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March 29: Holbrook, Arizona, and Route 66

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<– Day 11 – March 28: Petroglyph Rocks and Tent Rocks | Overview | Day 13 – March 30: From Cottonwood Canyon to Wolverine  –>

Our goal was to drive to Williams, Arizona, then drive to Prescott, before returning to Williams for the evening.


Our drive Friday from Holbrook to Williams

We had a busy day that started in Holbrook, AZ. If you have ever seen the movie CARS then you will recognize many of the sites in Holbrook. It’s a fun place to step back in time and cruise the old Route 66.  Here’s a picture of the Wigwam Motel. The prices on these run around $55. I wish I had known they were in Holbrook, because we would have stayed there. Note the old cars parked out front of some of them.




While looking around the town we came across this poor CJ-5 hiding sadly behind a mixer. It’s a project!


cj5-near-safeway-holbrookWe also spotted this truck. I wished we could have gotten better pics of this truck’s bed as it appeared unusual.


When we finished with Holbrook, we headed east toward Chino Valley to meet Sam Thomas. However, before we reached Sam, on a lark, we stopped in Williams, AZ. We discovered Williams had a very strong route 66 downtown.

One particular restaurant that caught our eye was called Cruisers Cafe 66. Pulled in by the decor, we discovered their burgers were fabulous as well, with fresh buns and thick meat. Ann’s sweet potato fries were yummy and my onion rings were crisp and flavorful. Here are a few pics I took with my camera.


When is the last time you saw tailgates act as a bathroom divider?williams-cruisers-bathroom-lores

2013-03-29-williams-cruisers1 2013-03-29-williams-cruisers2

Just across the street from the restaurant was this sign, so we took our picture.williams-route-66-sign

After Williams, we drove to Chino Valley to meet with Sam Thomas and his wife Alecia. A former Air Force Pilot and a long time gear head, Sam spent many years playing with fast cars and running a speed shop. Several years ago he moved to Arvada, CO, and ran Flatfender Willys, where he focused on repairing flat fenders jeeps and some military vehicles.

A few weeks ago he moved to Chino Valley to open up a new business called the Motor Pool (2020 note: the motor pool has since closed), where Sam, his brother and his nephew hope to buy, sell and repair vintage jeeps and military vehicles. Sam was also hto offer what he calls “new MBs/GPWs”. He will build a brand new ‘old’ military jeep for $25,000.

While Sam sold most of his jeeps as part of his move, he still has a former Air Force CJ-2A that was once stationed in Antarctica. The previous owner drove it while stationed there and then pulled some strings to bring it home.





The Motor Pool as seen from Highway 89

After meeting Sam Friday afternoon in Chino Valley, AZ, we had planned to drive north to I-40 and then head towards Las Vegas. However, since my kids wouldn’t be coming down to camp, we decided we had more flexibility, so we drove south to Prescott (Ann had never been there),

Once entering Prescott, it didn’t take us long to spot two jeeps, just two blocks from the center of downtown. We had some great ice cream and walked Whiskey Row.


When we returned to Chino Valley on our way back to Williams, we spotted this Wagon from Historic Seligmann Sundries. As I looked at these pictures, I realized I didn’t recognize the town Seligmann. After a little research I discovered we hadn’t traveled far enough west on Interstate 40 to visit the town. We’ll have to stop there next time.

What’s funniest to me about this wagon is that earlier in the day at Cruiser’s Route 66 Cafe I asked a woman in her fifties who worked the automotive gift shop why there were no jeep toys/signs/etc in the shop, while every other auto subject seemed covered. She proceeded to tell me that jeeps weren’t popular until the 1970s and that jeeps never drove route 66.

I responded with a daggered stare, “Really? Jeeps weren’t popular until the 1970s?”

“Yes,” she responded, adding, “and, besides, we only stock things related to route 66.”

“Hmmm . . . ,” I responded, noting the CARS movie items on the shelf. I was about to mention how the folks at Pixar seemed to think that a jeep WAS important in their telling of a dying Route 66ish town, but thought any effort on my part would be fruitless. Ann stated she was proud of my restraint, because I looked like I would break open and pummel the woman with a history lesson. Anyway, finding the wagon just made my day!

wagon-chinovalley-ca2 wagon-chinovalley-ca3 wagon-chinovalley-ca4

By the time we arrived back in Williams, it was late, so we grabbed a motel room.

Tomorrow, we head north to Page, Arizona. Just beyond Page, on highway 89, there is a dirt road called Cottonwood Canyon Road that will connect us with Utah’s Kodachrome State Park. I took the road 15 years ago driving southward. I remember there being no helpful signs. We’ll see how we do.

<– Day 11 – March 28: Petroglyph Rocks and Tent Rocks | Overview | Day 13 – March 30: From Cottonwood Canyon to Wolverine  –>


4 Comments on “March 29: Holbrook, Arizona, and Route 66

  1. Gerald

    Thanks for the trip updates and adventures.

    But, how’s the new Jeep? Size, fuel, performance, etc. A couple pics would be good too.

    Does it have a name yet?

    Happy Motoring!

  2. DJ Bill

    Please believe the signs on Cottonwood Canyon about it being impassable when wet if it rains out there. Have fun!! This is the best time of year to visit Page and the surrounding area.

  3. mmdeilers Post author

    Gerald: Ann named the jeep Henry. Since she’s been a Ford person most of her life (and worked for Ford) it’s a nod to Henry Ford and the GPW. I suggested Henry was only a temporary name until we learned more about the jeep. I have a variety of pics of Henry off road. I haven’t had time to put them into a post.

    DJ Bill: Great, glad you’ve heard of the road. No rain thus far on the trip. I expect the road will be dry. But, yes, I do have respect for muddy washouts. It doesn’t take much to get stuck.

  4. Colin Peabody

    Dave- Check Route 89 going to Page. The highway collapsed a few weeks ago and it is closed indefinitely. You will have to take 89ALT to the Navajo Bridge (near Lee’s Ferry) and go to Page that way. There should be detour signs up from ADOT.

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