Friday, December 7, 2012

2012 Route 66 Road Trip - Day 7

We left La Verne the next morning, continuing eastward. Since leaving Santa Monica to our current position, I was already burned out from the stop-and-go city and suburb traffic... and this morning was more of the same. Aaron told me on a couple of different occasions, in moments of my own exasperation, that this first day was the longest because we were getting nowhere fast. Fortunately, once we escaped the Los Angeles and the San Bernardino areas... the land opened up a lot.

Before leaving the San Bernardino metro area altogether, we stopped on a dead end section of 66 to snack and take a quick look at The Screaming Chicken Saloon and Tony's Diner.
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Continuing on, we found barricaded sections of Rt. 66 that were no longer in use... but that we could still drive on. You can see that section on the right side of this image:
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Someone was selling this beast on the side of the road. I don't know that' I'd buy it, but it looks like it could have been fun to take on the trails for a few hours. :D
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We found automotive carcasses all along the route, and these particular specimens were parked at a Rt. 66 museum in Victorville, CA.
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Just before reaching Barstow, CA we happened upon the Bottle Tree Ranch! http://www.odditycentral.com/pics/elmer-longs-bottle-tree-ranch.html
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And we met, and talked to Elmer... the Bottle Tree Ranch's creator, caretaker, and curator. He told us that he'd been collecting and building for over 13 years. He has a pretty impressive collection - just about anything and everything can be found out there on the ranch. :D
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We chatted it up with Elmer for about a half hour and then continued on down the road. We stopped again in Daggett, CA because this pioneer cemetery caught my eye. Most of the markers were old, worn, wooden crosses... with a few newer marble and stone gravestones scattered about.
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Unsure of exact location, we did take some time to explore some other abandoned buildings and forgotten service stations.
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Just beyond Amboy, CA, I did a quick u-turn so we could go back and check out the Shoe Tree. This tree once stood, displaying shoes... but when we were there, the tree appeared to have fallen or had become victim to a washout along the side of the road. By the looks of it, the tree has been down awhile. http://www.roadtripamerica.com/roadside/California-Amboy-Shoe-Tree.htm
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The long and lonely road out of Amboy.
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We passed the old Roadrunner Retreat on our way out of town.
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Aaron directed us on to one of his older alignment routes. We got a little turned around and could not get to the actual road due to no railroad track crossing... either under or over. So without being on an actual Rt. 66 section, we found a large number of off-road gravel/dirt roads and railroad service trails. We chose to drive those in the general direction of Needles, CA, which wasn't too far from our location.
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The interstate is over there somewhere. Nice colors as the sun goes down. :D
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We arrived in Needles and decided to stay there for the evening. There wasn't much to do around town - even the downtown area was pretty dead. We took a short drive near the Colorado River that runs next to the town, and then ended up at the local McDonald's for free wi-fi.