflections Enroute, The Crowded Planet, Contented Traveller, Albom Adventures, Safari 254, Families Go!, and Malaysian Meanders, Outdoor Wednesday hosted by A Southern Daydreamer, Faraway Files hosted by Oregon Girl Around the World and Suitcases and Sandcastles, and Travel Photo Thursday hosted by Budget Travelers Sandbox, Budget Travel Talk, Rachel’s Ruminations, and Tanama Tales.