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Route 66 in California

July 20, 2016
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Our site at Prado Regional Park, Chino, CA

April 4, 2016.  Our general plan is to drive up Route 66 towards Chicago, visit with B’s mum, and return maybe via a northern route through Dakota and Montana.  We don’t plan to drive very far on any one day, so we’ll be finding camps and making forays from there to explore the area.  This is our first stop, in Chino, to explore the western end of Route 66 in California.

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Aztec Hotel, Monrovia, CA

In Los Angeles county, Route 66 has been submerged into the suburbs that grew up around it.  It also has several alternate alignments which were in use at various times.  We didn’t have a good map – just a photo-based guidebook.  Eventually we found ourselves on Huntingon Drive.  At first, going through San Marino (like Rancho Santa Fe outside San Diego, or Winnetka outside Chicago).  Money talks!  But then we crossed from San Marino into the city of Los Angeles and it was like night and day.  Lack of money talks just as loudly!

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The western end, if you believe its claim

We asked our GPS to take us to Santa Monica pier, the claimed western end of Route 66.  Dutifully it took us to Venice Beach.  No good, Garmiin!  Santa Monica pier was a lot more crowded than this photo implies, since it’s a big tourist attraction.  Since we’d achieved our goal, we didn’t stay long.  All that was left for today was to drive bacn to the camp.  Through Los Angeles rush hour (how misnamed is that – there is no rushing during rush hour!)

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A Prado Regional Park resident

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Evening at Prado Regional Park

April 5, 2016.  Today’s exploration is eastward from  the camp.

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Restored (but non-operational) service station, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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Check out the prices!

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Winery (now a shopping center), Rancho Cucamonga, CA

The Sonoma wineries claim to be the first in California, but this (and another in Rancho Cucamonga) pre-date them by about 30 years.

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Before it was “Route 66” it was the “Pioneer Trail”.

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Wigwam Motel, San Bernardino, CA (still in business!)

We saw another of these ‘wigwam’ motels farther east on Route 66.

Along the route (mainly, Foothill Boulevard) there were also many no-longer-open motels and businesses that could certainly have been of classic “Route 66” age.

April 6, 2016.  We decamped and headed for our next stop at Needles, CA.  We kept pretty faithfully to Route 66 through Newberry Springs (which played the role of Bagdad in the movie Bagdad Cafe).  East of Newberry Springs, the road turned horrible.  We gave up and managed to find a feeder road back up to I-40 before we reached Amboy, which we’d already visited on an earlier journey.

No pics from today.  There’s not much left in Needles – not even a grocery store.  They drive five miles into Arizona to go grocery shopping.

April 7, 2016.  We back-tracked a short way along Route 66 to Goffs, CA.  They are in the process of assembling what looks like a very interesting outdoor museum.  Unfortunately, it was closed so all we could do was look over the fence.

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