Spectacular Route 66 takes a lot of twists and turns as you travel through the breathtaking mountain vistas from Kingman to Oatman, Arizona. Around every bend there is another beautiful view and not many cars, so you can move at a leisurely pace and even stop for pictures.
Best place to park is on either edge of this living ghost town and then enjoy the walk down the street. You will find many unique stores along the way such as: New Diggin’s, Classy Ass, or White Buffalo Trading Post. Today there are only about 100 people that actually reside in the town although in its gold mining days population reached 3500.
“Get your kicks on Route 66” is a familiar saying, but here in Oatman you have to be careful it isn’t a burro kick! Wild burros eating from your pockets or purse make it a challenge just to walk down the streets of Oatman, Arizona. That is the reason nearly every store has available carrots or “burro chow” at a small cost. The burros are descendants of the pack animals used by early miners in the area and turned loose in the 1940’s. They are today protected by the US Department of the Interior.
An old adobe two story building, Oatman Hotel, is the oldest building in town, having been built in 1902. Now it is especially remembered as the honeymoon suite of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard in 1936. Often they returned here for some peace and quiet, and Clark liked to play poker with the local miners. Their ghosts are said to frequent the place as witnessed by many guests.
On the weekends, you might be lucky and see a “Wild West” show on the streets. While visiting there, they held up a tour bus (they called it a stage coach) coming to town. Stopped the bus with gunshots from the middle of the road, then boarded the bus to rob the passengers. All in fun of course! This was followed by a gunfight in the street.
Lucky to have found a place to step back in history and get the feel of the Old West. Wonder if my luck would continue in the nearby gambling town of Laughlin, Nevada? Taking the shortcut over a thirty mile dirt road, should be there in about an hour. Hop in Lady Luck, let’s go for a ride!