Dinosaurs have sprung an ambush as I turn onto the streets of downtown Holbrook. The block is overrun with these giant thunder lizards, their mouths agape, dripping saliva. I may be imagining the saliva.
I have come to Winslow, Arizona seeking the most famous corner of the most legendary road in the world. A corner immortalized in the Eagles’s first single from their eponymous debut album. A corner emblazoned with a Route 66 shield so enormous it can be spotted easily by travelers running down the road, eagles soaring overhead and, I am certain, astronauts in orbit.
I arrive to such a fine sight: a classic American rock song brought to life.
The high desert village of Seligman, Arizona, A seemingly endless collection of classic cars and Route 66 symbolism scrolls past both sides as I roll down the main drag; this must be the legendary highway’s spiritual heart. But why this place? The answer lies with the story of the Angel who resurrected Route 66 from the dead. This is his home.
Suddenly, the road has narrowed and taken the form of an angry, writhing serpent. This stretch of Route 66 winds through the Sitgreaves Pass, at 3,500 feet the highest point along the Mother Road. With its tightly coiled switchbacks, narrow track and modest, but sudden drops off the edge, it is also the most venomous.
I mosey in under the early morning sun to find the old Wild West mining town of Oatman, Arizona wide awake, with its residents cavorting wildly in the street. The towns appears to be inhabited entirely by wild burros, with no humans in sight, save for a single Austrian sporting a Civil War-era Confederate soldier’s cap.