Scenes From A Short Sprint Along Route 66

by Derrick Bostrom in


Even the most amateur photographer cannot resist Historic Route 66.

Did I say "even?" I'm sorry, I meant "especially." There's a whole cottage industry around vending pix of America's Highway. It's practically a cliche, like going to Niagra Falls for your honeymoon, or going to New York City to see "Cats." If you visit any of the cool rotting towns along Historic Route 66, you bring your camera, then you can tell the world you're a Great Artist.  If you don't know anyone with a large format photo printer, you can post your pix to Panoramio and stash 'em up on Google Earth.

Despite it's remoteness, HR66 can get kind of touristy in spots. Oatman is a great example. It's definitely got that "get your picture take with a real cowboy" kind of vibe to it, with daily wild west shows in the streets and the old main drag restored to a tarted-up faux "authenticity" for the folks visiting from just a stone's throw across the river over in Laughlin. But once you pass beyond Kingman, things take a distinctly more desolate turn. Get off the main drag of Interstate Route 40 and head north into the reservation land below the southwestern rim of the Grand Canyon (home of the controversial "skywalk" attraction). Except for the lovingly curated homages to Burma Shave, you'll find nothing but long stretches of wide open space in between a few rustic wood and stone structures collapsing in isolation.

Of course, you'd expect Winslow to make a grab for tourist dollars. Only fifty miles east of Flagstaff and right on the doorstep of earth's first verified impact crater, Winslow also holds the dubious distinction of being immortalized in classic rock. Home to the Standin' On The Corner Park (and host of the annual Standin' On The Corner Festival), Winslow boasts of  "a life size bronze statue and a two story mural depicting the story behind the famous song." And that's not all -- while in town, be sure to visit the Winslow Remembrance Garden ("Who can forget 9/11?"), which contains "actual wreckage from the World Trade Center."

It's odd that Winslow felt it necessary to import ruined buildings. They have so many picturesque homegrown examples. But these will no doubt fall by the wayside as outside investors price the local entrepreneurs right off the scene. But never fear: our Bostworld cameras were on the scene to take you around the corner and down the street of Winslow, Arizona (and vicinity), where buildings still fall apart they way they used to back in the old days: one crack, peel and splinter at a time.

Oatman, Arizona

Oatman, Arizona

Oatman, Arizona

Kingman, Arizona

Kingman, Arizona

Kingman, Arizona

Kingman, Arizona

Peach Springs, Arizona

Peach Springs, Arizona

Peach Springs, Arizona

Peach Springs, Arizona

Peach Springs, Arizona

Peach Springs, Arizona

Peach Springs, Arizona

Winslow, Arizona

Winslow, Arizona

Winslow, Arizona

Winslow, Arizona