now we are going back in time and i am finishing up my route 66 birthday roadtrip. we stayed the night in needles and made our way to oatman, az in the morning. i did not realize how close to the border needles is, you literally drive 5 or so miles and you are in arizona. very uneventful.
when i was a wee lass i went to oatman but i knew i wanted to revisit. i love tacky old places and there actually is a history. through the hills is this little old mining camp. here, they mined for gold. today, it is just a tourist site with old buildings, quirky shops, and wild mules that visit the area for food.
a pretend mine to visit. i enjoyed this more than a 24 year old should.
and the mules! there were a ton of babies.
a floppy eared mule a baby mule with a 'don't feed me' sticker.
and a mule trying to get some kettle corn.
a cute little post office. i really am an admirer and should make a post on only post offices.
the oldest building in oatman is the oatman hotel (c. 1902). here clark gable & carole lombard spent their honeymoon. today it is a little gift shop / museum / snack bar. i had an affogato, vanilla ice cream topped with espresso. it was random to have at a little tiny snack bar, but was so delicious. really made my day that they offered it. nothing better than an italian desert in the wild west!
after oatman we headed over the hill to see an old 1920's gas station and a little museum. it was supposed to be open, but no one was there. what was open was a self serve little gem shop. it is based on the honesty policy. such a cute idea :)
my rock i bought.
i can't get over the cuteness.
we then spent the rest of the day in laughlin. i'm not a gambler, dancer, or drinker, but i had a delicious meal and bought a watch. i'm boring like that.
a mural right outside our little hotel in needles. also, i did not get a good photo but man the sunsets are different than in california. the mountains turn pink/red. so pretty.
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the next morning we took a little detour to poston. here was the largest japanese internment camp during world war ii. to get there, you have to go down a one lane road through an indian reservation. today, there is nothing left but a monument. it was very small, but i was glad to visit. it's nice to be reminded of some more recent history that often gets forgotten.
the next stop was the long drive to joshua tree national park, in twentynine palms. along the way, you would see some abandoned little box buildings. i later found out 'jackrabbit homesteaders' lived in these temporary shelters in the 1930s. at this time, unwanted federal lands was given to citizens. i wish i would have gotten a picture of these shacks but learned of the history after the fact.
skull rock. honestly thought it was going to look more like a skull.
i always have this urge to look like the objects i am taking pictures of. it runs in the family.
a mural on the old schoolhouse
we visited both the joshua tree visitor center and the oasis visitor center. across the street from the former is a cute little general / souvenir shop. i must add i got the best mcdonalds iced coffee ever!!!
there is also a little western facade around the corner.
bringing out the big guns.
we then made our way to pioneertown, an old west movie set from the 1940s turned tourists site. today, they have cute little shops selling local crafts and western shows. they even have a little inn, which i would really like to stay at.
the last and unexpected stop was the cabazon dinosaurs. never knew these were here and i am in this part of the inland empire quite a bit. the brontosaurus is a gift shops, while t-rex and the surrounding area require admission. apparently there are more dinosaurs over the fence. i am planning on visiting with my sister when we are back in the area. apparently today's owners promote creationism within, but i did not notice it.
meet dinny & mr. rex.
now for a song. the song that reminds me the most of this trip is 'vice' by miranda lambert. i have featured her many time and she is for sure my favorite country singer. anyhoo, enjoy!