I guess I'd always wondered what we were missing so I decided it was time to go check it out and I dragged MY kid (one benefit of having a single child - no in-car bickering on road trips LOL) and my mother along with me. Although it's possible to make it from So Cal to the Grand Canyon in one day, we discussed it and decided that we'd break our drive up into easier stages so we stopped in Kingman, AZ for the first night. Not much there, but it does sit on one of the sections of the original Route 66. Most of the old motels are dying off, but a few still remain and we even found a diner called Mr. D'z that is still keeping the spirit of the old Route alive:
The inside is decorated like a 50's diner with images of Elvis and Marilyn. The food was not necessarily spectacular, but this was more about the experience.
My original plan for the next day was to take a side trip to see the Hackberry General Store (it's sort of a museum about the old Route 66) before continuing on to the Grand Canyon, but my mother had other ideas. Her neighbors had mentioned to her a place outside of Williams called Bearizona and she was really keen to go so we decided to head there instead. We had lunch at a barbecue joint in Williams and then headed to Bearizona.
Boy, did we end up being glad we went. It was amazing and turned out to be one of the highlights of the whole trip. More about that in the next post.