There’s something about the lure of the open road—the siren call of that long ribbon of highway that sets the tone for adventure and what lies just beyond the horizon. Perhaps the most iconic road of them all is Route 66 as it threads its way through Arizona. Quaint towns and cheery communities pepper the historic roadway, each touting interesting and unique experiences like feeding “burro chow” to the wild donkeys of Oatman or catching the “sparkle” of Arizona’s past at the Hackberry silver mine and general store. As the longest stretch of the Mother Road winds through Arizona, there’s so much rich history, you’ll certainly want to linger to experience it all. There are ample opportunities to stay under the wide, desert sky such as Zuni Village RV Park in Kingman. So, park your bus and gear up for the trip of a lifetime as the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona offers a novel way to navigate all the fun—the Arizona Route 66 Passport.
Preserving the Past
From Hopper to Hoffman and Gräf to Google, Route 66 has inspired actors, filmmakers, photographers, artists and more to create characters, movies and even a doodle for an internet behemoth for almost one hundred years. It’s not just a random strip of concrete. It’s a representation of America’s golden age—classic coupes, neon signs, five-cent coffees and cherry pie. It’s the broad sweep of nature under cloudless blue skies as cacti stand prickly watch under looming red cliffs. The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona is dedicated to preserving this rich, cultural heritage. Over ten years ago, they created the Route 66 Passport to encourage visitors to explore all Arizona has to offer. Originally funded via grant money, the program is now self-sustaining, funding subsequent years through passport sales. But what’s all the hubbub, bub?
Get Your Kicks
The fun kicks off when you purchase your Route 66 passport online or at any of the locations where you can receive a stamp. Some spots include Williams Visitor Center, Flagstaff Visitor Center, Winslow Visitor Center and Holbrook Visitor Center. The current edition of the passport is available for $1.66 with optional enhancements like the 66 Road Map, which highlights features in each state along Route 66, or complete Road kit, available for an additional $6.99 or $10.66 respectively. The road kit includes the passport, the road map, a traveler’s guide and a Route 66 commemorative sticker.
Once you have your passport, rev your engine, put it in gear and tool along the Mother Road to gather the nine unique stamps at Arizona area locations. There is even a variety of “wildcard” stamps to collect available at some of Arizona’s historic businesses along the way—Fast Fanny’s Place in Oatman, Topock 66 at Colorado River, Delgadillo’s Original Route 66 Gift Shop and more. Visitors collecting seven or more stamps in their passport receive an official “Got My Kicks on Route 66” certificate, not to mention bragging rights.
Stretch Your Legs with a Fun Run
Well, not exactly your legs. This “fun run” is actually a motorcade of classic cars (and some not-so-classic) who come together one weekend each May to celebrate the rebirth of the Mother Road. In the same spirit as the Route 66 passport, the annual gathering treks the stretch from Seligman to Kingman with planned pit stops along the route to enjoy and explore all Arizona has to offer. What originally started with just fifteen friends has grown to nearly eight hundred cars including participants from around the world, all of whom share one thing in common—the celebration of an American icon—Route 66.
If you’re looking for a unique way to commemorate your trip out west, take a cue from the highway that’s the best and grab your Arizona Route 66 Passport. It’s sure to get your “stamp” of approval!
Stretch Your Legs with a Fun Run
If you’re looking for a little brain food after your underground dining experience, look to your mummy…mummified bobcat, that is. Visitors can observe the mummified remains of a bobcat when visiting the caverns and see why the Grand Canyon Caverns is considered a “dry cave.” Very little bacteria or other “creepy crawlers” exist—a perfect environment for making mummies. The unique ecosystem present in the caverns also explains the absence of stalactites and stalagmites typically present in other cave systems. To take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, just follow Route 66 to mile marker 115 and be sure to place a reservation on the website.
So, if you’re looking to do a little time-traveling on your next vacation to Arizona and the Zuni RV Village and Campground, be sure to take a journey to the center of the Earth and find fun with fossils and fine fare at Grand Canyon Caverns.
Passport link: https://www.historic66az.com/route66passport.html