Road Trip on Route 66

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:

Marilyn Monroe, mural, Ramada Kingman

A mural of Marilyn Monroe on the outside of the Ramada Kingman.

  • 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.
    Burros, wild, donkeys, Oatman, Arizona

    Wild Burros outside of Oatman, Arizona.

    Olive Oatman, Oatman, Arizona

    Olive Oatman’s painting on a store front.

  • 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.Route 66
  • 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.

Resources:

Oatman Chamber of Commerce

“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 KWeekend Travel Inspiration hosted by Reflections Enroute, The Crowded Planet, Contented Traveller, Albom Adventures, Safari 254, Families Go!, and Malaysian MeandersOutdoor 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.

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23 Comments

  1. Agness of eTramping

    Thanks for a great post about Route 66! This road trip must be iconic now!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      It definitely has become more significant and historical throughout the years.

  2. Jim ~ ReflectionsEnroute

    I love a good road trip. We’ve only ever been on small stretches on route 66, however. Someday we’ll have to remedy that.Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I hope to take other travels along sections of Route 66. This only covered a small portion of it, and I was glad I went to experience the history of the area.

  3. annette @afrenchcollection

    Route 66 was featured in the Pixar movies Cars I think? I wonder whether the films increased tourism along the Route? #wkendtravelinspiration

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I forgot about Route 66 being featured on Cars. I didn’t hear anything about the movie influencing its popularity, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did have some impact.

  4. Mary-The Boondocks Blog

    That is such a historic road. I know books and songs have been written about it. I would love to travel along it some day.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I was pleasantly surprised by Route 66 and I recommend you drive any portion of it that you are near. It’s fun to learn the story behind the road and what it meant years ago.

  5. Sally

    I love the stories about Oatman. I hope the hotel where Clarke Cable and Carol Lombard stayed is still open for business!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      The hotel wasn’t open when I went since it was Thanksgiving, but I think it still runs as a museum. I’d like to make a return visit and find out!

  6. Sarah @ enrichmentality

    Wow, what awesome sights you’ve seen! Almost makes me wish I drove!!!
    Thanks for sharing.
    PS. I just posted an article on traveling cheaper, for less that you might like http://www.beautifulbudgetlife.com/travel-longer-less/

  7. budgettraveltalk

    I love that Route 66 provides the unexpected. I would love to drive this iconic highway one day.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I was pleasantly surprised by Route 66. I hope you get the chance to drive it one day!

  8. katy@untoldmorsels

    Route 66 is the ultimate road trip! I’d love to do drive this road and discover all the local heroes and stories as you have done. Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thanks Katy! I’m excited you enjoyed my post and my history of the Southwest.

  9. Ruth

    This is so cool! I have only done a very small section of Route 66 and would drive more of it. I really liked Oatman. I know if may be touristy (and ton of tour buses stop there) but there were a lot of things I enjoyed about the town. I have not been to Kingman but it is on the works. #TPThursday

    • brooklyntvlasich

      It’s great you have visited Oatman and enjoyed Route 66 too. Even though it is touristy, as you mentioned, it’s definitely worth stopping and seeing to experience the old road.

  10. travelnwrite

    We love any road trip through the Southwest and Route 66 shouldn’t be missed. Glad you drove a portion of it!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      It’s wonderful to find other travelers who enjoyed Route 66 as much as I did! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  11. Clare Thomson

    Route 66 is such an iconic road trip! I always dreamed of doing it one day so it’s great to read your thoughts here on #FarawayFiles

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Hope you can make the road trip someday soon. I’d definitely make another trip along a different part of the route to get an additional perspective.

  12. oregongirlaroundtheworld

    Welcome to #FarawayFiles community! I haven’t been on that stretch of Route 66, but I have spent a little time on the bit through New Mexico – which has similar little towns and the right amount of kitsch. I love the little burros! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Your comment reminds me of how long it’s been since I’ve been to New Mexico! I think I’ll need to make a visit to a small town soon.

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