Looking for our Kicks on Route 66

by Barrett

When you’re driving on Historic Route 66 near Kingman, Arizona, don’t blink. Here’s the Guardian of Route 66 statue we found by the Antares Point Visitors Center.

Of course, our Southwest vacation was all about three amazing national parks, including Grand Canyon. But our journey was inevitably part of the experience.

We rented a cushy Jeep Grand Cherokee, and headed out on our road trip from Las Vegas to Utah and eventually into Arizona and Grand Canyon.

We originally plotted our course south, because we wanted to hit a portion of Historic Route 66, but we ultimately waited for our return route to do that. The lure of Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah was too enticing. So, we went north instead.

The Roadkill Cafe
Fast forward to the end of our trip. We drove out from Grand Canyon on 64 South and then took I-40 west towards Seligman, Arizona, where we finally picked up Route 66.

In Seligman, we stopped for lunch at the Roadkill Cafe. The pricy diner mostly lived up to its weird name. But more importantly, it satisfied our early expectations for what our Route 66 drive might hold.

But I would soon be disappointed… mostly.

Nothing to See for Miles
We drove for only 87 miles on Route 66 between Seligman and Kingman, Arizona before we needed to pick up 93 North towards Las Vegas and our flight home. Granted, these miles are a relatively small sample size, but unfortunately, this part of the iconic road linking Chicago to Los Angeles did not reflect the quirky, Americana highway with its colorful reputation from its heyday.

The majority of the miles was simply wide open road with Arizona desert views. The few, tiny towns we passed were mostly populated by shuttered stores, restaurants and gas stations from a bygone era (or perhaps the pandemic finally did them in).

Giganticus Headicus
There was one exception northeast of Kingman. It’s the Antares Point Visitors Center, home of the green “Giganticus Headicus” sculpture by artist Gregg Arnold.
This outpost is a mutant gift shop and mini sculpture park in the middle of nowhere, populated with outdoor art and a graveyard of classic cars that aren’t quite qualified for the dump (but close).

The place is something like what you might find in a giant humanoid kid’s playroom somewhere in the multiverse.

We pulled in, mostly because we spotted the giant green head.
It was a welcome distraction from the desolate landscape we had been crossing (and we needed a bathroom break).

An Oddity Worth Checking Out
We probably stayed for half an hour. We did a bit of shopping for UFO-themed trinkets, but mostly meandered around the grounds enjoying the outdoor art and mummified vintage vehicles.
It was all entirely strange and wonderful. Exactly what I was hoping for.

Won’t You Get Hip to this Timely Tip?
This is not your average visitors center. Far from it. But was this all that Route 66 has to offer? Well, it was for those 87 miles.

Antares Point is a taste of Americana. And it was enough for us as we got back in our car and soon came to the on-ramp back to the future.

Yes, I can say we got our kicks on Route 66.