Friday, March 21, 2008
Williams, AZ is the jumping off point for many people who visit the south rim of the Grand Canyon. It is just off Interstate 40 and route 64 to the Canyon. It is a town that prospers from this location and its history along Route 66, The Mother Road. Its particular claim to fame in this regard is the fact that it was the last town to be bypassed by the new interstate system. Or as they like to say here, it was the last stoplight between Los Angles and Chicago.
The town is filled with classic route 66 diners, motels and tourist shops. It is also the place to catch the Grand Canyon Train, the reason we are here. This is our second visit to the Grand Canyon and we wanted to take the train the last 65 miles. The Grand Canyon Railroad has also recently completed a new RV park for folks like us. It is very nice and in walking distant of downtown and the railroad station. By necessity, it is also on top of the train tracks, we found out that it handles more than just the train to the canyon.
For a town that deals with transient customers, we found it very friendly and even quaint. The surrounding area is high country range with rugged people and even more rugged roads. There is some concern over possible impact of fuel costs on tourism and we found one person who seemed to have his own solution to rising fuel prices along the road.