Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oatman, Arizona and Meteor Crater

This contains another section of our travels to and from Las Vegas, Nevada. We went to the quilt show out at the fairgrounds here in Alamogordo, New Mexico several weeks ago. While talking to one lady in a booth there, we mentioned our upcoming trip. She said, "You must go a little off the beaten path on your way home and take in Oatman, Arizona."

Oatman is a little mining town that was revived and is noted for its burros that wander around town, in and out of the shops and pretty much anywhere they want to go. They are extremely docile and will walk right up to you or a vehicle if the notion strikes them.

This is the first sign that we are nearing Oatman on Historic Route 66
This will give you some idea of where we are in this mountainous area.
As far as we can tell, this is the only street in town.
Here am I having a conversation with Flapjack, the only male burro in town.
As you can see by this poster, they've found unique ways to entertain the tourists.
This is Historic Route 66 running right through the middle of Oatman.
This is one smart burro because she's staged herself out of the direct heat.
As you can see, she is very pregnant!
So is this one! That Flapjack is doing a fine job!
We thought you might find this signage interesting.
They have a cute little post office too.
Two more of Flapjack's pregnant harem.
The old Oatman Hotel turned out to be a very interesting building.
The sign over the stairs states "Gable-Lombard Honeymoon Suite"
The Oatman Hotel no longer operates as a hotel and people can no longer go upstairs to experience the Clark Gable/Carole Lombard honeymoon suite because it's too unstable. Gable and Lombard got married in Kingman, Arizona and spent their honeymoon here.

This tells all about what is available and some history.
This is the bar area. Note all of the dollar bills hanging everywhere.
We ate lunch here with live entertainment and more dollar bills.
The place is literally papered with dollar bills signed by past guests and stuck up on the walls for posterity. The cowboy singing and picking was pretty good too. Normally at about 2:00 p.m., they have a gun fight in the middle of the street, but some people were missing that day so they cancelled it.

This gives you an idea of old Route 66 as we left Oatman behind.
Back in the 1930's Route 66 was the only way to get to California and this particular section of the road had so many hairpin curves and switchbacks that it was considered the most dangerous area of Route 66. The story is that young men would drive cars through this area for a buck or two because people were too fearful to drive it themselves. We thoroughly enjoyed this little side trip.

Another short stop during our trip was to see Meteor Crater in Arizona. This crater was formed about 50,000 years ago by a huge iron-nickel meteorite estimated to have been about 150 feet across and weighing several hundred thousand tons, which struck this rocky plain with an explosive force greater than 20 million tons of TNT. The result of all this violent activity was the excavation of a giant bowl-shaped cavity. It is said to be 700 feet deep and 4000 feet across.

From 1964 through 1972, the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA provided extensive science training at Meteor Crater for Apollo astronauts in preparation for going to the moon. This helped them to understand what materials lay on the lunar surface as well as what was beneath the surface.

As we are walking to the building this perfect picture frame is built right into the outside wall.
Meteor Crater in all its glory. Astounding!
They have free telescopes for a close up view of sites in the crater on this overhang.
You have to look really close to see the astronaut and the American flag at the very bottom.
Here's Carla at the bottom of the crater - NOT
Getting up close and personal with a small section of the original meteorite!
We also viewed an award winning film created by the Parks Department that gave us a greater understanding of how this all came about. My only complaint was that it was over much too soon!

Thanks to Doug for his able photography.

This is all I have to say for now.

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