Have you ever wanted to drive on old historical Route 66? If you do, and you come to Oatman Arizona, don’t be surprised if you are literally stopped in the middle of the road by a bunch of Jackasses. Sounds a bit scary, huh? However, you might actually like these ‘Asses’. Seriously, don’t laugh, I am for real. These Jackasses are not humans, they are BURROS or DONKEYS, silly!
While I was camping on BLM land just north of Lake Havasu in Arizona, I heard that there was a nearby town where wild Burros or Jackasses roam the streets. It was the site host who informed me of this spunky little town on Route 66.
“I send so many people to the area that I should get kickbacks from the town!” he exclaimed.
With an advertisement like that, along with animals in the mix, how could I possibly miss this adventure?
So off we went, The Girls and I, to hit Route 66 for the first time ever.
Along the way, I passed a sign stating something to the effect of it being the longest original stretch of old Route 66. It’s definitely not an interstate and it would hardly qualify to be a good route to take to get from point A to point B these days. It is a slower adventurous, winding road at best. At times, there’s not even a center line. (Oh, the horrors!!) The speed limit probably averages 35-40mph.
Did I listen to “Get Your Kicks On Route 66” while I was driving it? Heck yes! I listened to both the Nat King Cole version and the Rolling Stones version. I just had to. It felt right. (And very cool)
Over a half-million people took this route while migrating from the Dust Bowl states to California during the 1930’s-1950’s. They had hope for a better life but at the cost of trying to make it over the notorious (notorious back in those days) Black Mountains in their Model A or Model T Fords. Let’s not forget, vehicles in those days were not well equipped for such strenuous driving, especially while loaded with all of the possessions a family could possibly manage to pile into said vehicle. I can’t even imagine how slow and bumpy the ride was.
I can’t imagine the stress of having a breakdown in those days without having cellular phones. Not to mention breaking down without AAA and such, no way to contact anybody (telegram, anyone?) and with no nearby utilities to speak of.
MY 2016 Route 66 experience was smooth and without worry. I scanned the horizon for Burros along the way without luck. Soon, I came upon a Burro crossing sign. (A good indication of upcoming Burros, right?)
The road became hilly and over the next hill and around a curve, there it was- historical Oatman, Arizona!
YES! It’s a one horse tow- …wait…. a one ‘Burro’ town? I don’t think I can use the term ‘One horse town’ and there’re too many Burros to call it a one Burro town. OK, it’s a one ‘DOG’ town. A town straight out of an old western.
Then, HELLO! I came upon Burros in the street, right away!
These fellas are ‘wild’ yet tame. Tame does not mean that they will not bite or kick, but yes, you can pet them, feed them and easily get a selfie with them if you are not an ass. Wait… Isn’t an ass the same thing as a Burro? I’m getting confused…
I did just that. I wandered around getting shots of and selfies with these adorable long-eared, long haired and small hoofed creatures who are drawn to town by easy food and water.
There are merchants who sell alfalfa cubes to tourists to feed the Burros. I also saw a watering trough, surrounded by 3 Burros. These fellas have the life!
Why do the Burros come into town? They are the descendants of the Burros used in the mines before the mines shut down in Oatman. Those Burros were released into the wild. Today, their relatives still come in from the mountains daily and snag treats from the tourists who come just to see them. Once they are full, they retreat back into the hills.
This was a neat place for a one-time stop. I really enjoyed being on the famed Route 66, seeing historic Oatman and petting a few Burros while visiting.
During my visit to Oatman, it felt like a step back in time. I felt the ghosts of others who had passed through so long ago and sat in awe of how fortunate we are to live in this advanced age of technology. Life is much better and easier today, in my opinion, than it was in those days. Everyone has their opinion. This is mine. I am living a much simpler life now than I was before I hit the road in the RV and I couldn’t be happier. Still, technology is an amazing advancement. You wouldn’t be reading this without it, so…. BOOM!
Get yourself to Oatman if you are ever close enough to pass through. It’s quite a unique little blip on the map!