Get your Kicks… in Kingman

We stop briefly to check out a remaining segment of The Mother Road.

by Steve
2 min read
Get your Kicks… in Kingman
66 is the path of a people in flight, refugees from dust and shrinking land, from the thunder of tractors and shrinking ownership, from the desert’s slow northward invasion, from the twisting winds that howl up out of Texas, from the floods that bring no richness to the land and steal what little richness is there. From all of these the people are in flight, and they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads. 66 is the mother road, the road of flight.
— John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

I've written about Route 66 before. This former US highway, famous in story and song, once ran from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Many think of Route 66 as a Good Times place - hot rods cruising, car hops on roller skates flirting, but it was not always so, as Steinbeck tells us.

I-40 usurped the role that Route 66 once played. It was faster, chiefly because it bypassed all the small towns with their traffic lights, stop signs, and speed traps. Some sections of Route 66 were overlaid by the freeway, others were abandoned, some remain as short segments with settlements trying to hang on.

We made a brief detour on our way back to Scottsdale from Lake Havasu to see what’s to be found along the Kingman stretch of The Mother Road.

My report: Kingman survives largely on nostalgia. There’s no mention of the Joads.

There’s a nice Visitors’ Center with a small museum and gift shop, a number of 50s-themed drive-ins and cafes, and a collection of motels. Some nicely restored, some not so much.

If one was passing by and looking for a place to spend the night, Kingman could be a good choice.

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