Which Route 66? For the true Route 66 addict and enthusiast merely cruising that highway isn’t quite enough. They must unravel its secrets, seek out the section that was used as a detour during 1930, and peel back the facade, if only in their mind, that hides a vintage store front. In short they need to know the old highway intimately.
In Kingman, Arizona there are a stunning array of overlooked alignments, sites, and time capsules. Many are overlooked, few are promoted, and as a result Kingman can be a treasure trove for fans of the old double six.
Slowly but surely the veil is being pulled from the obscurity. Perhaps in the not to distant future the visitor to Kingman can experience Route 66 in all its various manifestations with a series of walking and driving tours.
Josh Noble, the area tourism, has hit upon a really neat way to make touring Route 66 in the Kingman into an interactive adventure that directly links the past with the present. http://kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=33508&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&S=1
Many of the treasures awaiting discovery in Kingman are beyond non descrept. The Old Trails Garage, pictured above, offers no clue as to its long history or the glory that once was.
With receipt of matching funds grant by the Kingman Route 66 Association and cooperation of the property owner that may change soon. Plans are underway to place a towering neon Packard sales & service sign in its original location over the door.
Then there is a move afoot to add signage to all alignments of Route 66 that include the period they were utilized. This section, now Chadwick Drive, dates to the 1930s and was replaced with the widening of the highway and a cut through El Trovatore Hill during the 1950s.
One of the best kept Route 66 secrets in Kingman is the fact that there is a section, in good repair, of about five miles that is not only the original alignment of that highway but it is also the exact route of the National Old Trails Highway. As a bonus the railroad trestles along the way are as old. In a comparative photo from 1918 the view at the bottom of Kingman Canyon is identical!
So, if you are a fan of the old double six that loves to seek out those hidden places, you might consider Kingman as your next destination.
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