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There is something timeless about the landscapes of the American southwest. The views of this valley and the snow covered Hualapai Mountains in the distance are the same as seen by Lt. Beale as he surveyed the wagon route that became the path of the railroad. They are also the same as those enjoyed by the Hualapai people for centuries before his arrival and that which awed Father Garces with its vastness in the late 1700s.
It is also the view enjoyed from Route 66 by travelers rolling through Kingman, Arizona. This small portal, this photograph taken only yesterday, presents the illusion of timelessness.
A simple turn to the right and the window into the past reveals a classic scene from the glory days of Route 66. For more than fifty years the El Travatore motel and its signature tower have dominated this bluff above the railroad tracks along Route 66.
Before the highway was widened and the red cinder mountain to the west, El Travatore Hill, was cleaved, Route 66 snaked around the mountain and a sign at the summit announced, “Welcome to the unincorporated city of El Travotore.” A fragmentary portion of that road, often overlooked except by the most die hard of Route 66 enthusiast, remains and is marked as Chadwick Drive.
If you continue your spin the modern era and the golden era along Route 66 collide. The faded sign for the Hilltop Motel serves as stark contrast for the new sign that proudly proclaims this is Route 66.
Timeless. That sums up the Route 66 of the 21st century, timeless.
It has transcended its original purpose to become an integral part of an ancient land imbued with the spirit of those who have gone before.