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 gut 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 or 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.