I learned about the historic Route 66 town of Oatman from my niece. They were in Laughlin, Nevada for some fireworks show a few years ago, and took a day trip out to see this infamous Western town and the donkeys that roam the streets (and essentially run the show). A few months ago I left work early on a Friday to see this place for myself.

This is probably my most favorite section of Route 66, at least so far. Slowly winding along the canyon roads, the town just appears out of nowhere, lining both sides of the highway for a block or two before the desert landscape once again takes hold.

Night closes in a few minutes after I arrive, so I head back into town early the next morning. Donkey’s greet me shyly as I wander up and down Main street, checking out the weather beaten storefronts of Oatman.

Clackety clack is the sound my shoes make as I walk along the wooden planks of the town’s sidewalks. A hearty cowboy with a pooper scooper for donkey dung goes up and down the Main street, cleaning up after the donkeys before another day of tourists arrive.

I am now fully vaccinated against Covid, but mask mandates are still in effect. Weary I am of this year long pandemic, but respectful I must be. I avoid entering the stores and restaurants, staying outside and away from others, man and donkey alike.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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