New Mexico: The Continental Divide

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While crossing through New Mexico, Route 66 travelers will come upon the Continental Divide, the natural boundary line separating waters that flow into the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico from those that flow into the Pacific Ocean. In Route 66 history, the area was  popular for the conglomeration of trading posts seeking to draw business from visitors to the area. Plan to have a bottle of water on hand to make the most of the photo opportunity.

Holbrook, Arizona: Wigwam Motel

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As you come down Route 66 you may notice a few scattered white peaks rising above the otherwise flat desert terrain. Upon approaching the site you will see the signage for the Wigwam Motel, originally built in the 1930’s. The story of the property claims the original owner had discovered a wigwam property in Kentucky and made a deal with that developer whereby, in exchange for his building plans, the original developer would receive silver dimes collected from radios that were to be placed in each wigwam at the Arizona site. Further adding to its historic appeal is the collection of vintage automobiles scattered throughout the property. A brief stopover is likely sufficient to enjoy the novelty of the Wigwam Motel property, but for those wanting to spend that night in an oddly shaped concrete tent, rooms run about $50 a night.

Oatman, Arizona: Roaming Burros of a Former Mining Town

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Founded in about 1906, Oatman was established as a prominent mining town, producing nearly 1.8 million ounces of gold before the boom ended in the 1940’s. As part of the mining effort, early prospectors brought burros, or small donkeys, to haul rock and various supplies in and out of the mines. Upon the closing of the last mines, the burros were released in the neighboring hills. Today, packs of the animals roam the otherwise largely abandoned town. The burros are wild and may attempt to kick or bite. Nonetheless, they are the main attraction and visitors to the town are free to roam among them and feed them at their own risk.

Winslow, Arizona: Lonely Corner

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First came the song, the 1972 hit by the Eagles, Take it Easy, made famous the lyrics “Standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona/ Such a fine sight to see/ it’s a girl, my lord in a flatbed Ford/ slowin’ down to take a look at me.” Then, in the mid- 1990’s, as part of an effort to boost tourism to Winslow, local boosters converted the northwest corner of Kinsley Avenue and Second Street into a corner scene capturing exactly what those famous lyrics conveyed. A large mural was painted onto the building occupying the corner to show the girl in Ford looking on towards a bronze statue of a young man holding a guitar. In case that isn’t enough to recreate the scene for you, the gift and souvenir shop across the street plays a constant stream of the band’s music out of their window.

Arizona’s Meteor Crater

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A short drive off the interstate in Northern Arizona is one of the best preserved meteorite impact sites in the world. Simply named, Meteor Crater, the site is the result of a piece of asteroid colliding with the Earth at around 26,000 miles per hour. The result is a gaping hole, nearly one mile across and 550 feet deep into the ground. For the price of admission, visitors can embark on several trails that lead around the crater’s rim as well as tour the site’s Discovery Center  that displays a detailed explanation of the impact and the science of space studies.

Located 6 miles south off I-40, Exit 233