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).


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.


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.)


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.)


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…


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]

Airbnb novice users, please note this paragraph!!!!
Firstly, the Airbnb owner who I had initially booked with had double booked the room — if she was to be believed, she was advertising it on multiple sites and got confused — and then tried to manipulate ME into cancelling the reservation. Under airbnb’s rules the person who cancels (using the web site!! NEVER cancel on the website if you can avoid it), is the person who pays their cancellation fees, so asking me to do it when it was her fault was seriously sketchy. THEN she expressly tried to trick me into NOT calling them, saying she’d already spoken with them and it wasn’t necessary … which of course I called bullshit on… so call them is exactly what I did. She knew (and I knew) that once they were asked to read our email interchange they would set the cancellation as HER having done it, not me, 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 also going to lose a lot of points in their “trustworthy” rankings. Granted, IF she’d done it herself, she’d have lost some anyway (unless she lied and said a death in the family or some such) plus the fee, but once they read the emails going back and forth (which is also why you should ONLY ever interact with owners via the emails, and not the phone), they could see what she’d tried to pull off and would penalize her. So, I called them and explained the situation in full, they read the interchange, and they cancelled my reservation and gave me a full refund. [Now, to be fair, one person does not a town make, 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 all 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 it’s 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 it’s 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 to my hotel, my room had no wifi… it turns out that whole side of the structure had 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, especially in a town where your whole economy depends on on it.

{POST NOTE — a few years later someone who used to live there read this post and commented, pointing out that actually drugs was the main economic driver of Kingman, not tourism — see below in the comments section. I have no idea if this is true or not, but it’s something to consider.}

Oh, and I ultimately 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 — which is really only a 5 minute drive away from 66 — are much cheaper, newer, and most I have to assume, nicer than the ones on 66 — even if they’re not ‘historic’ … and the food on that side of town is better (I was told this repeatedly by locals) … although to be honest is still not GOOD — there is not good food in kingman, you’re better off grabbing McD’s.

— as stated previously, if you can spend the night in Williams, AZ which is not that far away, it’s a much cuter town full of farm to table eating establishments, art galleries, etc. — if you must eat in town and don’t want to a national chain see the very end of this post for a suggestion

That said, I tried FOUR different locally owned restaurants during my time time in Kingman only to be DEEPLY disappointed every single time. I even tried the steak house on 66 … my mistake may have been trying to opt for healthy and ordering fish, which they assured me was tasty, only to have it arrive smelling bad and it tasted off. That said the Chinese couple at the next table, who I spoke with, were clearly really unhappy with their steaks, as in DEEPLY unhappy. So I’m not sure the steak option would have been any better — and THIS was supposed to be one of the best restaurants in town. (Later I learned the only edible places where directly adjacent to the hospital in the new part of town, but again not GOOD — see end of this post)

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, there really isn’t one restaurant worth trying. BUT, that said, it didn’t have one healthy thing on the menu (it really is all about the burgers, fries and milkshakes).


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 — just saying.

OK, as mentioned previously, I found someplace NOT utterly 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 sweet potato… and everything tasted just fine.