Sunday, April 13, 2008

Get Your Kicks On Route 66

We finally took the advice of numerous people who have visited Laughlin and area and drove to Oatman yesterday. About 30 miles from Laughlin, Oatman is a gold mining ghost town situated on the historic Route 66. It was a bustling town until the gold mines were closed down in the 1930's. It is also known for the wild burros that roam the streets looking for food. They are descendants of the burros used in the mines. We were advised to get there early because by 4:00 PM the mother burros call their babies and they all head for the hills. I read a brochure about Oatman on our way so we were expecting to see a few burros, some remains of the gold mine and a sign referring to Route 66. Our first surprise was when we went to look for parking and discovered that a many other people had also made the trek to Oatman. There was also a large number of motorcyclists who appear to cruise to Oatman for lunch. There were lots of burros ambling down the main street looking for a snack and just as many visitors carrying bags of carrots ready to feed them. We strolled the main street and browsed through the touristy trinket shops and then watched the gunfight put on by members of the Oatman Chamber of Commerce. We ended our visit to Oatman with a stop at the town bar for a beer. It is the original Oatman hotel and the walls are papered in dollar bills left by guests dating back to the early 1920's. This tradition has continued and we even saw a few $5 Canadian bills hanging.

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