Route 66: Day 7
Santa Monica, California – It took us seven long days to drive 4,063 km – 56 hours, 30 minutes at the wheel – but we arrived safely at the end of Route 66 in Santa Monica late Saturday afternoon.
This group of Canadian Auto Journalists (yours truly in the middle of three at the back) left Chicago last Sunday morning and boy was it chilly. Today, we are enjoying sun and soaring temperatures in Marina del Ray before heading home to locations across Canada.
There is much to reflect upon and share and later this month I will offer a complete report online and in print about this Nissan Altimate Rogue Trip along the historic but now decommissioned route across the U.S. Later, I will also review the vehicles we used for the road trip – 2015 Nissan Altimate and 2015 Nissan Rogue.
The last day began in Kingman, Arizona, where we had spent the night at the 1930s’ era El Travatore Motel. All the rooms are themed and yours truly chose the James Dean suite, where large photos of that “Rebel without a cause” from yesteryear adorned the walls. Worth a stay . . . for one night.
We took the Oatman Highway section of the old route and enjoyed the very curvy road into the mountain desert. The one-horse town of Oatman, actually more accurately a three-donkey town, is a remarkable example of the old west. Donkeys roam the main street – three on Saturday – while a lone cowboy plays a guitar.
It was the search for gold that formerly attracted people to this odd place but now it’s pure nostalgia and the many tales of hauntings and strange ghostly goings on at the Oatman Hotel. The hotel bar is covered in dollar bills bearing messages from visitors. There are supposedly around $200,000 pasted up from floor to ceiling. (We added $1 between 14 of us!)
The run from there to the finish line was sadly, mainly modern freeway. The demand for a faster track to California has mean the original lines of Route 66 have become buried barring the odd stretch here and there among the final stages.
Watch out for a full account later this month.
Follow Keith on Twitter @ChangeGears
Learn more about his journey by searching #nissanroute66