Skip to main content

Challenger versus US Route 66

During my move to California in 2016 I didn't have a place immediately in the Fresno Area.  That being the case I shipped by Challenger from Florida to my Brother's house in Phoenix.  A month after I arrived in California I finally settled on a place with a garage and went back to Phoenix to get the Challenger.  Instead of taking some boring slog back to California I took; I-17, AZ 69 and AZ 89 to Ash Fork where I connected with a segment of US 66.  My goal was to head back into California via all the remaining sections of US 66 still open to traffic.  It seemed like a waste not to take such a cool car back home on some Interstate when US 66 was readily available.






In Ash Fork both Park Avenue and Lewis Avenue are signed as both a Business Route of I-40 in addition to Historic US 66.





US 66 westbound in Ash Fork splits onto Lewis Avenue for westbound heading into downtown.




There is a small historic park on Lewis Avenue detailing the history of Ash Fork and the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad.





There isn't much on Lewis Avenue these days, the roadway is largely devoid of traffic despite it being signed as a Historic US 66 alignment.





I previously wrote about history of Ash Fork on Route 66 Wednesdays, the blog post can be found here:

Route 66 Wednesdays; Ashfork, AZ

West of Ash Fork the alignment of US 66 is cut-off by I-40.  To rejoin US 66 traffic westbound must take I-40 west to exit 139.  US 66 crosses over the rail lines a couple miles west of I-40.  There is an older grade of the A&P on the north side of US 66 and older highway bridge which can be observed from the modern crossing.  I believe there is even a very early rail crossing that US 66 likely used which can be seen be spotting a small culvert near the current rail alignment.










In Seligman I checked out all the well known historic structures and even backed the Challenger against a Historic Route 66 sign.













I wrote about the history of Seligman previously which can be found here:

Route 66 Wednesdays; Seligman, AZ

Continuing westbound I didn't bother to stop in Peach Springs but I did stop at the Grand Canyon Caverns Grotto to get some pictures of the metal dinosaurs and derelict cars on display. 






The metal dinosaurs on the putt-putt golf course are a left over from an era when Grand Canyon Caverns was known as Dinosaur Caverns.  I wrote about the history of Grand Canyon Caverns and Peach Springs previously which can be found here:

Route 66 Wednesdays; Peach Springs and Grand Canyon Caverns

My next stop was in Truxton where I checked out some ruins of service stations and motels.








If it isn't obvious by now I have done historical articles and pretty much all of US 66 west to the Santa Monica Pier.  The history of Truxton is tied to nearby Valentine, the previous article on the subject can be found here:

Route 66 Wednesdays; Valentine and how many Truxtons?

In Valentine I took some pictures of the derelict Valentine School and some of the remaining service stations.  The previous time I went through this section of US 66 in 2014 there wasn't any cars on display.






One of the bigger attractions on my westbound trip to California on US 66 was at the Hackberry General Store.  Usually there is a C1 Corvette parked in front of the building but it wasn't there for some reason.  That being the case I decided to pull the Challenger right up to the pumps and parked it while I checked out the grounds of the Hackberry Store.





Incidentally all the pumps at the Hackberry General Store are vintage.  The Challenger looked right at home with it's borrowed styling from the 1971 model year.




Inside the Hackberry General Store a vintage US 66 shield from California is displayed high on one of the walls.





The Hackberry General Store largely displays authentic items like this Neon Phillips 66 sign.





There are various vehicles on display, this truck displaying the Hackberry community name caught my eye.  There is a nice backdrop with a Kansas State Route 66 shield in the background.





Various flathead engines were on display in a garage behind the General Store.






The Hackberry Store even has a vintage Burma Shave ad out in the weeds among the broken down cars.








 Something a little different with some vintage Desotos.




I thought the yellow vintage stop sign at the pumps was a nice touch.





Some of the various US 66 associated shields on and vintage gas pumps displays.








The previous blog entry on the history of Hackberry can be found here:

Route 66 Wednesdays; Hackberry General Store

Continuing westward I stopped in Kingman at the Powerhouse Museum.  West of Kingman I followed the rails on the historic alignment of US 66 to the Oatman Highway.





The previous blog entry on the history of Kingman and the Powerhouse Museum can be found here:

Route 66 Wednesdays; The Kingman Powerhouse Museum

Almost immediately west of I-40 it was very apparent that the Oatman Highway had just been repaved.  Previously the pavement on the Oatman Highway likely dated back to the 1950s when it was part of US 66.  I stopped at Cool Springs to check out the vintage service station and uphill ascent to Sitgreaves Pass.








Suffice to say the fresh asphalt made the climb to Sitgreaves Pass substantially easier than it had been when I lived in Arizona.  The roadway is still substantially narrow and not something you'd want encounter even a light duty truck coming the other way on.   My speculation is that the Oatman Highway over Sitgreaves Pass had been repaved likely due to the Gold Road Mine on the west side of the pass.  In years past the mining trucks had been ripping up the Oatman Highway which led to dangerous pot holes that were at times a foot deep.  I parked at the top of Sitgreaves Pass and checked out an old overlook which was once the location of a ice cream shop.








The visitor parking lot in Oatman is extremely rocky and haggard.  I parked a little outside of town near an abandoned mining facility.






From the mining facility I walked back into Oatman.





My favorite old make-shift wooden US 66 shield was still present in downtown.






US 66 in Oatman mid-day is always mobbed by tourists but more so the local feral burro population.   I stopped at the Oatman Hotel for some ice cream and did some sign shopping at the antique stores.














Interestingly I ended up buying an Oatman Highway Street Blade just like this one later in 2016.  I haven't been back to Oatman since so I'm not sure if this is one that is now hanging up in my garage.






Oatman is full of "interesting" store fronts.






Historic US 66 shields are painted on the asphalt in Oatman.  Previously there used to be metal shields like the one I posted a photo of in Hackberry.  Most of the metal shields have disappeared likely due to sign theft.





I continued south on the Oatman Highway all the way to I-40 where I crossed the Colorado River into California.  My previous historic blog on the Oatman Highway can be found here:

Route 66 Wednesdays; The Oatman Highway and the legend of Bloody 66

Upon entering California I pulled off of I-40 at Park Mobai Road to get back to a derelict segment of US 66 leading to the Old Trails Arch Bridge at the Colorado River. Oddly the sign on the California side of the Colorado River is meant to attract tourist traffic off of eastbound I-40 to the Oatman Highway.







West of the Old Trails Bridge I jumped back onto I-40 and took it to Broadway Street in Needles.  I stopped at the El Graces Hotel in downtown Needles to take a photo with a Challenger in front of it.  I stayed at a hotel in Needles for the evening which overlooked downtown and the Black Mountains in Arizona.






The following morning I took I-40/US 95 west to the split with US 95 which was the original alignment of US 66.  I stopped at the former rail siding location of Kleinfelter looking for ruins but didn't find much other than a honey farm.





I split from US 95 on Goffs Road and continued to follow the original alignment of US 66 to Goffs.





Back in 2012 when I last visited Goffs there was some residents, they seemed to be all gone by 2016.  There was some strange graffiti tags on some of the buildings near the rails, "bored in the USA" seemed particularly odd with the severed dog head.





Suffice to say there hasn't been gas in a long time in Goffs and likely never will be again.





Interestingly the Goffs General Store sign was still around, I would have thought for sure it would have been stolen.





I didn't bother stopping in Fenner given it is largely just a glorified gas station/RV camp.  Crossing under I-40 I encountered the post-1932 alignment of US 66 in Essex.  Back in January when I was on my cross-country move I didn't get a photo of the closure of post-1932 US 66 alignment.  I'm still not certain what happened to this section of post-1932 alignment but I speculate it was a washout.





Not much had changed in Essex, it was still largely silent and devoid of life.






I bypassed Danby and stopped at Cadiz Summit.






Someone had arranged a bunch of rock pilings above the former lodge site, I didn't notice it the previous month.






The derelict chair in the Cadiz Summit garage had obtained some fresh patina.





The concrete ruins of the lodge are surprisingly large.  I would speculate this was the remains of some sort of cellar.







Continuing westward on US 66 to Chambless I stopped at the old General Store building and Road Runner's Retreat.  There was a small placard on the north side of US 66 detailing the history of the highway.








My final stop on US 66 was in Amboy at Roy's Cafe and Motel.





I was always fond of this eastward look back towards Chambless on US 66.








Apparently the new 91 Octane grade offered at Roy's was out of service.







I followed US 66 back towards Ludlow where I rejoined I-40.  From there it was a simple jaunt back on CA 58 and CA 99 back to the Fresno Area.  The previous article on the Mojave section of US 66 was far larger and spanned from Cajon Pass east to the Arizona State Line, it can be found here:

Route 66 Wednesdays; Cajon Pass to the Arizona State Line







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The original alignment of California State Route 1 in San Francisco

In 2019 the Gribblenation Blog Series covered the history of the Hyde Street Pier and the original surface alignment of US Route 101 in San Francisco.  Given the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic in May of 1937 coupled with the fact that the Sign State Routes had been announced in August of 1934 there were still some open questions regarding the original highway alignments in San Francisco.  Namely the question of this blog is; where was California State Route 1 prior to the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge?  Thanks the to the discovery of a 1936 Shell Highway Map of San Francisco and the California Highways & Public Works the answer can be conveyed clearly.     Part 1; the history of early California State Route 1 in San Francisco The genesis point for California State Route 1 ("CA 1") in San Francisco dates to 1933.  1933 was significant due to the State Legislature allowing the Division of Highways to assume maintenance of highways in Cities for the first time. 

Former California State Route 24 through the Kennedy Tunnel and Old Tunnel Road

 Near the eastern City Limit of Oakland high in the Berkeley Hills one can be find the ruins of the Kennedy Tunnel at the intersection of Old Tunnel Road and Skyline Boulevard.  The Kennedy Tunnel opened in 1903 and was the first semi-modern automotive corridor which crossed the Alameda County-Contra Costa County Line.  The Kennedy Tunnel even saw service briefly as part of California State Route 24 before the first two bores of the Caldecott Tunnel opened in 1937.   Part 1; the history of the Kennedy Tunnel The genesis point for California State Route 24 ("CA 24") being extended into the San Francisco Bay Area begins a couple years before the Sign State Routes were announced when Legislative Route Number 75 ("LRN 75") was added by 1931 Legislative Chapter 82.  According to cahighways.org the original definition of LRN 75 was as simply "Walnut Creek to Oakland."  The instigator for the adoption of LRN 75 was construct a replacement route for the Ken

Santa Clara County Route G8 and the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine

Santa Clara County Route G8 is a 29.38 mile County Sign Route which is part of the San Francisco Bay Area transportation corridor.  Santa Clara County Route G8 begins at California State Route 152 near the outskirts of Gilroy and terminates at former US Route 101 at 1st Street/Monterey Road near downtown San Jose.  Santa Clara County Route G8 incorporates the notable Almaden Expressway and is historically tied to the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine.   (Santa Clara County Route G8 map image courtesy CAhighways.org) Part 1; the history of Santa Clara County Route G8, the Almaden Road corridor and New Almaden Mine The present corridor of Santa Clara County Route G8 ("G8") began to take shape with the emergence of the Almaden Expressway.  According to the October 1960 California Highways & Public Works Unit 1 of the Almaden Expressway opened in November of 1959 between Alma Avenue near downtown San Jose south to the Guadalupe River as part of a Federal Highway Aid Secondary pro