Day 11 on Route 66 — Cameron Trading Post and a fabulous sunset

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

(July 4, 2016) CAMERON, Ariz. — The Route 66 road crew took a break from traveling the old highway and headed north from Flagstaff Sunday morning toward the Grand Canyon, something we are sure hundreds of thousands of people traveling the Mother Road from the late 1920s to the early 1970s did. How can you bypass one of Mother Nature's top world attractions?

We spent most of Sunday at the Cameron Trading Post — billed as the gateway to the Grand Canyon and a 30-minute drive from the South Rim entrance — has been described as a one-stop cultural experience, an opportunity to learn about Navajo culture first-hand through their art selling — as described by the Trading Post — "hand-crafted jewelry of silver and turquoise, colorful rugs painstakingly crafted on looms handed down through generations, as well as pottery, baskets and paintings from many tribes throughout the Southwest."

Sunset at the Cameron Trading Post and Lodge near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Photo by Ted Biederman

The trading post — celebrating its 100th anniversary this year — is a large complex with a big store packed with as many "treasures" as your pocketbook will allow, a restaurant with a view and good food, and an RV park.

One of the highlights of our stay was watching the sunset over the rocks of the Little Colorado River Gorge. Very beautiful, indeed, with clouds framing the dying light.

Don't miss our Day 10 report — A visit to the La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Ariz.

So that will put the MotorwayAmerica crew — made up of editors Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman and their wives, Luci and Trudye — at the south rim of the Grand Canyon on the morning of July 4th, and then back south into Williams, Ariz., for fireworks displays, and to resume their trek down the world's most famous highway on Tuesday toward Santa Monica, Calif., and the conclusion of the 16-day journey.

We left Winslow and the grand La Posada Hotel Sunday morning taking as much of old Route 66 as allowable. Unfortunately, outside Winslow headed west much of the Mother Road has been erased by the ravages of time or because it was paved over with the building of Interstate 40 in the early-to-mid 1970s.

What we found along the way was a series of abandoned businesses decaying in the July heat long ago forced out of business with the closing and decommissioning of Route 66 in favor of the new interstate system. One such former stop with three of four businesses including a service station was called Two Guns. Nothing left there but the skeletons of buildings that once held viable businesses.

Tonight we will be staying at the Red Garter Inn in Williams in a building constructed in 1897 that has served as a saloon, a bordello, a rooming house, a general store, and more. Stay tuned as we continue to get our kicks on Route 66.