Arizona, Part 2.

July 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

In the summer of 2008, I traveled to Arizona with my girlfriend to stay with my cousin and his wife and kids. We had such an amazing time that in April of 2009, I returned, but I was flying solo. As a teacher, I had April school vacation off, but my girlfriend couldn’t get away from work. Again, I shipped a large box of film ahead of myself, but this time, it wasn’t just instant film. I also sent 35mm, 120 and 126 film.

(Taken with a Lomo Supersampler, 35mm film.)

In addition to spending time with my cousin and his family, my goal was to travel to stretches of Route 66 that I hadn’t yet seen. On my prior Route 66 road trip, I had visited points to the east of Flagstaff. This time, I drove north from Phoenix through Flagstaff and went west, first stopping in Williams on 66…

(Polaroid SX-70, 600 film.)

Williams is a small town comprised mostly of motels, restaurants and souvenir shops selling Route 66 t-shirts, shot glasses and magnets. There’s so much history on 66, and the people who live in these small towns through which it ran before being bypassed by Interstate 40 hang onto that history. The signs are neon and the cars are classic. In some ways it looks like it could still be 1960 there. Ash Fork was my next stop, and it was no different…

(Taken with Imperial Instant Load 900, Solaris 126 film.)

Time honestly stands still in these towns. The people there don’t want to let it go, but that’s fine by me. The time warp of 66 fits with vintage cameras and film, so I’m in heaven there. Ash Fork is an even smaller town than Williams, so I passed through quickly on my way toward the next town.

As I mentioned before, Route 66 was decommissioned a few decades ago and bypassed by Interstate 40. Much of 66 no longer exists in the form it used to, but here and there, Old Route 66 forks off of 40, running parallel. The Crookton Road is one such segment. Just to the west of Ash Fork, I jumped onto the Crookton Road…

(Taken with a Holga, Fuji 120 film.)

It’s an 18-mile drive from Ash Fork to Seligman on the Crookton Road, and all it is is open plains. The entire ride, I saw maybe one other car. Driving this stretch of 66 with the windows down blasting Rush’s “Power Windows” album was an experience I can’t really put into words. I hope that you all get a chance to do this in your lifetime. The music is your choice, of course. Next stop, Seligman…

(Taken with a Polaroid Colorpack II, Type 669 film.)

Seligman was a little more lively than Ash Fork and Williams. It’s a very nostalgic piece of 66. It was touristy, with numerous Route 66 memorabilia shops, but it wasn’t tacky. I stopped and walked around a bit with a backpack full of cameras, talked with some of the townspeople and shopkeepers, all extremely friendly and happy to be where they are.

For this trip, Seligman was as far west as I was able to go on 66. I backtracked on I-40 and took Route 89 south toward Prescott, passing through Chino Valley where I found this abandoned homestead…

(Taken with Polaroid Zip, Type 88 film.)

I can’t say enough good things about Arizona and the southwest in general. I can’t wait to go back and cover the remainder of the western portion of 66. Go there if you can!

(Imperial Instant Load 900, Solaris 126 film.)

To see the rest of my photos from this trip, go HERE.

And don’t forget to stop by My Photo Stream to buy some magnets and shot glasses!


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