The moon in the night sky, Kingman Arizona

I took these photos of the moon as I was driving back on route 66 to my hotel… this was my 2nd day in Kingman while I was backtracking to pick up some of what I had lost the day before (the route from Needles California to Kingman Arizona).

IMG_7679.jpg

The moon was almost full, and because of being out in the middle of nothing, with no electric lights lighting up the sky, it seemed even brighter than I was used to, and the camera in my iPhone was able to actually pick it up in the evening sky

It was take about in this location… but on the other side of I-40 and looking towards away from the highway

Cool Springs Gas Station; Either Oatman, Golden valley or Kingman, Arizona — depending which site you look at

This historic gas station has an identity problem. If you drive on route 66 from Kingman to Oatman, Arizona you simply can’t miss it… really you can’t… but pretty much ever on-line sites that I’ve found it on things its located in a different area… Some say Oatman, some say Golden valley, some say Kingman, and some just say it’s in Cool Springs… and hence the name.

IMG_7667.jpg

A wonderful sort of camaraderie tends to form among those of us traveling the route. The pictures of me were taken by a german guy… he had a big fancy camera set up and initially took this photo of me, see below, which was the exact same shot he’d been taking of him and his girlfriend. Then I looked around for good shots, and asked him to please take the photo of me (above)… he at first tried to get close (making me larger in the shot but I shood him back to the spot I’d chosen.)

IMG_7661.jpg

he ultimately (when we looked at the shots in the camera) saw that I had clearly found a MUCH better shot and we were now bonded by desire to see 66 and our love of photography. (From then on I watched as he was trying to find other shots that included the 66 on the highway.)

IMG_7705.JPG

What was kind of interesting was everyone who passed felt a sort of obligation to buy something. A sort of general awareness that this place (which is miles from anything) could only stay open and access-able to the next person if they did.

Interestingly… they better be a bit careful as I found the store selling this… and my ‘bullshit’ monitor went off big time…

IMG_7706.JPG

Kingman Arizona

I’ve only been in this town for two days and I already don’t like it. [Postscript… if you can only stay at one, spend a few days in Williams, AZ, rather than this dump of a town]

Firstly, the Airbnb owner who I had initially booked with had double booked the room — apparently she was advertising it on multiple sites and got confused — and was trying to manipulate ME into cancelling the reservation. In airbnb the person who cancels using the web site, is the person who pays their fee, so sketchy. THEN she expressly tried to trick me into NOT doing was calling them, saying she’d already spoken with them and it wasn’t necessary … which of course I called bullshit on… and call them is what I did. She knew (and I knew) that once they read the emails they would set the cancellation as though SHE had done it even if I initiated the phone call, so not only was she going to have pay their fee for using their site, but as a hostess, she was going to loose a lot of points in their “trustworthy” rankings. IF she’d done it herself, she’d have lost them anyway (unless she lied and said a death in the family or some such) plus the fee. So, I called them and explained the situation in full, they cancelled it and gave me a full refund. [Now one person is not a town, but unfortunately, this did ultimately prove to be the “culture” of the town… to my experience.]

Her home was in the historic section of town, which is where I wanted to be. All other rentals were in the new parts … and if I was going to be there I’d rather be in a hotel since there are SO many of them in this town that rooms here are well within my budget (A quick look on google found about 120 motels/hotels in 34 square miles, with the next largest employer being the hospital… I think its safe to say that tourism is their main industry). I opted for Ramada.

That said, no one comes to Kingman to see Kingman. Kingman is on I-40, Route 66, and its a about a two hour drive from here to either the west ridge of the Grand Canyon and/or the Hoover Dam (… so it’s a good base location for short stays while seeing other things.

When I got here, my hotel room had no wifi… it turns out that whole side of the structure has no wifi and they’ve known about it for a while and haven’t bothered to fix it. What killed me was how nasty the staff was to me about it. Orlando has a lot to teach Kingman about customer service when your whole economy depends on on it.

Oh, and I’ve decided that REALLY there’s no reason to stay in downtown Kingman or even on route 66 (which is where my hotel is). The hotels in the other side of town are cheaper, newer, and most likely nicer… and the food there is better… although still not good.

That said, I tried FOUR different locally owned restaurants only to be DEEPLY disappointed. I even tried the steak house on 66 .. my fish smelled bad and tasted off. The Chinese couple at the next table were clearly really unhappy with their steaks, as in DEEPLY unhappy.

The sad fact is that in this town … with the exception of Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner which not only came highly rated on every site I looked at, but I noticed it was full of the local high-school kids on their high-school’s homecoming night … but that didn’t have one healthy thing on it’s menu (it really is all about the burgers, fries and milk shakes)

IMG_7680

IMG_7704.JPG
The girl with the sash is part of her high-school’s homecoming royal court

…. you really are better off eating at any of the plethora of national chain restaurants in town.

I even tried the Garlic Clove, which is supposed to be one of the better Italian mom and pops in town, and having done so, I seriously question if ANYTHING they serve isn’t frozen, or from a can. That and I had the WORST case of gas and acid reflux afterwards.


OK, I found someplace NOT horrible. It’s totally out of the tourist area. It’s past the hospital and out by the car dealership (I have a feeling it’s the affluent part of town)… it’s called the Kingman Chophouse (king of steak). I got a baked not fried crab cake, a bowl of bean medley soup and a baked sweat potato… and everything tasted just fine.