Route 66
Travelling the Main Street of America


Once you've torn yourself away from Williams, old 66 rewards you with a run of sheer delight all the way to far-off Kingman. Tune the radio to Route 66 Rock & Roll (103.3 on FM2) and settle back for some magic hours. The surreal piles of flagstones at Ash Fork ("Flagstone Capital of America") are your signal that you're close to the Crookton Road loop which will give you miles of smiles as you cruise into Seligman to meet The Angel of the Road, "Angel" Delgadillo. Angel is the barber in Seligman and has been, it seems, for ever. When he tells you he has the cleanest restrooms in Arizona, you'd better believe it. Even his wildest-seeming stories have a way of turning out to be completely true. Angel is co-founder of the Route 66 Association of Arizona and has done more than almost anyone else to popularise and rebuild the ethos of the Route nationwide. Spend some time amongst the treasure-trove of memorabilia that the barber-shop has become and enjoy your moments of conversation with this extraordinary man. When US66 was declared dead, he refused to allow it to be buried, and his campaigning saved much of what remains for us to enjoy and to go on loving as he does. Call for a coffee or meal at the neighbouring Snow-Cap Drive-in. It's owned by Angel's brother and is as off-the-wall as any establishment along the whole Route. It's zany, it's fun and the food is real Roadie fare. There are two other must-see shops in Seligman, both full of Route 66 material, and the owners - all really nice people - operate a mini-cartel so that they don't stock the same goods. Give Seligman some time and you'll be repaid many times over. A great little town!

From Seligman to Peach Springs is a classic straight-line cruise. Time to let the desert breeze free your mind. Listen to the rhythm of the road, and feel the lightness of the huge sky as it sweeps to the shimmering horizon. After Peach Springs, you're gently reintroduced to the idea that the world isn't flat, but the road remains in superb condition, allowing you to enjoy the curves and undulations to the full. Make sure you call at Bob Waldmire's eccentric Route 66 Visitor Centre at Hackberry on this section. The word is that Bob, one of the Mother Road's wildest but most caring sons, is shortly to move on from this present encampment. When I called he was nowhere to be found, but I left a note on the pad that he leaves by the front door for the purpose. You'll find Bob's illustrations of Route 66 scenes on maps, cards and posters in all the dedicated gift shops along the road. Reaching Kingman, you'll find a whole section devoted to Route 66 in the excellent Power Station visitor centre. This is yet another Arizona town that positively celebrates its place on the Route.