We left Vegas one morning and decided that an excursion through part of route 66 was called for. Friends of ours told us of a town in the mountains called Oatman which was on route 66. We left Vegas using the 93 which came out in Kingman Az and from there we jumped on Historic Route 66 heading west into the mountains. We started climbing the mountain and Colleen immediately regretted the choice of road as it kept going up steep, winding roads with no guardrails and hundreds of feet down. No pics of the edge, she just kept her hands on the holders and her eyes forward, “Not an F*N chance” was the reply!!
When we finaly got to the very top ( it is called Sitgreaves Pass ) I noticed a grave marker, then another then many more. Weird I know! From what I have read they are memorials to people who have died on route 66 or people who always wanted to travel the road but never made it in their lifetimes. I can see why you need to go slow on this pass and that some have died here. While taking pictures I spotted something about two hundred feet down from the road, I zoomed in on it and snapped a pic. When I got home I had a look on the computer and low and behold in was the remnants of a car wreck (hopefully old).
We headed down the other side and within minutes entered the living ghost town of Oatman. Created in 1902 the town was originally a mining town when an 11 million dollar gold rush took place. Because of the dirt roads of the time and the incredibly steep slopes the miners used burros to aid in their mining.
Though there is still an active mine in the area the burros are no longer used but they do roam free any where they choose. They have become a staple to this small town and are not to be interfered with or harmed in any way by town law. When we were leaving I had to wait for one to move from the road!!
The town also held a special place in the hearts of Hollywood. In 1939 when Clarke Gable and Carole Lombard were married the came to Oatman and stayed at the hotel on their honeymoon. Clarke often came back to the town to play poker with the miners as he loved the serenity of the town. We had a quick lunch there at the hotel and then continued to head down route 66 back to the interstate and on to Lake Havasu City (see the next post for that one). Great day, a lot of visible history and fun watching Colleen turn green going over the mountains!
Have fun all…. Kevin