How to Eat Cheaply in Laughlin

How to Eat Cheaply in Laughlin

Some say Laughlin, Nevada, is like the old Las Vegas, with inexpensive hotels and food. It’s true the hotels are inexpensive. The food? Not so much. The 99 cent breakfast no longer exists. Also gone is the $1.50 hot dog with beer or soda. However, there are still lots of ways to save money on food, as we found out during our six-week stay in the area. Read more

Arizona Route 66 Museum: Wagon Trail to Mother Road

Arizona Route 66 Museum: Wagon Trail to Mother Road

Long before Route 66 was commissioned in the 1920s, settlers used the Beale Wagon Road to move west. Route 66 traced the same route used by the Beale Wagon Road through Arizona. The Arizona Route 66 Museum, located in a former Kingman power plant, recalls the history of the route from horse-and-buggy days to the Route 66 heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s. Read more

Hoover Dam from 3 Views

Hoover Dam from 3 Views

Driving north to Hoover Dam from Arizona via US 93, I noticed people walking alongside the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, a concrete barrier separating freeway traffic from the pedestrians. A few minutes later, I was among those people on the bridge, getting an awesome view of Hoover Dam and the Colorado River. Read more

Lake Havasu City: London Bridge and Lighthouses

Lake Havasu City: London Bridge and Lighthouses

Lake Havasu City is noted for the London Bridge, which was our main reason for visiting the western Arizona city. The city is also popular for water sports and spring breakers. What we didn’t know until we got there is that the Lake Havasu shoreline is lined with two dozen lighthouses, all working replicas of lighthouses from the East Coast, West Coast and Great Lakes. Read more

Oatman: Burros, Route 66 and a Honeymoon Suite

Oatman: Burros, Route 66 and a Honeymoon Suite

Oatman has a lot going for it, considering its business district is one short block. Descendants of burros used in the mining industry until World War II and then set free roam the street begging tourists for handouts. Visitors can peek into the room at the Oatman Hotel that Clark Gable and Carole Lombard stayed in on their honeymoon. And the main road that runs through the town is part of Historic Route 66.

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Chloride: Quirky Arizona Town worth Seeing

Chloride: Quirky Arizona Town worth Seeing

Chloride, Arizona, never quite became a ghost town. Although most of the old buildings burned down over the years, remnants  from the town’s mining heyday remain standing, some buildings still in use. You’ll also find homes displaying “yard art,” a restaurant with nostalgic memorability mounted everywhere—even on the ceiling, murals opposite petroglyphs in the nearby mountains, and the quirkiest cemetery I have ever seen. Just 23 miles northeast of Kingman, Chloride is worth the short jaunt when you’re in the area. Read more

Old Town Scottsdale Walking Tour

Old Town Scottsdale Walking Tour

There were few buildings in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona, when the Little Red Schoolhouse was built in 1909. By the 1930s, a blacksmith shop, bank, and a pool hall that doubled as silent movie theater were among the buildings that had sprung up as the city that served the agricultural community experienced a boom. Today many of the old buildings still stand in Old Town Scottsdale but now serve tourists. Read more

Muffler Men: Still Standing Tall on Route 66

Muffler Men: Still Standing Tall on Route 66

For years I worked just down the street from the Gemini Giant that stands on the edge of the Launching Pad parking lot. I frequently ate lunch at the Launching Pad, a now-closed fast-food diner on Route 66 in Wilmington, Illinois, but I never thought about the history of the oversize figure. It turns out he’s one of many Muffler Men, 14- to 25-foot tall fiberglass advertising icons produced by International Fiberglass in Venice, California, from 1962 to 1972. The Gemini Giant was repainted to fit the Launching Pad space theme, the space helmet was added and a rocket placed in his hands.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option. Read more

Hashknife Pony Express: Keeping History Alive

Hashknife Pony Express: Keeping History Alive

Dressed in traditional cowboy gear, they sit astride their horses at the ready. At 8 a.m. the Hashknife Pony Express riders are off, galloping from the Holbrook, Arizona, Post Office down the 200 mile trail, handing the mailbag off rider to rider. By 4:45 p.m. the mail makes it to Payson and by noon two days later it reaches Scottsdale, its final destination. Then the celebration begins.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option. Read more

Landscape Across America

Landscape Across America

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain

–Katharine Lee Bates

During our twenty-day road trip from Chicago to Monterey, California, down to Santa Monica and back across Route 66, my favorite patriotic song, America the Beautiful, came to mind. The topography constantly changed. From mountains, some still with snow, to lush valleys, to the hot, dry desert and ocean views, the landscape painted a beautiful backdrop for our trip. We’re sharing some of the scenic areas that we drove through in this video.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option. Read more