Monday, 14 May 2007

Over the Sitgreaves Pass - Arizona (a route avoided by the new interstate highway)

Cool Springs Camp, located in the Black Mountains on the approach to Sitgreaves pass in 1927. The original buildings were constructed out of stones gathered along the highway. In the 1930s the chicken dinners attracted tourists and locals for 20 miles. In the 1950s when traffic moved to the new Interstate the traffic crawled to a halt. Cool Springs has only recently been opened again!
Very few cars travel past Ed's Camp these days.

Ed's Camp is located at the approach to Sitgreaves Pass from the east, one of the most feared and dreaded sections on all of Route 66. Lowell "Ed" Edgerton purchased the property in the late 1930s hoping to lure the increasing number of tourists to buy from his grocery store, gas station or souvenir shop. There was a trailer camp but motorists would pull in and sleep in their cars or tents. For $1 they could sleep on a camp bed (Am. cot) on a porch which was screened to keep insects out. Water was sold by the bucket. (R Olsen's book Route 66 Lost and Found)

You can see why this route was avoided - zig zag bends and increasing gradients through a desert landscape.

No comments: