Today we decided at morning Happy Hour to do some exploring around the area. We were told there was an interesting hole in the mountain right beside where we are parked. Sure enough. Upon closer inspection it is a hole that has been used over the years for a shelter and looks like at one time it had a door cemented in it. There is probably a story behind it.
After checking out the hole in the wall, we continued on for a little hike around the back of the mountain. This is the Monolith Garden Trail and where we are parked is the Coyote Pass Trailhead. We only hiked a short distance up the trail.
|Pretty flowers along the way.|
One of the things you see on the first part of the journey are the burros just running around in the underbrush. They are quite inquisitive and started walking toward the Jeep.
Part way up the mountain road is a nice little spot with large trees and a spring running through it. It is hard to spot from the road, but if you find it, there is a nice tree swing, a nice grassy area of a picnic, and a small but refreshing little spring trickling along and pooling in spots where you can cool your feet. The dog sure enjoyed the drink of crystal clear water.
After we left this spot the mountain road got really windy with lots of switchbacks and quite steep in spots. I mentioned that I thought I could make it up this road with the Ponderosa and everyone thought I was crazy. I watched all of the switchbacks and determined that I could do it even towing the Jeep. But would I every try it?? I would love to just to say I did it, but in all reality, probably not because there were other ways to go. And besides that, there is a sign that says no trucks over 40 ft so who would even try it?
We got to the summit and there is a place where lots of people go to sprinkle the ashes of their loved ones and favourite pets. Although we had no ashes to sprinkle, it was still a great place for a photo op, so that is what we did. The picture does not really show how high up we are.
The sides of the mountain were covered in a bunch of pretty yellow flowers. It sure made it pretty driving along.
When we got to Oatman we were met by a bunch of burrows along the side of the road. That is what Oatman is noted for so we were happy they were all there to meet us.
A couple interesting signs about Oatman and the burrows.
First order of business was a nice little lunch in the Olive Oatman Restaurant. Olive is the namesake of Oatman.
Nice place and good food as well.
There was a piano and a piano player. I'm not sure which one was out of order but there was no music. I think he had been sitting there a long time.
There were lots of interesting store fronts and a few claims to fame. The Hotel boasted that Clark Gable and his new wife Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon in the Oatman Hotel. The museum down the street has a sign on the front that says Debbie Reynolds and George Peppard were there. Interestingly the museum and shop is for sale if you want to purchase some real estate in Oatman AZ and become famous, this would be your chance.
There were lots of other interesting places along the street and they have gunfights at noon and 2:15 every day which we missed while having lunch.
After lunch and a short tour of town Harold and I headed back to the car because we were feeling a little bit like this burrow who was taking a nap on the corner.
As we were walking back a big Prevost motorhome went up the street towing a matching full sized pickup truck behind it. We marveled at the motorhome and wondered where he was going to park it and where he might turn it around. I suspected we would see it in the parking lot on the north end of town. When the girls finally showed up from their shopping, we headed out of town. I looked in all the spots where the motorhome might be and didn't see it. Shortly after we reached the summit and started down the other side, one of the girls pointed to that great big Prevost winding its way down the mountain a few miles ahead of us. Now remember that I had talked of bringing the Ponderosa up here and was booed out of town. My heart jumped because there before us was living proof that it could be done. We went a little faster to see if we could catch up but he was moving right along. When we got to the Cool Springs Cabins souvenier shop the Prevost was parked on the side of the road. I said to Susan that I had to stop and meet the people who proved to the world that you could drive that road and not be totally insane.
The Prevost was taking a well deserved break and the owners were across the road having a sarsaparilla. The rig was 45 feet long plus a full size pickup which made it was close to 75 feet long overall. And not a scratch or dent on it which proved it could make the hairpin curves and survive and also spoke to the skill of the driver and navigators.
As I said, I had to shake the hand of the person who drove it down there. Rick had Brian the navigator with him as well as both of their wives, Kim and Sandy. Now these people were not crazy but rather good old Canadians from Alberta and BC. Only in Canada, you say? We had a good laugh about their venture down the mountain which happened quite by accident, as they were not aware what the road was like. They bought some T shirts to prove they were there and agreed to pose for a picture for my blog.
|Kim & Rick, Sandy & Brian|
Safe travels to all of you and we hope we will have the opportunity to spend an evening and tell some tall tales with you sometime down the road. Thank you for this story, we will tell often as we sit around a bonfire.
After we got back to Kingman we went for Ice Cream at a little shop that we had been to last year called Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner.
Cute waitress wanted to know where we are from. Harold says "Manitoba". "Oh where is that?" she asks and Pat says "Canada" Cute waitress says "Oh I thought thats where you were from cause I didn't recognize that town!!" Canadian geography is not a required credit in US school I guess.
Tonight we are on a little piece of unofficial BLM land near Kingman AZ at 35.20496, -114.0958 and this is the view from our window.