Sitgreaves Pass, named after Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves, is a winding road that passes through the Black Mountains. This is the route from Oatman to Kingman AZ and it is not a road for the faint of heart. It is very windy and twisty with tons of blind corners that reveal butt-clenching “surprises” as you go through them (e.g. burros, sudden drops, fallen rock, crumbling mine entrances, or tourists who have stopped to feed the donkeys or take a photo).
It’s said that in the “olden days” tourists would pay locals to drive their car through the pass or have their cars towed over the summit. I can understand why I saw many a driver with a look of concentration or terror on their face as they passed by. Motorcyclist stop frequently to “take a break” from the wind and road.
But, I had a tiny car and learned how to drive in Nova Scotia where winding roads are a normal thing, so it wasn’t too bad. And, I will say that the route is one of the most beautiful I have ever travelled on.
Memorials to the Departed
Peppered throughout the pass are little crosses. At just about every roadside stop you will find at least a small handful of crosses with pictures, names, or memorabilia. At first, I thought they might be Mohave graves or some sort of ritual because this is Aboriginal land, but I began to suspect that these are spots where ashes are spread.
There is one particularly beautiful spot with enough crosses to make you think you are standing in a graveyard, the view is spectacular and at this point, you are able to see three states: Arizona, California, and Nevada. What a fantastic place to have your ashes spread.