Monday, March 17, 2008
Oatman, AZ and Route 66
We, including our daughter Katie, made a day trip to Oatman, AZ in the hills north of Lake Havasu City. It is a former gold mine town that started in the early 1900’s and reached it s peak around 1915. It managed to hang on during some touch years, but nearly disappeared after the rerouting of route 66, which was later to become Interstate 40.
Then several decades later it started to pick up tourist business from those interested in the old route 66 and is history. One of its current claims to fame is the fact that Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon night in the Oat man Hotel in 1939 after being married in Kingman, AZ. Gable and his wife returned a number of times, as they enjoyed the area and the privacy it afforded them. The hotel is still standing and you can enjoy lunch there and see the room where the honeymooners stayed.
Today, the town has several hundred permanent residents and has the usual assortment of gift shops and other attractions for tourists. One of the attractions of visiting the town is driving the couple of dozen miles of the original route 66 to reach the town and the scenery to be enjoyed along the way.
A number of the wild burro’s in the area like to wonder the town streets and beg for food from the tourists. These are the descendants of burros released into the wild by the miners after the mines were closed.