After surviving some great hairpin turns and the descent from Sitgreaves pass and through the Black Mountains, the valley opened up and the driving was easy. It was still early morning on Day Two of my “Goodbye God, I’m going to Texas” roadtrip. I had left Oatman and the burros behind and driven through Goldroad, which is once again an active mining area. There were some spectacular views from Sitgreaves Pass but the view before me was pretty cool as well, with one of those Arizona-type of pokey mountains up ahead. My next stop would be Cool Springs, AZ.
Cool Springs dates back to 1926. At the time, it was the last stop before the steep Goldroad grade and many folks stopped here to take a breather before attempting the ascent. The small camp grew to include eight tourist cabins and the café was known for its chicken dinners. Cool Springs had its ups and downs as did most of the businesses along Route 66 but continued to operate until 1966, when the entire camp burned to the ground. The property remained abandoned and neglected for the next thirty-five years, until it was purchased in 2001 and restoration (actually, nearly a complete rebuild) of the property began. Click HERE for a more in-depth history of the camp.
I parked across the street and grabbed my camera, the setting of this camp couldn’t have been prettier with the Thimble Butte in the background. And the reconstruction of the rock building, combined with the old memorabilia really makes Cool Springs look like it was a stop along old Route 66, oh wait, it was. And still is. When I stopped in, the main building contained a gift shop and museum with lots of interesting things to peruse and examine. But as my main focus (no pun intended) was taking pictures, I spent most of my time on the grounds of Cool Springs Camp to see what I could find.
A number of old vehicles, or bits and pieces of them, are located around Cool Springs.
After leaving Cool Springs, I pulled off at a backcountry board to take this picture of Thimble Butte. It would definitely be a nice hike out there, to explore the area. Maybe one of these days I'll be back in the area and have the time to explore and see what's out there. But this trip was rolling, it was time to get back on the road.