TOUR AMERICA, 2020: KINGMAN, ARIZONA – THE GRAND CANYON STATE

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Places We Have Called Home In 2020

June 8, 2020

T minus 8

Temperature 68 Degrees

Get Your Kicks On Route 66 – Traveling Arizona Route 66

When we first made the decision to move from Congress to Kingman it was really just for a change of scenery.  We had become bored sitting in one location and we were eager to get on the road again.   Thus we moved not really expecting much of anything to do in this area.  How wrong we were again!

We’ve discovered a famous bridge, museums, murals, parks  and last

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but not least Historic Route 66.  If you’re looking for natural beauty, rich history, interesting people, quirky roadside attractions, unusual places to catch a bite to eat

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Arizona’s stretch of Route 66 has it all.

Today we decided to drive a portion of the 250 miles of this iconic road in Arizona and discover for ourselves its ever changing wonders.  Come on, jump in and lets get this car in gear and out on the road.  Today we’re starting in Kingman and heading east toward Seligman.

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This was our first stop, the Ranchero Motel that opened in 1965 with a restaurant, bar, Shell gas station and plenty of rooms for weary travelers.  The motel is closed but today there is a visitor center that includes a convenience store and gift shop.  While you are looking at the sign in the picture above note the big green sign that states that this is the home of

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Giganticus Headicus or as he is affectionately called GH for short.  GH is a half-buried, 14-foot-tall pseudo-tiki sculpted of metal, wood, chicken wire, styrofoam and cement, created in 2004 by Gregg Arnold, a migrant from New Jersey.

He may be the biggest on the lot but he is not alone.  Arnold has other art projects displayed around the location.

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I’m not superstitious but hey what’s the harm in ringing the bell!

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OK, back in the car and off we go down the road.

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This is our second stop, the Hackberry General Store – But don’t blink as you’re tearing down the highway or you’ll miss it for sure.  Unannounced by signage and isolated in the middle of desert, this hidden gem may be driven by countless times, but those who have decided to pull in know it to be a must stop for all Route 66 travelers.

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Outside there is an old Model A.

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Nostalgic gas pumps.  They haven’t worked in over thirty years but before the picnic tables were put in front of them we were told several times a week someone would pull up to them expecting to get gas!

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Reminders that the Greyhound Bus once stopped here.

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In the back is the old garage that was a part of the service station that was here before the general store.

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With all the stickers, odd signs, milk cans and such outside it can be a bit difficult to even find the entrance door.  But there it is right under the Route 66 sign.  Come on, let’s go in because you haven’t seen anything yet.  Nicknamed the Mother Lode of Mother Road Memorabilia, the Hackberry General Store is packed wall to wall with historic signs and artifacts.  Along with a whole lot of other stuff.

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The store’s unofficial greeter.  Behind and above him are patches from just about everywhere.  Some patches are brought here in person, others are mailed in and put up by the owner of the store.

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Currency from around the world blankets the one wall and extends up and on to the ceiling.  Can you imagine how many before me have stuck a dollar bill or whatever to this wall?

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Yup, I added mine to the collection.

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There’s a recreation of a 1950’s diner with pictures and memorabilia of you know who almost everywhere.

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Like the currency on the other wall, there are also license plates from around the USA and the world.

More of the inside.

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Really, you have to put this one on your bucket list.  A visit here is like a visit to a bygone era.  This is a slice of America when America was really great.  A trip here is like looking in the rear view mirror to a past that remains frozen in time.

One more thing before we leave the store behind.  Did you Know?  This store served as the inspiration for the Radiator Springs Curio Shop in the 2006 Pixar Movie Cars.

One last stop today.

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Founded in 1995 The Keepers of the Wild is a nonprofit organization that houses over 150 rescued animals, including tigers, bears, wolves, reptiles and birds.  Unfortunately, our schedule was such that we missed the daily Guided Safari Tour.  We’re hoping that some day we will be able to return for the tour.

Time to call it a night.  We’ll pick up here tomorrow when we get back in the car again and get back on Route 66.

That was our day on The Road of Retirement.  We had an absolutely fantastic day traveling together on a remarkable historic road.  Point of fact, we liked it so much we’ve decided when we leave here instead of taking the Interstate to Williams we’re going to take Route 66.  It’s just a bit longer going that way, but so what, we’re not in any hurry.  OK, time to go look for my winter PJ’s.  The forecast for tonight is for temperatures down in the 40’s!  Really?  The next day?  Right back up into the 90’s.  Weird weather to say the least.

I leave you with this, a post I discovered on a friends Facebook page.

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says '"RETURNING HATE FOR HATE MULTIPLIES HATE, ADDING DEEPER DARKNESS TO A NIGHT ALREADY DEVOID OF STARS. DARKNESS CANNOT DRIVE OUT DARKNESS; ONLY LIGHT CAN DO THAT. HATE CANNOT DRIVE OUT HATE, ONLY LOVE CAN DO THAT." MLK MISS REVOL UTION ARIFS'

Thanks for your company today. We always appreciate having you with us and, likewise, we always appreciate your comments.  Until tomorrow.

These are the voyages of  Elvira and it’s two intrepid travelers.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before.

See you on down the road!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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