Route 66-Day 10 (Last Day!): Barstow to Santa Monica

Having slept in Barstow, we were able to sleep in each of the 9 states that Route 66 passes through.  We only doubled up in New Mexico.  With the exceptions of the cities that everyone has heard of, driving Route 66 through the desert areas of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California have very little active sites to see.  That applies to the drive between Barstow and Victorville.  There are beautiful views but very little civilization.  After , we descended the Cajon Pass into San Bernardino.  We drove the city streets through Rialto, Upland, San Dimas, Azusa, Duarte and Pasadena.  Each of these cities had Route 66 well marked but didn’t have much in the way of Route 66 memorabilia.  We only Interstated it from Santa Monica (the showroom is now on 3rd street in Santa Monica) to get a charge.  While charging Matt and Marilyn met us and we went to and In-N-Out for lunch.  With 3 miles left, I almost had a mutiny when I mentioned that I preferred my egg mcmuffin for breakfast to a double-double for lunch.  fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.  With a full charge, we headed down Colorado Blvd  to the Santa Monica Pier and the official end to Route 66.

It was a great trip.  I highly recommend the drive to anyone.  The varied scenery was beautiful and small towns are a lot of fun.  Even waiting for a charge during the day wasn’t a problem because we had plenty to do.  I was really thankful that the car ran flawlessly (the problem in Salt Lake was the charging cord).  And, with a couple of exceptions, all of the KOA people were really nice and helpful.  Thanks to Matt and Pat for accompanying me.  Not only were they good company, but the navigation was so tricky that I couldn’t have done it without them.

Route 66-Day 9: Seligman to Barstow, CA

We found that it is better to hit the road early in the morning so we can get as much driving in as possible in the cooler weather.  It was 107 in Needles.  The campground was east of Seligman so we drove through Seligman, this morning, and the town has done a good job of decorating many of the buildings in the Route 66 motif.  Then headed through Peach Springs, Truxton and Hackberry before getting to Kingman.  Those three towns are really small (all that is in Hackberry is a mile post) with the only real sign of civilization being the Hualapai Indian Nation in Peach Springs.  Had breakfast at Mr. D’s Diner in Kingman.  The walls of Mr. D’s are covered with pictures and posters from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s so it was fun to eat there and the food was good too.  Between Kingman and the California border, Route 66 departs from the Interstate by quite a bit, like it did between Seligman and Kingman.  Went over a summit and got a great views of the high desert near Needles.  We arrived in Needles around noon and it was deserted.  I have to assume that everyone goes to Lake Havasu to keep cool.  Like the morning drives, most of Route 66 between Needles and Barstow is separate from the Interstate and goes through the high desert and towns like Goffs, Danby and Amboy.  These towns have one or two buildings.  As with the drive to Chicago on Interstate 80, the drive on Route 66 parallels railroad tracks and it seems we would see a mile long train every 15 minutes, or so.  It’s nice to know that so much freight is being shipped by rail.  For the first time, we had to stop and wait for a train on this leg.  Entering Barstow you see a huge solar power installation and a Marine Corps base.  Because of strong head winds and the unexpected elevation gain, we pulled into the KOA with only about 25 miles on the range meter.  On to Hodge, Helendale, the Cajon Pass and Santa Monica, tomorrow.