Route 66 Day 8 – Needles to Williams

May 1, 2015

After a week in the Golden state we moved into Arizona. If you were following along with my last post, you’ll remember we had a nice conversation with Tony, the BNSF engineer in Needles. He gave us a great tip on where to get some good shots of the railroad crossing the Colorado River into Arizona. We took the last exit from I40 in California – Park Moabi Road, headed to the Pirate Cove and Marina, turned right and followed a dirt road until we came to a spot just under the railroad bridge. Awesome!

Even though it was early, the heat was building so we sat it the car waiting for the trains. I discovered they were very quiet and almost snuck by me. Nevertheless, I was lucky and got one picture of trains on the BNSF Transcon traveling in each direction

Eastbound BNSF freight crossing the Colorado River.

Eastbound BNSF freight crossing the Colorado River.

West bound BNSF freight crossing the Colorado River.

West bound BNSF freight crossing the Colorado River.

In the span of the picture above you can see Needles’ name sake mountains.

Within minutes of hoping back on I40 we crossed the Colorado River and entered Arizona

Welcome to Arizona

Welcome to Arizona

There is a long stretch of Arizona from exit 1 on I40 through Kingman and Seligman that is pure old road. But we bypassed part of it. A very early route goes up through the mountains into Oatman – a town where there are burros roaming the streets. It has its charms but I think once is enough. If you are interested, you can read about our trip through there in this 2007 post.

We stopped in Kingman and visited both the Route 66 Museum and Mohave Museum of History and Arts. They are very nice.  A bit past Kingman is the famous Hackberry General Store; we had to stop and grab a small remembrance and a photo.

Hackberry General Store, Arizona

Hackberry General Store, Arizona

Back in Kingman and along the road to Seligman we passed many classic cars headed the other way. This was a weekend for a car Fun Run from Seligman to Topack (the westernmost town on Route 66 in Arizona). When we pulled into Seligman we found the town buzzing.

Car Show and car Fun Run weekend in Seligman, Arizona

Car Show and car Fun Run weekend in Seligman, Arizona

The Delgadillo brothers Juan and Angel were the driving force behind re-establishing Route 66 as a must visit site in Arizona. Without them the entire Route 66 experience would be diminished. Juan died a few years ago but Angel is still around and his family still operates the Snow-Cap Drive In.

The legendary Snow-Cap Drive In in Seligman, Arizona

The legendary Snow-Cap Drive In in Seligman, Arizona

The inject a lot of fun into the town. They sport signs such as “Sorry, We’re Open” and a menu that includes “Dead Chicken”.  I won’t spoil the surprise by telling of some of the pranks they pull on customers. The town and the drive in are must stops in Arizona; even if you aren’t “doing” Route 66, take a detour from I40 and visit – you won’t be sorry.

Later that evening we pulled into Williams – gateway to the Grand Canyon. We went downtown for dinner and browsed the old downtown shops. We were able to score a Route 66 wine glass. One of our scavenger hunt items.

Since I started the post with trains, I’ll end one here.

BNSF freight outside Williams

BNSF freight outside Williams

About howardwthompson

I'm a person who likes to travel, read, cook, and eat
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5 Responses to Route 66 Day 8 – Needles to Williams

  1. Nancy says:

    This looks like our kind of place. I live in AZ… and we are always looking for cool places to go and explore. THANKS for sharing!

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