I stayed in Seligman, Arizona, last night. Seligman might be my favorite of all the old Route 66 towns. It is very rundown, lots of vintage Route 66 tourist traps, and seems to be inhabited by people who broke down on their way to California and couldn’t afford to keep going. In short, it’s just like the old Route 66 used to be! It doesn’t appear that one dollar of corporate money has ventured into city limits, and that is just the way I like it.
I stayed at a place called the Stagecoach 66 Motel, a dingy place that features themed rooms like “The Elvis Room” and the “U.S. Marines Room.” As I got out of my van, the night air was still and quiet. Suddenly, a young woman wearing leather pants and high heels, with spiked blonde hair and black roots, literally jumped out from behind a bush and asked if I had a light. A genuine sketchy Route 66 experience! When I came out of the office with my room key, she was nowhere in sight, even though no cars had come or gone from the hotel. Sketch!
This morning I went to a diner and sat at the counter. An older gentleman dressed in what can only be called “patriot gear” talked loudly, luckily not to me. “I got sucker punched a couple of months ago “ “Yeah, the state lost all my paperwork.” “You see, what this government is doing is controlling us with the gas prices, they have us under their thumb and then they can control everything else, because we have no power.” I tried not to choke on my biscuit, but as I remember my dad saying when I was a kid: “Don’t waste time arguing with half-wits; life’s too short.”
I do love these old towns like Seligman, though. There used to be so many of them when I was a kid. Now so much of the old charm has been replaced with chain restaurants, Starbucks, and other clean, concrete, corporate creations. I love me something that’s a little run-down, but 100% real.