March 31, 2014

3/31/14 - Oatman, AZ

Yes, it's been a while since my last post.  We spent the winter snow-birding in Arizona again.  We hooked up with old friends and made some new ones.  Didn't do a lot of sightseeing this year because George had a problem with a knee and couldn't walk very far, although it didn't seem to stop him from playing golf.  (Ask us about it sometime--our versions are similar but have a substantially different perspective.  And, NO! I did not tackle him!)

First stop on our way back to Washington was Fort Mohave, AZ, near the tri-state area of Arizona, Nevada and California on the Colorado River.  Not too far away is the little "ghost town" of Oatman.  What????  You've never heard of Oatman??  Really???
If you were a gold miner in the early 1900's, you'd know about it (until 1924, that is, when the biggest mine shut down.)  
If you drove old Route 66 from Kingman to Needles, you'd know about it (until 1953, that is, when they built a bypass.)  Lots of memorabilia in all the shops.  Once you've been in one store, the rest are repeats.  
If you're a fan of Clark Gable, you'd know that this is where he and Carol Lombard stopped on their honeymoon in 1939, (if, that is, you even knew they were married.)  The 2-story building is the Oatman Hotel where they stayed.
Since I was born later, I missed all these major events in the town's history, so I'd never heard of Oatman either!    We went there so I could see the wild burros that wander all over town.  The burros are descended from pack animals turned loose by prospectors and are now protected by the US Dept. of Interior.  Burro chow is available in most of the stores--so be really careful where you step!
There's an antique motorcycle museum upstairs in one of the shops.  None of them are labeled so you haven't a clue how old they are.  There are some replicas of historical bicycles too, although why anyone would think that a wooden 2-wheeled vehicle with no handlebars, pedals or brakes was a good idea is beyond me!
They also have really hokey "Wild West" gunfights on the main street of town, closing the highway twice a day.  (Donations go to charity and the burros don't care.) 
Please make a note:  if you plan to go visit Oatman, be prepared and wear closed-toed shoes.  Trust me, sandals aren't recommended where the burros roam all over town.

Link to more pictures:  Oatman, AZ

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