If you’re on a mission to take pictures with all of the iconic signs along Route 66, you simply can’t drive past the Jack Rabbit Trading Post. The store’s famous “Here It Is” signage is the most compelling reason to turn off of Interstate 40 at Joseph City, Arizona.
There it is. “Here it is.”
This decaying wooden billboard is synonymous with Route 66, thanks to its odd-looking, hunched-over rabbit, and enigmatic message.
So, here is what, exactly?
The Jack Rabbit Trading Post (yeah, it has a real name, other than just “Here It Is”) is an unassuming building which, at first glance, I thought might be closed. As I pulled in, thinking about all of the essential souvenirs inside, I began to wonder if my visit on Sunday morning was ill-timed. An “Open” sign in the window did little to reassure me. It looked dark inside. I tugged on the door and it budged — but the lights were off. Did someone simply forget to flip the sign and lock the door?
Then, the lights turned on, and I was greeted by a man whom I presume is the owner, Antonio. I’m not sure exactly what hours he keeps, but I was glad that I arrived at the right time.
The Jack Rabbit Trading Post has been around since 1949. It’s been in the family of Antonio’s wife, Cindy, for three generations, dating back to 1961.
Inside, there’s a small room in the back that serves as a sort-of Route 66 museum. I was jealous of those old 66 road signs.
The larger front room had items for sale. About half of the room was devoted to the typical kind of stuff that you find at tourist-trap stores along The Route. The other half was stocked with almost every imaginable kind of “Here It Is” souvenir: T-shirts, bumper stickers, license plate frames, hats… the list went on and on. I passed on the boxers and panties that said “Here It Is”, and instead opted for a t-shirt and sticker.
The real reason to stop here is to admire that quirky sign. There are two, actually — the one you see at the top of the page, and this one, which faces the opposite direction. This side is much newer, less rotten, and has a fresher coat of paint. Maybe that’s why it’s less satisfying than the decaying sign that faces west.
Once you’ve admired the signs and stocked up on souvenirs, there’s only one very important thing to do. You have to climb up on the giant jackrabbit in the parking lot, settle into the saddle, grab an ear, and deliver a cowboy-style wave to all your friends on Facebook. This was the only time on this entire trip that I used my tripod — but this shot made it worth all the space and weight it used in my checked baggage.
If you’re driving Route 66, and looking for authentic attractions, you’ll need to make a stop at the Jackrabbit Trading Post near Joseph City, Arizona, for souvenirs, photos of the sign, and a brief ride on an oversized rabbit.
Jack Rabbit Trading Post is located about five miles west of Joseph City, Arizona, at exit 269 off Interstate 40. Westbound travelers who want a more authentic Route 66 experience should leave the Interstate at exit 274 and take the frontage road, Old 66, the final five miles to Jack Rabbit.
From the interstate, westbound travelers should have no trouble seeing the familiar “Here It Is” sign, just before exit 269. Eastbound travelers may miss it — so make sure you know what you’re looking for.
Check out this time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive from Winslow, through Joseph City, to Holbrook, Arizona: