THE MOTHER ROAD TO THE MOTOR PALACE

First off, I have to admit, my ’48 Ford did not get to go on this trip. To maximize the time I get out of her Flathead, I need to limit long road trips, although she has had a few. Besides, we needed to haul some stuff out to the Motor Palace and taking the modern truck made more sense.

But man! I SO want to do Route 66 in a classic!! Instead, our ’01 Ford F-150 Harley truck took on the chore of hauling us around–although we have some cool plans for the future, which I’ll mention at the end of the blog!

We got off the 40 at Ludlow and soon after, stopped at Roy’s in Amboy, one of our favorite places on Route 66. The people are super nice, and they now have gas, cold drinks, tasty snacks, and bathrooms. Be sure to stop in and buy a Route 66 pure cane sugar Root Beer to keep these guys alive! Hopefully, they’ll reopen the restaurant and motel soon as well!


Just outside of Seligman, we pulled off to the Grand Canyon Caverns and checked out their odd collection of cars outside the motel, not the typical Route 66 fare: A VW squareback, a Corvair, a Metro Nash, and this tiny Triumph Spitfire.

I had a couple of these when I was a teen, and truthfully, would like to have another. They’re so little!

On our return trip, we stopped to take the tour. Whoa. In addition to seeing this scary dinosaur, you get to take an elevator 300 feet below the earth into huge caverns. It was AMAZINGLY COOL.

Next stop? Seligman, where the Route 66 resurgence all began, thanks to the Delgadillo’s (read the story here). Yeah, it’s over-the-top Route 66, but that’s part of why we love it and always, always stop.

Plus, they have great food in nearly all the restaurants (we haven’t tried them all yet), like these tacos from the Snow Cap! See Brian’s smile? That’s how you know they’re good!

 

We made a quick stop at the Motor Palace in Winslow to drop off some stuff, meet with the architect and the city to get the project moving along, and just remind ourselves why we bought this amazing building. Every time we go, we fall in love all over again. To read more about the Motor Palace and our plans with it, check out our blog.

My parents have a house in Lakeside/Pinetop, and Mom bribed us with Pot Roast and Banana Pudding, so we hopped back on 66, and headed toward Holbrook, a total must stop if you’re doing Route 66. Why? Here’s the reason:

The Wigwam Motel. Classic cars. And Tee-Pee Rooms. Need I say more?

Probably the best part of Route 66 (at least for me!) is looking at the classics along the way, although sometimes it’s a bit sad that they’re deteriorating instead of being cared for by an owner. BUT… it certainly adds to the experience, as do the old gas stations, like Cool Springs and Hackberry.


 

Brian modeling the Dickies 1922 Workshirt. Click the pic to go to the store!
Brian modeling the Dickies 1922 Workshirt. Click the pic to go to the store!

Corny and touristy as it was, one of my favorite stops along Route 66 was the ghost town Oatman, including the drive up the winding two-lane road.

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love critters, and Oatman was filled with the friendliest burros in the whole world.

There were lots of babies who the tourists were instructed not to feed. Nice warning sign, right? If you look beyond the tourist stuff, you can see the bones of the old mining town and what it must have been like back when my feller used to visit it as a kid, before there were any souvenir shops or cowboy shootouts.

Every vacation sadly has to end, but we wanted to take as much of Route 66 home as we could. We’d never been able to find the section between Needles and Amboy… until now. Off of Goffs Road, there’s what looks like a dirt cutoff called Mountain Springs Road. Turns out, this was old Route 66. Large chunks of it had fallen away, but it was definitely worth taking. It’s only about 6 and 1/2 miles until you hit solid pavement again and continue on to Ludlow. Easily passable, even without four-wheel-drive.

Goodness knows, we’ll be taking this trip again, many times to get to our building in Winslow. Each time we go, we discover new things and are always sad to hit the freeway for home. But we DID come up with a fun idea on that stretch…

Okay. So we’ve been trying to find the perfect vehicle to move stuff back and forth and go on buying trips. We checked out new vans and trucks with shells and SUVs and even trailers, but nothing thrilled us. Then we thought of old panel trucks. How perfect, right? Put in a nice modern motor and running gear, and we’d get the best of both worlds! Granted, it might not be the most practical idea, but hey! It would give us the chance to cruise Route 66 in a classic! Woo hoo! Bondorella might get a sister!

Until next time….

Later gators!

 

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