Apr 032010

 In spite of very slow internet service, Kingman, Arizona has a couple of things going for it that make the city well worth a visit, especially if you enjoy history as much as we do.

The Mohave Museum of History and Arts has many interesting displays on the area, from Native Americans to gold prospectors, to World War II airmen, and Route 66 Oakies, who all passed through here at some point in history.

Route 66 saw the greatest migration of people in American history, as refugees from the Dust Bowl fled west, in search of a better life in the Promised Land of California. Many never made it that far, settling down wherever their old jalopies broke down for the last time. A lot of those 20th century pilgrims never made it past Kingman, and their families live on here today.

The Arizona Route 66 Museum, housed in the old Powerhouse Visitor Center, right on historic Route 66, tells the story of the Mother Road and the role it played in shaping our nation’s history and culture. I’ve been a big fan of Route 66 for as long as I can remember, and have enjoyed visiting the museum several times, and enjoyed it every time.

A few winding mountain miles up Route 66 from Kingman, the “ghost town” of Oatman waits to entertain you with costumed gunfighters, interesting small shops, and a resident herd of wild burros who wander the town’s one street, begging for handouts of carrots. The burros are descendents of prospectors’ pack animals that were set free when the gold boom went bust.

During World War II, Kingman Army Airfield was a major training base for aerial gunners who would see battle in the skies over Germany and the South Pacific, and there is a small museum at the Kingman Regional Airport with displays on that period in the city’s history. Further afield, you will find real ghost towns, old stagecoach stops, all kinds of outdoor sports, and plenty of history waiting to be discovered in Mohave County.

Kingman has several RV parks, none of which I would call upscale, but several that are fine for a few nights’ stay while you visit this part of northwest Arizona.

Before I close today’s blog entry, I wanted to report that a representative of TA Travel Centers called me yesterday to discuss the problem we had at their Kingman location earlier this week. I’m happy to report that my money has been credited back to my bank account, and the gentleman is even sending me a gift certificate for our time and trouble. I told him that wasn’t necessary, that I just wanted the problem resolved, but he insisted that it was necessary, as compensation for our inconvenience. He also assured me that the employees at the truck stop will have some remedial training in customer service and company policy. So even though we had an issue, to TA’s credit, they did handle it for us, which I appreciate.

Thought For The Day – A frog in a well does not know the great sea.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  14 Responses to “Burros, Oakies, And Airmen”

  1. It may just be your blog but it shows the power of the press and equally important is the need for an advocate for RV’ers.

  2. Did they mention any changes to their company policy when debiting fuel purchases?

  3. I think the resolution you got was because of your National exposure to thousands of RVers and the impact it could have on their BOTTOM LINE. It obviously took them a day or two to check you out before calling. It shouldn’t have happened it the first place and I (for one RVer) will avoid TA like the plague.

  4. I was raised in Chloride, 20 miles north of Kingman. One room school and all that stuff. Lot of history there if you get the right people to speak to. Brother still lives there.

  5. “He also assured me that the employees at the truck stop will have some remedial training in customer service and company policy.”

    Nick, so what is the “official” TA policy when it comes to debit cards?

  6. Hey, Nick–

    Did TA refund the advertised savings of $.28/gallon that were not given you at the time of purchase ? Or did they just credit back to you your own $500? If you didn’t get the advertised savings, did they say why?

  7. The frog in the well doesn’t know the sea, but he can be happy and content in his well! I wonder if that frog, should he ever be transported to the sea. would be able to survive the change to salt water and the big hazards there that he never had to face in his well! Like predators. Is that analagous to moving from a small midwest town to a major metropolis?

  8. Well we are getting ready to make a trip to D.C. and will not be using T.A.
    In the past we have used our debit cards at the pump and all has went well. Now however I think I will just have the wife go into the ATM get the cash then wait in line at the fuel desk while I pump the fuel. This should hold up the line and make some real mad,but I will just carry the tire bat with me.(I will have her get the cash while we are waiting in the line to fuel).
    I do not move away from the pump anymore because of a big mix up I had at another truck stop over getting a receipt. Someone was already pumping fuel on the pump and my receipt got lost.

    Don and Barb

  9. Like you, I’m somewhat of a history buff myself. We shun the interstates and travel the lesser roads in order to see the towns along the way. I’ve always been interested in how towns sprouted up when and where they did. We visited Kingman a while back and I asked a local gent if he knew how Kingman came to be. He said, “well yes I do.”
    A real nice guy. He told me that in the 1850’s a wagon train was making its way west to the goldfields of California. They stopped in an area that is now Kingman. The Wagonmaster announced to the settlers, “We’ll just wait here ’til the wind dies down.”
    My wife told me he was pulling my leg. Was he?

  10. C&A: Yep, he was pulling your leg. A railroader came through the area and with a RR the town of Kingman started…………and was named after the RR surveyor. But he too, like most of us, probably had to wait for the wind to die down in Kingman, Quartzsite, Yuma, Lordsburg, etc.

  11. I went to Oatman just over a year and a half ago. It was a delightful little town and we just loved the burros. The babies are the cutest things ever. Thanks for bringing my memory back to that time of my life.

  12. I can believe it! TA in santa Rosa, NM debited my acct. twice last week after telling me that “you will only be debited for the amount you pump”. NOT! I called the fuel desk, very nice and PROMISED to call me back. Never did! I called my bank, said they would be sure it was credited back to my acct. the next day. They did.
    NEVER will I use TA again! I was in a tight spot or wouldn’t have this time. At least you got a certificate….LOL

  13. Llana,
    Yes, they are going to reimburse me for the overpayment and my hassle in the form of a $100 gift certificate. The gentlerman I spoke to said it is not their policy to place a hold on debit card funds, and he said that was a bank policy. I told him that it doesn’t happen at Flying J and other places where we buy fuel, so I don’t understand how it can be a bank policy. I didn’t get an answer to that.

  14. If you did not have a “powerful” blog you would likely have been ignored. Kinda like the Poliseek issue in the past. To their credit, they did do something, but what about us “common folks”….

    BTW, I dropped Poliseek as an agent BECAUSE of your treatment. I personally know 6 other people who did the same. Will it mean anything to them….no. But at least I have a better feeling about “help” from my new agent.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.