The Fun Run 2018 on Route 66 promises a big party on the road. More than 800 vehicles will cover a distance of 225 kilometers from May 4 to 6 on the longest remaining piece of the original Route 66. Vehicles of all types and age groups – whether buses, motorhomes, sports cars, station wagons or muscle cars – can take part. Since 1988, the rally has already been held and attracts visitors from all over the world. The car parade starts in Seligman and makes first stop in Kingman. On Sunday morning we continue through the famous Black Mountains to Oatman. In the town of Topock, the event will end with the award ceremony and farewell reception. But even if the fun run does not just sweep the route, the sometimes bizarre places along the “Motherroad” are always worth a visit. Here are six that should not be missed.
The Fun Run starts in Seligman, a small town with just 450 inhabitants, whose center lies along the “Motherroad”. Seligman is considered the birthplace of the historic Route 66, because Angel Delgadillo, a barber who’s still living in town, campaigned for the preservation of the road. He did a lot to revive the nostalgia and reputation of the old Route 66. A visit to Angels hair salon, which serves nowadays mainly as a souvenir shop, is therefore mandatory. Right next door is Delgadillo’s Snow Cap, a nostalgic diner famous for its „Cheeseburger with Cheese“.
2. The Grand Canyon Caverns
Following the road towards Peach Springs, travelers will find a hotel of a special kind. If you want to stay more than 60 meters underground, then the Grand Canyon Caverns is the place for you. The entire cave has absolutely no humidity and is the largest complex of this kind and unique in the entire United States. There are no living things like spiders or bats in the cave. On a pedestal, a fully furnished hotel room awaits the guests. A sofa, TV, bookshelf and record player provide entertainment, and there is also a bathroom. But beware: Allegedly in the over 65 million years old cave, a creature from prehistoric times is still up to mischief.
The next surprise on Route 66 is the reopened General Store of the former silver mining town of Hackberry. What at first glance looks like an old gas station, turns the closer the visitor comes, into a true smorgasbord of all conceivable memories of the good old days. The whole atmosphere looks like from an ancient road movie.
The city of Kingman is quite manageable, but the Route 66 Museum in the old “Powerhouse” provides exciting sights into the early days of the road and the settlement history of the United States. At the same time, in a second exhibition it illustrates the development of electromobility through numerous exhibits. If you’ve gotten hungry during your visit to the museum, you can then take a stroll across the street and dine in the iconic Mr. D’z Route 66 diner as in a ’60s movie.
Another highlight along the historic road is the former gold mining town of Oatman in the Black Mountains. Due to its location on Route 66, the town has been spared the fate of many other mining towns, which fell into ghost towns after the gold rush ended. Today Oatman is a popular meeting place for bikers, tourists and adventurers from all over the world. However, it is no longer the gold that attracts them, but the many historic buildings and the famous wild donkeys, called “burros”, who roam free in the city. They come from donkeys that were once released by their owners after they were no longer needed. There are carrots and donkey feeds everywhere, so that tourists can feed the animals.
The Fun Run and thus our tour end in the town of Topock, which is a popular destination especially for boat trips, as it lies on the Colorado River. It also gained notoriety because of its Old Trails Arch Bridge, which was shown in the opening sequence of the movie Easy Rider.