Since we are only about 270 miles from Las Vegas and we have a day to get there we decided to take our time and do some sightseeing on the way and spend the night in Kingman AZ.
Our first stop was in the town of Jerome. We had been here before but it is always fun to revisit some places. The drive to Jerome is not one of my favourites as it meanders to about a mile above sea level. At 5,200 feet above sea level it is known as "America's Most Vertical City" and "Largest Ghost Town in America".
Parking was difficult to find as it was a Saturday and the town was holding its children's Christmas party The fire trucks were giving them rides around town with the sirens whirling.
We found a spot, gathered our cameras and started poking into cute little gift shops. We stopped for coffee at Bobby D's BBQ at the English Kitchen, the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the state of Arizona. In its early days, it was owned by a Chinese immigrant, and it served the miners and other workers in the town. Today, it maintains a cozy atmosphere and a spectacular view of the Verde Valley, clear across to Sedona.
Once known as the wickedest town in the west, Jerome was a copper mining camp, growing from a settlement of tents to a roaring mining community. Four disastrous fires destroyed large sections of the town during its early history, resulting in the incorporation of the City of Jerome in 1899.
Founded in 1876, Jerome was once the fourth largest city in the Arizona Territory. The population peaked at 15,000 in the 1920's. The Depression of the 1930's slowed the mining operation and the claim went to Phelps Dodge, who holds the claim today. World War II brought increased demand for copper, but after the war, demand slowed. Dependant on the copper market, Phelps Dodge Mine closed in 1953. The remaining 50 to 100 hardy souls promoted the town as a historic ghost town. In 1967 Jerome was designated a National Historic District by the federal government. Today Jerome is a thriving tourist and artist community with a population of about 450.
We decided to drive to the ghost town before lunch. I'll cover the ghost town in a later post.
We had planned on having lunch at The Asylum Restaurant in the Grand Hotel.
So we headed down the highway with its hair raising twists and turns, I guess you know by now that I do not like these types of roads!
We made a stop in Seligman as I was following our route in our Route 66 book.
A trip down Route 66 in Seligman is a trip back in time to the days when Route 66 was the Main Street of America. In the late 1970's Seligman was bypassed by the Interstate and the Santa Fe Railroad ceased its operations in the town in 1985. Many old towns with similar histories would have faded away once they were bypassed, but not Seligman.
By this time we decide that we need to get to Kingman and find our resort. We set the GPS and we reach Kingman around 3PM and then started climbing Hualapai Mountain Road. We knew the resort was twenty miles south east of Kingman. This road climbs and climbs and climbs in an almost deserted area. There was a lot of traffic coming the other way.Finally the GPS announces "you have reached your destination" in the middle of nowhere. We pull out our phones to ask directions but both phones are without service. We debate turning around and finding somewhere else but decide to continue climbing. Suddenly there are lots of people and a ranger station. John goes into the ranger station and comes out smiling stating we are only a mile from the resort. On we trudge and finally find the sign for The Hualapai Resort and get checked in.
Our room is called a suite and it was very cute. Our room was totally decorated in bear motifs. Everywhere you turned there were bears.
It was great, if chilly to walk to the restaurant for a great dinner. These baked potatoes were great they had a very smoky flavour them making us assume they were baked with the BBQ ribs that were on the menu as well.
The lodge was all lit up for the season as were the houses in the area.