Route 66 through Oatman, AZ

Monday morning after the Goodguys Autumn Get-Together in Pleasanton, I hit the road and started making my way to the final show of the season – The Goodguys Duel in the Desert in Scottsdale, AZ.
About 20 miles down the road The 55 started sputtering and popping kinda like what it was doing on the Hot Rod Power Tour.
What the heck?!?
When anything like that happens I immediately pop it into neutral and start to make my way to the side of the road.
Usually it works itself out and gets back to normal on its own.
And it did.
But it was still very weird.
I pulled over and popped the hood to see if everything was ok.
Nothing looked out of the ordinary so we got back on the highway.
Then, about 50 miles later it happened again.
I dropped in neutral – it corrected itself – and I continued on.
Again – very strange.
The last time that happened the cause was dirty injectors, but this time I had new fuel injectors and a new fuel filter.
I still don’t know what caused the sputtering but it hasn’t happened again.
We made it to Barstow and old Route 66 just in time for golden hour.

From Barstow I took I-40 to Needles and spent the night next to the Colorado River.
I awoke the next morning to that wonderful smell you only get when you’re out in nature.
And the river was a sheet of glass.
If only I had a hand-laid fiberglass Mastercraft ski-boat and my buddy Joey to pull me…
From the river I took highway 95 north and turned right onto 153 towards Oatman.
I knew I was on the right path when I saw this cool little plaque on the corner.

I stayed on 153 until it merged with the Oatman Highway – the old Route 66.
If you look closely in the lower center of the photo, you’ll see some brown stuff on the ground.

That’s mule poo and it’s a sign of things to come.
After a few more miles of empty desert there’s a couple of random buildings and you’re in Oatman, AZ.
Oatman started as a small mining camp when $10 million dollars worth of gold was found there in 1915.
It’s named after Olive Oatman, a young girl who was captured by Indians and forced into slavery.
It’s an authentic old western town.
But that’s not all.
It’s an authentic old western town that has wild mules roaming the streets.
That’s right – wild mules.
The mules are descendants of the mules the miners brought there during the gold rush over 100 years ago.

They’ll eat all day if you’ve got enough food to feed ’em.
After the gold rush Oatman survived because Route 66 went right through its Main Street.
That was before Interstate 40.
When Interstate 40 came through in the ’60’s – Oatman almost died.
I continued east towards Kingman and the Cool Springs Station.
From Oatman to the Cool Springs Station is one of my all time favorite drives!!
This route is the original National Old Trails Road that paralleled Beale’s Wagon Road from the 1850’s and became Route 66 in 1926.
It’s narrow – it’s curvy – it’s spectacular!!
The Cool Springs Station was built in the mid-twenties and was a literal oasis for travelers.

It gave them a chance to fuel up and check over their cars before challenging the twists and turns of Sitgreaves Pass to the west.
Cool Springs Station has been restored to it’s former glory and is definitely worth a stop.
You can check out my drive through Oatman, all the mules, Sitgreaves Pass and the Cool Springs Station here.
Do yourself a favor – the next time you’re in Kingman or Needles take a little detour back in time to Oatman – you’ll be glad you did.
From Kingman I got on I-40 and headed east for a few miles.
When I got to highway 93 I turned off and headed south to Wickenburg.
This was my first time on highway 93 and it won’t be my last.
It’s a nice scenic drive through the Arizona red rocks.
I turned off at the Morristown New River Highway and went east towards Phoenix and Scottsdale.
The last show of the season was the Goodguys Duel in the Desert featuring a 32 car shootout.

It’s always cool to see these cars getting run hard and fast all weekend long.
In a hard fight Jared Leisenger came out on top in the 32 car shootout.

I was in the right place at the right time for that shot.
That’s Terry Lysak getting the gold.
After the big shootout we always get a picture with all of the competitors.

If you like cars, there’s something for everyone at the Goodguys autocross.
We’ve got everything from a 4-cylinder dune buddy to fire-breathing Corvettes and pretty much everything in between.
There’s even a couple of OG Mini Coopers that show up and run.
One of them even competes in the burn out contest!!
Pretty cool right?!?
If you haven’t been to a Goodguys show and seen the autocross action for yourself – come on down and check it out.
The pits are open so you can check out the cars up close and personal and the drivers are always happy to tell you all about ’em.
It’s a good time.
Monday after the show I headed back to LA – but not before my standard stop at the 76 station in Quartzsite to fuel up.

Call me a cheapskate if you want, but gas is over a $1 cheaper a gallon in AZ vs. CA so I always fuel up before I cross over into California.
From Quartzsite we made it to Simi Valley just in time for happy hour.
My buddy Brandan was kind enough to give me the location of his super-secret spot.

I’ve still got a long way to go on those open-exposure shots.
But as they say – it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n roll.
Then I dropped off The 55 at Simi Valley Customs for some upgrades.

I’m finally getting the B-pillar in the door fixed from the flying log incident that happened earlier this year.
And I’ve got a the biggest upgrade of all coming up too.
I can not wait to get this thing back out on the road this season!!
I hope to see you out there and if you do happen to see me in the big bronze wagon please stop us and say hi.
I’d love to connect.
I’m Jeff Thisted and I drive a 55.

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