Earlier this week I had an appointment at Stanford — no worries, everything’s groovy — and so I decided to do the sane and efficient thing and drive my ass out there and back. Since at least half the trip was along I-40, I figured I’d take in some of the old Route 66 sights along the way.
First up was Holbrook, Arizona, land of a thousand dinosaur statues.
And here’s the infamous Bucket of Blood Street in the “historic” part of town.
Next stop was the Jack Rabbit Trading Post.
This is an old, abandoned gas station right down the road.
Then I trucked it all the way across the midday late-June desert of Arizona to lovely Needles, Calif., where I stayed here…
… and successfully did not get murdered. Below is an old Texaco station on Route 66 near the entrance ramp back to I-40.
After Needles, I took a detour off the interstate and along a good stretch of historically preserved Route 66, towards Amboy.
There was a fair amount of weird shit, including a few of these statues along the way, for no reasons I was ever able to discern.
And then I hit Amboy.
Next was the (pretty much entirely) abandoned mining town of Ludlow.
To their credit, there’s still a functioning gas station and a pretty good diner.
Anyway, after Ludlow there wasn’t much, so I took I-40 to its end in Barstow, then drove through the angry, angry farmland of California until I reached the Bay Area. Did my thing at Stanford, had some great fish for lunch, and made my way back to I-5, or, as I like to call it, Satan’s Grundle. I hate that highway more than I thought I could ever hate a highway.
Eventually I made it back to Route 66 in San Bernardino and stayed in the Wigwam Motel.
After a very nice sleep, I headed back to I-40, heading east this time, and all the abandoned hopes and dreams of Route 66 left in its wake.
This is Area 66 in Golden Valley, Ariz.
And this is what’s left of a Whiting Bros. truck stop right down the road.
After driving past a whole lot of nothing, I tried to stop at the old Twin Arrows trading post, but it was barricaded off and I couldn’t find anywhere else to park. Luckily, though, Two Guns was wide open.
And then there was Fort Courage. I hadn’t actually heard of this one before, but I saw all the decaying signs along the side of the road and figured what the hell. Apparently it was briefly an attempt to cash-in on all them fat stacks of F-Troop money.
My favorite part was the Pancake House. Which also, at least judging by the sign, might have been a Taco Bell at one point? Or at least a vague attempt at copyright infringement.
And here’s the whole thing from the other side of the interstate.
After that, I just kind of booked it on home. There was a lot more stuff littered along the way that I had either already seen or didn’t get to this time. All in all, I feel it was a much better use of my time than the two hour plane ride I could’ve taken.