The End of the Road

…or… The Beginning Of The Next One.

At the edge of the sprawling, multi-county mass of people known to the world as “Los Angeles”, we paused for the night.  We wanted one night’s sanity in a regular hotel before jumping into our last day on Route 66.  We found this place.  An icon on the Mother Road, it is as neat, clean and tidy as the day it first opened.

Wig Wam

It has a series of wigwam rooms in a park like setting.

TeePeePark

Maybe the original dwellers of this type of housing didn’t have a paved over prairie for their homes, but I’m sure they looked the same inside.

TeePeePavement

Luxury TeePee

Tired and hungry we stepped back in time for a meal at a new place on the block.  They were celebrating their millionth burger sold.

Mickey D

Can’t beat the price and this guy inside made us feel welcome.

Shake Dude

            This is the original McDonalds site in San Bernardino; now turned into a museum, but not selling any food.

We enjoyed the company, but couldn’t find any of those 15¢ hamburgers.  We stopped here but the place was too crowded inside.

Big O

This place looked magical, but I think the roofers hit the hookah a few too many times.

Majik Lamp

We settled for this hotel tavern with the outdoor seating firmly implanted in the wall.

Azzztec Hotel

seating

We shopped after eating the fine food.

Crap

At last we made it to Hollywood.

Little Holly

Close up, its HOLLYWOOD!!

Big Holly

 

With all the sites to see, but little time, we had to find the highest priority:  film studios, houses of the stars, Grauman’s Theater?  What would we pick?

We only had time for one stop so we paused at the cemetery to pay homage to the late and great Johnny Ramone.

Yo Joey

We wiped away our tears with a dirty black bandana and headed back to Route 66.

Yo Will

And finally, the End of THE Road.  A fine hotel, and the Santa Monica Pier.

Georgian Deco

SM Pier

We started with this sign in Chicago…

End sign

…and we ended with this one in Santa Monica.

Other End

We may have picked up someone at that McDonalds back there.

 

            Bubba has finally completed his Route 66 trip, but he has picked up the travel bug and there is no stopping him now.

            Well, maybe a certain laziness in posting may delay him.

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California Here We Come! Finally!

The first part of Route 66, on the eastern end, runs through Chicago and the farmlands of the Midwest.  There are tiny towns that have survived the move of the highway because the farming community was so strong.  On the western end, there is plenty of dessert.  When the highway moved and sped up there was no reason for most of the communities to exist and they dried in the heat.  Now they are in the process of blowing away, so I would suggest a visit before they are gone.

We gassed up and headed out once more.  At this station we pumped a lot of dust.

No Gas

While there wasn’t much in the way of food, we did find something to eat at the next stop.  They will serve chicken any way you want as long as it is dead.

Ded Cluck

I wasn’t sure I was on the right road.  I thought I would ask for some help.  These people looked like they knew Route 66 but maybe, just maybe, they had been on this road a little too long.  Even longer than me.

Road Weary

I stopped to ask this guy for directions.  I complemented him on his suit and he replied, “Thank you, thank you very much.”

An Elvi

I wanted to head in the right direction, but he told me he has been wandering on this road for decades.  He was just waiting for his two friends, Marilyn, and James to come back so they could head out again.  He said he won’t let James drive because he wrecked his last car.

Bubba N Bubba

Passing through the city of Hackberry where the PDA was supposedly invented.  I had a feeling I was still on Route 66.  At least that’s what the signs suggested.  We fueled up on Coca Cola and continued.

Hackberry General

After some extensive desert driving, Rick said the cola was getting to him.  IT must have been too much caffeine because he stopped and took a short hike in the desert to spend some quiet time with a small bush.

Nature Boy

We wound our way up the road and into the foothills for our cross into California.

hellroad

            Yes, that is the road.  Those pale squiggly lines winding up and over.  Just ignore the lack of guardrails and the rusted out hulks of cars that went over and could not be recovered.

LeftTurnLeftTurnLeftTurn

We made it to the thriving metropolis of Oatman just in time for the afternoon commute.

This is a group of locals just hanging out.

Oatman Commute

Too many donkeys were hanging around eating anything they came upon.  Not a good situation for a little guy like me.  I thought I would hide out back here for a bit.

Hide Bubba, Hide

We had to get through traffic and keep pressing on.  California can’t be far, let’s head out and find the Golden State.

11-25 Donkey

We made it!  We were back in California and back into civilization…Needles, California.

City o Needles

 

Back on the fast pace, we thought we would celebrate by stopping for a quick bite at the Roadrunner Café.

Roadrunner

We just missed closing time… last century.  This was East Amboy.  The real life is in the main square of Amboy itself.

Boy o Amboy

After that, a whole lot more of the dry side of Route 66.

MT Station

MT Market

MT tank

MugWumps?

I’m not sure what a Mugwump is.

We made it as far as Barstow and thought we would stop for the night.  This place had the nickname “Hotel California”.  Something about their checkout policy.  A beautiful place with no one around.

Train Hotel

We checked in and went to our room.  We tried to go to our room.  Yes, it was room 316.

Missing room

Tomorrow, we head for Los Angles, and the end of our road in Santa Monica.  The California roads must be much better, they have all the new technology to make the driving easier and the right way clearer.

Which Line?

A Corner in Winslow Arizona

 

           We last left Bubba in the Painted Desert.  A car drove past with his long lost Millie biding him a fond farewell.  As we rejoin him, we find him back on the search along Route 66.

            I ran off to find Millie and came across this house.  Maybe she left a sign.  I looked around and found a footprint on a rock.

New Home

Big Foot

            Then I saw this disturbing picture.  Was that Millie being carried off by a large bird?

Millie Stork

            And what did all this mean?

Big Story

            I guess if I would have read my Painted Desert and Petrified Forest guide book I would have seen that there are quite a few petroglyphs in the area.  I though the Petrified Forest was a Humphrey Bogart film and petroglyph was a gas additive.  These things date back about a thousand years.  What other old things are around here. 

            WHOA!  Don’t get off the bus lady!

Bus to Hell

            No wonder the wood is petrified.  I’m pretty scared too.  Too late for the lady, she traded the bus ride for something else.

Bad Barney

Dyno Ride

 

            One of the requirements for a drive down route 66 is a suspension of belief or even reason.  Businesses will do anything to get the passer bys to stop and take a look.  Since the addition of freeways, they are even more desperate.

            Things were getting a little distorted.  Is this reality or is this a Twilight Zone episode.  It was time to stop for a rest.

WigWam

 

            I had a careful look around.  I got the impression that the people in these rooms had been there for a long time.  At least their cars had been there for a long time. 

No Check Out

 

            I felt I was in that old song.  You know the one about the hotel where you can check out but you can never leave?  What was the name of the group that sang that?  That was starting to bug me.  I just couldn’t remember.  I found this guy to ask.  We were just hanging on a corner when a girl drove by in a flat bed Ford.

In Da Corner

 

I was starting to feel lost.  I wasn’t even sure I was on Route 66 anymore.  Then I picked up a clue.

In Winslow Arizona

            Enough of this.  I couldn’t figure IT out.  I didn’t know what IT is.  I couldn’t even find IT.

Here It Is

 

            Yeah, well, maybe not.  It was more of that 66 weirdness.

Hoopty Hare

            Time to hit the road, but first I needed to check the map and maybe find a place to eat.

Big Map

          Just a minor problem with the road, but a clue that I may have trouble finding an open restaurant on this stretch.  I can see the freeway next to old 66 but driving 66 is the goal.    

End of the Road..for a bit

                                                                This place isn’t open.

Valentine Diner 

Its brother isn’t open either.

And another

                                            This place isn’t open.  Maybe that’s a good thing.

Lion Lunch

 

                                                               This town isn’t open.

 

Lion Town

 

                                                       Maybe if I follow the arrows…

Point the Way

                                                             Nope, not here either.      

Trading Post

                                        Ahhh! Here we go.  Something tells me this will do just fine.

Bubba's Joint

To Columbia

            Bubba was looking for a relaxing Caribbean holiday but went to a cut rate, online travel agent and ended up in Cuba.  He had a good time but is still looking for his south of the border experience. 

            The travel agent did not give me my time on the beach in the Caribbean and I called to complain.  My trip to Cuba was fantastic but not the hammock and sand adventure I was looking for.  The lady on the other end said there were some great prices on vacations in Columbia and, since the price was so low, I took her up on it. 

            Did you know there is more than one place named Columbia?  Upon arrival I found that there is a restored gold rush town named Columbia located in California. 

When I showed up, they held a parade in my honor.

            They even scrambled the fire department and the militia.

          It may not be in South America but I think I like this place.  Columbia California is a preserved gold rush town that is now a state park.  The park rangers are friendly and helpful.  This nice lady explained that I was not in the Columbia in South America, but a safer spot that didn’t have any beaches. 

          She suggested I look around and meet some of the local residents.  In a western town, you start at the blacksmith’s shop.

          I found a new hiking shoe for my brittle feet.  It was just a little too big though.

          I tried it on and found it was too heavy to go dancing in.

          I had to be rescued by this gunslinger.  He let me ring the dinner bell.

          I decided I would have to stay for awhile.  I found The Fallon House, a hotel on the edge of town.

          I signed in at the register and got my key to room two.

          I stopped off at the local Saloon where the saloon keeper greeted me with a nice, cold, dark beer.

          And another.

          And pretty soon it was time to call it a night.

          Tomorrow I’ll explore the town some more and maybe look for some gold.