It's sort of ironic that the same day I'm writing this post, I heard a story on the radio about a push to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail. Currently there is a preservation fund supporting Route 66 cities but the funding source is due to expire in 2019. Designation as a historic trail will keep the funding going that helps to keep all the cities that were bypassed by Interstate 40 alive and able to preserve their history.
I spent the night in Williams before going to the Grand Canyon recently and enjoyed walking around the city and taking in all that historic Route 66 atmosphere. Pete's Gas Station Museum preserved those old-fashioned gasoline pumps as well as antique autos, signs, tools and other things that we used to see in gas stations in the days gone by.
This Cruiser Cafe also known as the Grand Canyon Brewing Company is all decked out in Coca-Cola red. As I was setting up this photo, that guy in the red car pulled up and parked adding another bright red touch to mirror the elevated red car.
In front of the cafe is a menu board adorned with all kinds of signs some with a Route 66 theme and some with a little bit of an international theme. Notice the "Mother Road" sign at the top left. Route 66 is called The Mother Road because it stretches from Chicago Illinois all the way to Las Angeles California and was the main road used by travelers crossing the country before Interstate highways existed. You might call it the original interstate highway.
I chose to have dinner at the Red Raven right next door to my hotel, The Grand Canyon Hotel. (I'll have another post about my stay at that historic hotel.)
I had an excellent dinner that was enhanced by the friendly service.
And while I was eating, I enjoyed looking around the dining room full of all kinds of antiques.
After dinner I did some more exploring getting a kick out of all the neon lights and the hundreds of Route 66 signs.
The Mother Road runs right through the heart of town and back in the days before Interstate 40 by-passed the town, all travelers would have passed right through the town and many would stop for a meal or to spend the night.
Before heading back to my hotel, I stopped at the Grand Canyon Winery, a wine bar that featured a huge selection of Arizona wines. I enjoyed talking to the young bar tender who was going to be moving to California in just a few weeks.
Then it was back to the hotel for a good nights sleep. It seemed perfectly normal for a cowboy to be sitting on the bench outside the hotel door. Even though he was checking his smart phone instead of tying up his horse, it was one last reminder of the history of this great little town.