I drove approximately 112.9 miles yesterday leaving Ash Fork and following old Route 66 through Seligman, Peach Springs, Truxton, and Hackberry until I reached Kingman, AZ, which is where I spent the night.
One shot from each stop is shown below, along with a few more details.
Ash Fork: There was a particular house in town that had an assortment of chairs slowly rotting away in their side and back yard. The one I took a liking to had a particular amount of character that caught my eye.
Seligman: This town is full of character of a lively sort… namely people! It wasn’t more than 60 seconds after I parked the bus that I started meeting the locals. I first bumped into a wonderful woman who was tending to the flowers in her front yard… then withing five minutes, I was talking to Frank who owned a store down the block… then I watched as 80+ year old Angel "performed" a shave on a visiting tourist (it was a performance indeed)… my trip wasn’t complete until I talked to robin (but I called her cindy for some odd reason) at a burger joint called the "Snow Cap" and joked around with Mr. Delgadillo Jr. (I never did catch his first name since I don’t think he gave me a straight answer to a single inquiry… he was constantly joking with people) who is the current owner (his father Juan, Angel’s brother opened the place decades ago). It was most amusing to see the difference in the sense of humor between all the foreign travelers who were visiting on that day. It turns out that 80% of the travelers along Route 66 are tourists from outside the U.S.
Peach Springs: There isn’t much to shoot here except one old gas station and a few buildings like the one above. That didn’t stop me from spending 45 minutes poking my lens into every nook and cranny of the town.
Truxton: At first glance it just looks like a row of old somewhat plain abandoned gas stations with one restored neon sign at the end of town (for a motel that I had a huge glass of OJ at for a whopping $1.50). But, walk around the back of each building and you start to notice all sorts of photographic treasures from a boat that is rotting away, to some unique views into abandoned buildings. I got a little freaked out when I was shooting the last gas station. The wind was howling and the metal on the roof of the pump island was bending and slamming, which made of a lot of noise. Then, as the wind started to mellow out, I thought I heard something… was it my phone ringing? It was an electronic noise that couldn’t be caused by the wind… I stopped and tried to be a quiet as I could and just then, I recognized that it was muffled music coming from inside the abandoned gas station that was in front of me! This place looked like nobody had been inside in at least a decade, but there it was, 50’s music that you could only hear when you were silent enough to really listen. It was either in the building shown above, or the one next door. I never found the real source, but it was obvious it was coming from within since I could hear it much better when I put my ear against the window and could almost not hear it if I walked three feet away.
Hackberry: This is where I found a nice shop that used to be a gas station. There was one really nice old corvette in the driveway and then a bunch of rotting cars all over the yard. The boys room was unique in that they used pin ups from magazines for wallpaper. That’s where I sampled Route 66 Beer (do ya get it?)… thing about it for a second.
After stopping at each of those locations, I made my way to Kingman, AZ, which is where I’m currently parked. My first stop? Wal-Mart for groceries and to see if they’d let me park over night. Nope! There is a city ordinance that do not allow for overnight parking. I was going to stay the night at the local Flying-J’s truck stop, but am not fond of the sound of semi trucks idling all night, so I pulled into a local RV park for the night.
hey thanks for keeping us posted, enjoy reading your blurbs & seeing the pics. thanks for taking the time. perhaps little pic info too? like the last one posted here. the others i can figure out.
Truxton: Your experience there made me think of the Stephen King novel “Christine”. Have you read it? Pretty scarey.
Be careful…you might encounter a time warp and return forever to the 50’s. (not bad but forget posting to a blog!)
Dang you are having so much fun that I wonder if they’d miss me at work if I just filled up the tank and kept on driving west. I grew up in Oklahoma and as a kid in the 50’s made the trip west by car on 66 probably 5 or 6 times – usually no air conditioning and always in the summertime. We always turned South to Phoenix or Mesa so I never got to see the California end of it.
Love the road trip stories and the photos.
Linda (yes I got the Route 66 Beer thing)
Keith, the last pic was processed just like the others… there might be a little more vignetting applied, but other than that it’s no different.
I’m working on a set of actions that makes a lot of what I do much faster and easier… I might include them in a future product or as part of a book or seminar. I’ve been working on them for weeks now.
Linda… I haven’t read Christine, but I did see the movie and I really liked it… the effects were awesome even by today’s standards. The only way to find out if they’d miss you at work is to give it a try… come on out and I’ll buy ya a beer. I’ll be following Route 66 all the way to Santa Monica, so I’ll show you the way.
I don’t know how I stumbled onto your site, but it caught my eye. Your pictures and explaination of each was awesome. In October 2006, my family and I took the same trip from Kingman to Seligman. We live in Phoenix, but have 40 acres South of Kingman, that we love to camp out on. On our journey, our kids slept most of the way, but my husband and I enjoyed passing though each town. We checked out the old business, gas stations and houses and tried to imagine what each one looked like at one time. I listen to you explain your trip and I know exactly each place you discribe because I was there. It makes me happy that someone else can share the excitement like I did to my parents, aunts, uncles & siblings. Thanks for sharing.