Anyone headed to the Fun Rally going East on Hwy 40? Here's a fun little side trip you might want to try!
This little loop of old Route 66 goes through Oatman, AZ and covers about 60 miles. After passing through Needles you will cross the Colorado River, the drive begins at Exit 1, ending at Exit 44 and will give you a good workout. As one leaves Hwy 40, its under the rail bed, past Catfish Paradise the through Golden Shores (stay on the Oatman Hwy) - keep the speed within the law until you leave Golden Shores as we don't want anyone "detained" during the journey!
The road north is faily open and tempting, one might reach speed of 70mph or so but BEWARE! This piece of road has a few surprises in the form of a few 20mph dipsy-doodle S-curves that can be a nasty surprise.
The road will tighten somewhat when Oatman draws near,
until beautiful downtown Oatman closes in.
Oatman: craft shops, a hotel and restaurant and wonderful wild inhabitants that will eat right out of your hand should one be be so inclined (Wild Burro food is available in some shops). I happened upon these samples of local wildlife during a meeting of the Registry and the Ice Driving School Instructors.
I wouldn't park too close, nor corner them, who knows what might happen?
After Oatman, the road continues to climb to Sitgreaves Pass (Elev 3550) through many little curves and switchbacks.
Let me warn the traveler again: this road is not one where the driver wants to explore the limits of adhesion! When the road isn't bordered by rock walls and excursion into the scenery will start with a long fall. It looks like most of this will buff right out,
but still not something for your pride and joy to suffer!
Once over the pass, the road winds, dives, curls around down and through the rocks and ravines
to the gift shop and comfort station at the mouth of the canyon.
Here you can find t-shirts, curios, ice cream and plenty of parking while you stretch your legs. Don't let the crabby old bastard get to you, he's harmless!
These last few miles of straight road are filled with dangers - old hippies walking poodles, side traffic and a very BIG Angus bull that will stand in the road, in a dip, while you wait. Maybe not something to run into on your way to the freeway?
A few miles of whoop-de-dos and carefully following the signs will get you to Exit 44, just a few miles out of Kingman. Cheapest gas (by a dollar?) was at the Safeway store, try Hulapai Mountain Road, Exit 51.