23 Sep Flintstone Bedrock City, Williams, Arizona
Flintstone Bedrock City is such a tease as you approach The Grand Canyon (and it’s not really in Williams!) When you drive by there is just no way you can’t stop and go in. Fred Flintstone beckons to you at the entrance and there are all these funny looking buildings and the sign says “camping” and although I don’t want to camp, I’m completely compelled to check out this fun roadside attraction. American entrepreneurship is amongst the most interesting in the world and what could be more perfect for this genre than a Flintstone Village?
The original Bedrock City is in Custer, South Dakota but it’s only open during the summer months – this iteration is open all year round and only closed on Christmas Day! It was originally built in 1972 and most of the buildings are concrete and painted in bright inviting colors: there’s a post office, shown here a restroom (so fabulous), a jail, a beauty parlor, a general store (which of course has the coolest souvenirs) – what more could you ask? Oh yes, a diner – which we did not go to. I’ve read critical comments online about the decaying nature of this place, and I’m sure it’s true. But what I’ve come to realize about much of what I’ve seen on this Route 66 trip is about an American Dream – something in our collective spirit that has a great idea and seizes upon it – knows people will like it and then creates it.
The Flintstones were a huge hit when I was growing up. The folks that created this park were doing something in tune with those times. Those times have passed. But for just a few moments I could appreciate all the care that was put into creating this village as a tribute to those great characters that meant so much to me as a kid growing up.
Will it last? Will someone keep it going? Only time will tell.