Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Williams, Arizona & Route 66

My parents live in Prescott, Arizona which is only about four hours from the Grand Canyon but I've never been there.  So today we drove from Prescott to Williams which is 109 km (68 miles) away on AZ Route 89.

Williams was founded in 1881.  It's a small city with just over 3,100 people.  Williams is known as the "Gateway to the Grand Canyon".  The city lives off of tourism so there are a number of inns, motels, and restaurants.

Williams was on Historic Route 66 and it was the last city that was bypassed by Interstate 40.

U.S. Route 66 was the Will Rogers Highway and it was one of the original highways established in 1926.  It was also known as the "Main Street of America" and as the "Mother Road".

The highway ran from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California and covered 3,904 km (2,448 miles).  Between Illinois and California it passed through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

Most people know about it from the song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66".

Part of the old Route 66
Interstate 40 was opened in 1984 and the following year Route 66 was removed from the U.S. Highway System.  In order help keep towns going economically, many states have adopted parts of the old U.S. 66 into their state road networks.

Part of what's helped kept Williams going is the Grand Canyon Railway with daily service to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.  The trip is 105 km (65 miles) north and takes 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Prior to getting on the train there is an old-fashioned western show.

On the train today, on the way back from the Grand Canyon to Williams, we saw a barn or a house on fire.  Hopefully no one was hurt.

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