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The first time we visited Oatman was in 1991. 
Little has changed; it is just as charming as it was the first time.
Oatman, Arizona
Once upon a time (1906), Oatman, Arizona, was a prosperous gold mining town. And in the 40's main street USA ( Route 66) went right through town and in fact was the last stop in Arizona before the California border. In the dust bowl days of the 30's Route 66 was the trail for those who migrated to California in their model T's. But the gold mining shut down in 1942 when Congress declared that gold mining was no longer essential to the war effort. The second blow came much later when I-40 all but canceled out route 66. 

But Oatman survived and now enjoys over 500,000 visitors annually. Several movies have been made in this dusty western town. Festivals include January Bed Races, July 4th Sidewalk Egg Fry at High Noon, September Gold Camp Days, Labor Day International Burro Biscuit Toss and in December they celebrate the Christmas Bush Festival. 

Burros which were left behind when the miners pulled out are wild, but somewhat tamed by all the hand feeding by visitors. They roam the street and will even try to enter a store. They are very much a part of the town and definitely a tourist attraction. 

The Oatman Hotel and Restaurant serves some pretty good hamburgs but is really home to the Buffalo Burger which we did not try. On weekends a live band will perform. While we were there, the duo, Double or Nothen played some good toe tapping country music; they were barefoot. The real claim to fame of the Oatman Hotel is that Clark Gable and Carol Lombard spent their wedding night there in room 15. It has been kept the way it was for all to see. 

They also have gun fights on weekends and proclaim that you can even "plan your very own shotgun wedding with the Ghostrider Gunfighters." 

If you are into the nostalgia of Route 66, you can drive 167 continuous miles of the route from Oatman east. Most of the country is pretty rugged, but scenic at the same time. 

To find Oatman turn, east off of Arizona route 95 (south of Bullhead City) onto Boundry Road. The only sign is a small one and easily missed. 

Laughlin, Nevada

View from our CC campground                              The Showboat Casino

Laughlin, Nevada, started as one casino in 1966. It is now a fun playground and somewhat more casual than Las Vegas. Located on the Colorado River there are only nine casinos. Some say that the slot machines are looser in Laughlin because they want to attract visitors; they weren't loose for us, but then that is not saying much. We discovered a new casino as we were returning to our Coast to Coast campground in Bullhead City after our day trip to Oatman. The Ari Casino, RV resort and golf course is closer to Needles, California, and looked very nice. We did not go into the casino, but noticed how nice the golf course and campground were from the road. 

Many RVers dry camp in Laughlin's casino parking lots. They used to park anywhere, but now we noticed that they had designated areas for RV parking. Laughlin casinos have always boasted buffets like those in Vegas. Now they even have entertainment so it is a fun place to visit. We especially like the fact that we can walk along the river and visit all of the casinos without having to move the car or take a bus. 

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