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Thread: Route 66 Adventures (Arizona)

  1. #11
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    Also on the post 1953 alignment of US66 is Yucca, AZ. Yucca follows the Santa Fe Railroad and was established as a watering stop for the trains in 1883. It is unusual that the original alignment of US66 would go to Oatman as it tended to follow right next to the Santa Fe line, although the importance of the mines prevailed with the original alignment. When Oatman lost is importance after World War II the straighter and far safer path through the valley in Yucca became the new routing of US66. Yucca is also home to the Arizona Proving Ground. The Proving Ground was originally an Army Airfield that was purchased by Ford after World War II to test cars in desert conditions. Chrysler now owns the Arizona Proving Ground and is apparently much more restrictive to access than Ford was. There isnít much to Yucca otherwise, it only has 300 residents and two Interstate exits 25 and 26.

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  2. #12
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    Kingman was founded in 1857 and is home to 28,000 people. Kingman is generally considered to be a hub of US66 as even back to the wagon days the town has held importance along the roads out west. Kingman is the seat of Mojave Country and has about 66,000 people in the immediate area. The Hualapai Mountains can be seen to the east and generally are considered the town signature. The town is also the hub for US93 which, heads northwest to Las Vegas and Southwest to Phoenix. US66 follows Andy Devine Avenue through the town to an original section of US66 now known as State Route 66. First though as you pull on to Andy Devine Avenue there is the Powerhouse Route 66 Museum.

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  3. #13
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    Speaking of US93 on a side note, it did not always connect Las Vegas to Kingman. When the construction of the Hoover Dam was completed on the Colorado River in 1935 road heading northwest out of Kingman along Beale Street was actually signed as US 466. US 466 is three digits because it was a spur route of US 66. The US 466 spur was active from 1935 until 1971. From 1935 to 1971 it actually carried traffic from Kingman to Las Vegas. Prior to 1951 US 93 had a southern terminus of Glendale, NV before it was extended to Kingman. US 466 followed the Boulder City Highway to Fremont Street and finally down to Las Vegas Boulevard in the Las Vegas Metro area. From Las Vegas Boulevard US 466 headed out of the state along the route of US 91 (now I15) into California. When US 466 reconnected with US66 in Barstow it continued westward on what is now SR58 to Bakersfield. From Bakersfield US466 traveled to Morro Beach on the Pacific Ocean. The spur route US466 is long gone but it played an interesting part of US66 history, The Hoover Dam as well Las Vegas.

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  4. #14
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    The Powerhouse was built in 1908 and was operational as an oil-fried plant until 1938 when the Hoover Dam took over powering Kingman. The building reopened in 1997 as the Route 66 Museum as is the headquarters of the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona. If you read anything about the Route 66 fun run, it is organized every May by the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona. The Museum has a lot of old maps showing the early history of the wagon, train and roads that became Route 66 as well as a lot of information on Arizona in the 1800 and 1900s.

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  5. #15
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    Leaving Kingman, US66 splits to an 83 mile section of road that was bypassed by I40. I40 follows a more direct route from Seligman to Kingman, around 69 miles. I40 also encompasses much of old US93 which, passed south of US66 on the way to Phoenix. The old US66 section goes up to the old Kingman Army Airfield which, is now a commercial airport. Ever wonder what happened to DHL? Check the Kingman Airport. From the Airport, US66 passes by a community known as Walapai. Iím not sure Walapai can even be considered a CDP, it is largely just a collection of older houses. The only thing I ever found online about Walapai was a short article on Wikipedia and map marker on Google maps. Regardless, the old US66 route becomes more interesting when you reach Hackberry and the Hackberry General Store.

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  6. #16
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    The town of Hackberry was founded in 1874 and was a well known service stop on the Route 66 until 1978 when the last of the gas stations closed down due to the near completion of I40. As I40 totally opened in 1984 the town of Hackberry became abandoned and only had 1 resident at one point. In 1992 the Hackberry General Store reopened as a tourist destination. The Store features a shop but more so many Route 66 era vintage cars and machinery. The General Store is also a major stopping point on the Route 66 Associate Run and Laughlin Bike week. I'm not sure what the population of the town is now, but I know is over 100. And if this sounds familiar, it is likely you have seen the movie Cars and Radiator Springs.

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  7. #17
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    More from Hackberry.

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  8. #18
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    From Hackberry, it is a short drive to Valentine. I don’t have much of a background on Valentine other than it has about 40 people and there is a small zoo located around the town. Hackberry and Valentine basically have grown together into one town. From Valentine you start to approach the Haulapai Indian Reservation. Before entering the reservation there is a small town called Truxton. Truxton is one of the few towns in Arizona on US66 that was created after 1926, probably the only reason anyone lives here is because it carries more services than Peach Springs does. Crossing over the line in the Haulapai Reservation you come into Peach Springs. Peach Springs is home to about 600 people and is the administrative head of the Haulapai Tribe. The town also features the only road that goes to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Diamond Creek Road. As US66 continues east it exits the Haulapai Reservation as it approaches Grand Canyon Caverns.

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  9. #19
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    The Grand Canyon Caverns were discovered a year after Route 66 opened, specifically they were discovered in 1927. The Caverns are rare because they are "dry caves" with absolutely no water. The air inside the Caverns is a constant 57 degrees with 3% humidity. The fact that there is no water makes the environment totally sterile, bacteria will die in 72 hours. The air is some of the cleanest in the world and comes from bottom of The Grand Canyon near Supai. The Caverns were originally called the Coconino Caverns after Coconino County, Dinosaur Caverns and finally Grand Canyon Caverns when the tracer smoke used to detect how far caves went ended up in the Grand Canyon. The Caverns are at least 40 miles long, the majority is unexplored due to it being private property. The natural entrance of the Caverns has been sealed off and access is obtained through a 210 foot elevator shaft. There is actually a hotel room at the bottom that costs $500 dollars a night to stay in.

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  10. #20
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    Leaving the Grand Canyon Caverns starts a desolate stretch of US66 to Seligman. Seligman was founded in 1891 and was the last town in Arizona on Route 66 that was bypassed by I40. The town is the last on the 83 mile stretch of US66 to be bypassed by I40. The road is known mostly for being an inspiration for some of the settings in Cars and the Route 66 Fun Run. Some of the more notable buildings in the town are the Route 66 Motel, the Seligman General Store, the Road Kill Cafť, the Supai Motel and Delgadillos Snow Cap. The town has a very 1950s flair to it, as is very apparent driving down US66. From here you can rejoin I40 on exits 121 or 123. The bypassed section of US66 continues to exit 139 a couple miles short of Ash Fork.

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