For just about as long as I can remember the running joke about Kingman was that as it is on Route 66, most everyone has broke down here at least once. The older folks often quip that my adopted hometown was founded by folks who stopped to wait for the wind to quit blowing. 
While there is a grain of truth to the former there is no historical validity to support the latter. In fact most of the people who call Kingman home may grumble a bit but deep down they know that there is something pretty special about this place.
This and the fact that thousands of people pass through every day on I-40 or on Amtrack,and before that passed through on Route 66, the great Santa Fe passenger trails, and the National Old Trails Highway make its relative obscurity all the more surprising. In this era of resurgent interest in iconic U.S. 66 is it possible that Kingman is the most overlooked destination on that storied highway? 
On more than one occasion I have asked that question on this blog but in the past year or so there have been many opportunities to share the secret places, the special places, and the hidden wonder of Kingman and the surrounding area with friends and visitors from most every corner of the world. What a delight it is to see the wonder reflected in their eyes when I introduce them to the pine forested oasis of the Hualapai Mountains, a pristine segment of the National Old Trails Highway where Barney Oldfield bested Louis Chevrolet in the 1914 Desert Classic, or the hidden corners of Route 66.
Here is my challenge to you this year. If your motoring east or west on the old double six, add an extra day in your schedule, unleash your adventurers spirit, and discover a few of the hidden gems that make Kingman a very special place. 


It seems a bit like old times. There is a pounding of the pulse that seems to escalate by the second, a tightening of the muscles, and a rush of adrenaline that blurs the background but sharpens the focus on the weathered wood of the chute, the rigging in your hand, and the heaving, snorting, sweating beast between your legs. And then the chute opens…
I am tossing my hat in the ring this week and am signing on with a tour company to serve as a guide to Kingman and Route 66 in western Arizona on weekends and on days off. This will be in addition to my promise to serve as a guide for Route 66 Tours that is offering day trips from the historic El Trovatore Motel (928-753-6520 or 
If, per chance, this doesn’t keep me busy enough, there is the current writing project, a Route 66 Historic Atlas, and promotion of other books, developing ways to use this promotion to shine the light on the people and places along the road that make it special. Then there is the ongoing effort to lend assistance in the transformation of Kingman from a stop into a destination.
For quite some time I have noted that Kingman just may be one of the most overlooked destinations on Route 66. Now, I will have another opportunity to prove it by introducing the wonders of Monolith Gardens, historic sites such as the church where Clark Gable and Carol Lombard tied the knot in 1939, and lost segments of Route 66 and the National Old Trails Highway to enthusiasts of the double six from the four corners of the world. 
At this rate I just might fulfill the childhood dream and become a writer yet. On a serious note, writing and the doors it has opened, the people met, and the places we have been, has been an unimaginable blessing. 
I find it hard to imagine anything more enjoyable than sharing the history, the excitement and the adventure of Route 66 and the road less traveled,and encouraging a bit of exploration. If I were to allow myself one regret it would that I didn’t start on the quest of fulfilling a childhood dream sooner. Oh well, better late than never.