Have you ever traveled through a part of Route 66?

Route 66 through Springfield, Illinois
For me, I love the pure sense of ‘Americana’ that seems to pervade this historic route that travels through Illinois all the way to California. 
Every summer, my family and I spend a week up in Williams, Arizona.  For those of you unfamiliar with this small town – it is the ‘Gateway to the Grand Canyon’ and is home to the ‘Grand Canyon Railway’, which brings people up to the Grand Canyon itself.
Many tourists visit this little town on their way to the Grand Canyon.  As you walk down the main street, you hear many different languages.
Williams is up in the mountains and is approximately 3 hours north of Phoenix and a half-hour west of Flagstaff.
As you enter the town and cross the railroad tracks, you are greeted by the sight of the Red Garter and its ‘loose’ woman waving from the top window, above.
Both sides of the main street, which straddles Route 66 is contains a mixture of stores, restaurants and local businesses.
Each year, in preparation for our trip – my kids save up their allowance to spend in some of their favorite stores.
One of our first stops was at a new store called Alien Jerky.  To be honest, I had no idea what was in store for us when we went through the door…
We met some resident aliens while we shopped their selection of specialty nuts, jerky, old-fashioned soda and candy…
Soda like ‘Sioux City’ Root Beer, ‘Brain Wash’ Carbonated Soda, ‘Death Valley’ Black Cherry were awfully tempting to try.
But, my daughter, Gracie, decided to buy some candy from their unique selection, which included Sonic, Pac-man, Hello Kitty and Betty Boop.
Gracie chose the Sonic candy.
On our way out of the store, we said goodbye to one of the aliens…
As you walk down the street, you expect to see examples of cool neon signs…

 I would love to spend only $3.50 for a hotel room, wouldn’t you?  Too bad I am over 50 years too late.
What you don’t always expect is another aspect of what makes traveling along Route 66 fun.
Here is a sampling of what we ran into…
Did you know that Elvis can be spotted on the main street?
You can also find an Indian with a headdress made out of feather-shaped lollipops. 
One of the more popular restaurants is Cruisers Cafe.
They also have a pretty cool mural painted along the patio wall.
The kids met up with one of their favorite characters…
Gracie used to be terrified of him because he talks, moves and even ‘farts’.  But now that she is older, she could handle standing next to him for me to take a picture 😉
There are of course, antiques that pop up now and then like the old gas pumps, above. 
This old gas station has been turned into a museum that harkens back to the past of Route 66.
Of course, one of the fun things that we enjoy doing is eating on Route 66.  So, we headed down to our favorite restaurant…
My son, Kai, was in charge of pushing Lily in her stroller (Lily is our granddaughter and Kai is her uncle).
On our way, we passed a hotel with a map of the entire Route 66.  Someday, I would like to travel this route.  So far, I have been to parts in Illinois, Missouri, Arizona and California.

On our way to the restaurant, we passed a few more shops, likes this one with the ‘largest Route 66 sign’.  We were so hungry, that we didn’t go in.
This was where my husband spent his ‘allowance’ – on pie 😉

We actually came here a few times during the week.  Besides pie, they have fabulous food – I loved their chili.
Lily ate some of my cornbread and a tiny bit of my chocolate cream pie.
Lily was determined to make sure she ate all the food that fell into her bib.
As we finish out tour of the Williams portion of Route 66, we see a couple parked in a old Buick…
You can’t see the couple that well in the photo, but he had a hairstyle that looked a lot like Elvis’s hair…
Thank you for taking the time to look through my Route 66 photos.
We had a great time and I have one more part of our trip that I can’t wait to share with you…
Believe me, you won’t believe the ‘story’ I have to tell you in my next post.  
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

3 replies
  1. trav4adventures
    trav4adventures says:

    Oh, we LOVE Williams! We always stop there when we are near Flagstaff, or on the way there! Alien Jerky…isn't there one of those on the way to Las Vegas? I believe we stopped at that one once. I LOVE the little old miner! We stop at that store each trip and we buy our daughter another cross for her house! Oh, and the Pine Country restaurant! Yum, yum! Our favorite place to stop for lunch! Looks like you had a fun time! We aren't getting to Arizona this summer…sigh…we went last summer and spent a week up on the Mogollon Rim. This summer, it's the Sierra Nevada for a week (twice)! 🙂

  2. Dusty River Gardens
    Dusty River Gardens says:

    I am glad you got a chance to come north and get out of the heat. Williams Az. is a very cool town I enjoy visiting there also. I really enjoyed your article I guess I have been on route 66 to long I see aliens and dinosaurs everywhere and it is normal thing….lol

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