After Williams, you begin dropping — a few thousand feet, actually — as you head back into the desert of northern Arizona. Route 66 leaves Interstate 40 for an extended stretch at Ash Fork, a small burg called the "Flagstone Capital of the World" – owing to a series of stone quarries in and around town.
Route 66 follows a one-way westbound/one-way eastbound configuration through Ash Fork, and along the way (we recommend you do a loop and check out both sides, as we do any time Route 66 is divided through a town) there are plenty old motels, diners, and bars to see.
Westbound Route 66 is called Lewis Avenue, and at the corner of Lewis and 5th Street, you'll find the Ash Fork Marker, a noticeable structure with a marker detailing the history of Ash Fork.
A good stop is the Ash Fork Route 66 Museum, opened in a beautiful old sandstone building in 1997 by the Ash Fork Historical Society. History abounds here, including cars dating back to before Route 66's day, furniture and antique historical items, and an impressive train display. Other Route 66 stops in town include the DeSotos Beauty Shop, and plenty of signs and markers – ideal for photos.
Heading west out of Ash Fork, Route 66 loops over to I-40. Follow it a few miles to Exit 139 and you'll be on deck for a ride into the Arizona interior on the longest uninterrupted stretch of Route 66; over nine miles with no crossings, driveways, businesses, not even a fast food joint. Who knew such a stretch existed?