Monday, 6 September 2010

21 August, 2010 Old Route 66, near Williams, Arizona

Part of old Route 66 runs parallel to I40 from Williams to Transwestern/Bellmont.

In places the road is paved and in places it’s a good dirt road.

The drive takes you through the Pitman Valley, through the forest past the Oakhill Snow Play area and up to the picnic area at Garland Prairie Vista. It’s still a nice picnic area but the view has disappeared behind tall pine trees.

At Parks there are the ruins of what was probably once a thriving business

and also the Old Parks Store which has been and still is in operation since 1906.

From Parks you can hike a now unused section of Route 66 that takes you almost to the top of 49er Hill, which was the highest point on the entire highway. Traces of the old pavement still exist under the grass.

This was a really bad hill to climb in the winter. From there the road goes down into Brannigan Park a lovely wide meadow. It is private land and after Route 66 was built the landowners built cafes and stores for travellers, some of the ruins are still there.

It’s a lovely drive, much nicer than I40, so at the end we turned around and drove back the same way stopping at the Old Parks Store deli to get lunch, then drove to the picnic area at the Garland Prairie Vista. The sandwiches were huge and absolutely delicious.

Have fun, we are!

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