Day Seven on Route 66:
I’m up before the sun and drive across #Route66 to America’s Most Advertised Fast Food Joint ™
in Barstow, California.
In Barstow, the fast food shares billing with Barstow Station. Keeping my no-junk-food pledge from yesterday, I buy only a hot tea and open the laptop to update Day Six on America’s Main Street.
I am able to get most of yesterday’s post up without getting kicked off the WiFi or losing the post.
Dawdling over the hot tea, I’ve waited for the traffic in LA to be somewhat less crazy. It’s time to be on Route 66, America’s Main Street again. Time to
Get Your Kicks On Route 66. Santa Monica awaits…
Filling up the empty hot tea cup with Dr. Pepper, I head out the door. One thing I’ve learned on this trip is that more often than not, refills on hot tea are refused so I’ve adapted.
Out in the parking lot I watch as a guy comes out on the balcony of Barstow Station to have a cigarette. I’m in the parking lot having bananas. Not smoking them, having them for breakfast. We’re even, but probably my breakfast is healthier than his.
I make a right out of Barstow Station and drive West on The Main Street of America. There is little traffic this morning in Barstow, plenty of time for pix. The markings for Route 66 have been good through this part of The Golden State.
Immediately upon entering California, Route 66 / I-40 travelers enter San Bernadino County. The County has taken an interest in America’s Main Street, relabeling it as CR 66. This makes it pretty easy to follow Route 66 across the empty expanse of eastern California.
Here in Barstow, the Route 66 shield is augmented with the state name. I circle a block once to get some pictures, then drive west out of town. Like a lot of #Route66 towns, Barstow is long and skinny.
Leaving Barstow behind, The Mother Road bends gradually southward toward Oro Grande.
North of Oro Grande there is a wide spot in the road called “The Iron Hog”. I stop to get some pix and find that the Mojave River Yacht Club is active in this area. I sure hope the Mojave rises enough that they get some sailing in this year. The Stars and Stripes are flying at Iron Hog. God Bless ‘Em.
Oro Grande is coming into view now. It is just north of Victorville. There is an airport off to the right.
Prior to getting on I-15 south, I stop at a gas station to use the restroom. Don’t want to be crossing my legs in the upcoming L.A. traffic. I’m first in line. There are 2 bathrooms for guys but both are locked. One is marked ‘Customers Only’. Honestly, I’d be a customer if I needed something. Any port in a storm. Five minutes later, the line is growing, both doors have been knocked & shaken but no go. No go for me either. I decide to hold it and run into Victorville. Outside, my resolve weakens. Traffic be damned, I’ll skip Victorville & hold on as long as I can.
The entry to I-15 is uphill. Traffic is in front of me on the on-ramp. Slow traffic. ASAP, I move left across a couple of lanes to get past the slow traffic. Out-of-state plates, across 2 lanes at less than cruising speed and I fail to attract even one horn blast.
I’m gonna like L.A.
I-15 inclines upward for a while, then we’re above 4,000 feet elevation. Over the top, then we’re on a downhill. There are signs warning to watch your downhill speed. Trucks are limited to 45 but they don’t seem to notice the signs.
About halfway down the hill, there is a sign indicating Old Route 66 travelers should exit, stage right. I pull off and am in another world. Beautiful scenery, sparse traffic. Once off the freeway, you can go either way and Route 66 is not marked. I decide to
drive Route 66
as it parallels I-15, even though the opposite direction would appear to head West.
It’s the right call. What a peaceful drive down the canyon, first 2-lane then 4. I get a few pictures and wonder what this road was like when Clark Gable and Carole Lombard made the trip east. Probably, it was in a different canyon. 😉
Further down the canyon, the four-lanes are marked ‘ROAD CLOSED’. A quick stop to get some pix of the train way down there in the canyon, then back on I-15.
Either I missed it or Surprise! There seems to be no way back onto I-15 South from this entry. I follow the road and wind up on I-215. No biggie, I just go a ways on 215, then do a u-ey and head back east. Look, they put the Devore exit on I-215 just for me.
Off at Devore, but no clear direction on which way to go. Here is where some training in a previous life came into play. Long ago and not so far away, I spent some time driving on the Navajo Rez. Some of the places I traveled were so far back into the Rez, I’m sure I could have gotten a Rez dog lost. After the monsoon, quite often not only had the original road washed away, there were 3 new ones to take its place. All of them took off in different directions and of course had no signage, signs being rare on the Rez.
After a few years on the Rez, the Bilagaana becomes part Navajo. You learn to navigate by some innate ability, almost as though you can smell your way around.
I sniff, bear left and am rewarded shortly with the shield. It’s a double-header.
The guys from BNSF are out riding the rails as I follow the gradual slope downhill toward the
City of San Bernadino.
Trivia Question: What famous entertainer lost an eye when his Caddy wrecked near San Bernadino?
I don’t have a gigantic street map of the L.A. area but Rand McNally from Wally World seems to favor a left onto Mt. Vernon. Once again, it is the right move on this gorgeous summer morning.
This area is a little old-fashioned, like the ’40s or ’50s. Maybe a little run-down, but just pleasantly so. I keep expecting one of those hard-boiled characters from a Raymond Chandler novel to drive by.
I see a few brown
Route 66 markers
in San Bernadino but then get suspicious that I’ve overdriven it. I know I’m looking for a right on Foothill, so I drive a few blocks West, then head north. Here it is, Foothill Blvd. I will follow this West until near Pasadena.
I crossed Rancho while traveling south on Mt. Vernon. I think ‘Rancho’ is the name of Foothill as it enters San Bernadino. Next time, I’ll know.
Just West of San B.,
is celebrating The Mother Road. Notice they have branded the Route 66 brown shield:
Following The Main Street of America is pretty easy here on Foothill Blvd. Not only is it straight through, but most communities along The Mother Road have installed center island dividers with distinctive markings and landscaping unique to each town. Just follow
The Islands of Route 66
pretty much all the way to Pasadena.
has installed some great-looking monuments and landscaping in the island:
As I looked at the L.A. map earlier, I dreaded traveling along Foothill, thinking the traffic may be hectic. It’s exactly the opposite, laid back and traffic is relatively light. The only challenge I encountered was time. Driving across the northern L.A. suburbs took a few hours, but otherwise an interesting, scenic and relaxing drive.
Rancho Cucamonga not only marked
Route 66, The Mother Road,
in the center island but also installed brick paving strips periodically, emblazoned with the ’66’ shield.
Near Upland, I passed under a bridge celebrating the history of
Route 66, America’s Main Street.
installed some unique markings in the center. Have you noticed that each city has planted unique type of plants in order to differentiate itself from neighboring towns?
This is just cruising on Foothill, pretty good progress with occasional stops for lights.
And then on to
the town with everything from A to Z in the U.S.A.
uses its center island to honor those in the Military.
I leisurely pass through
then on by
Santa Anita Park.
Just west of here, the road forked. Colorado Boulevard is the right fork, the one to use for The Mother Road. I mistakenly go straight and am temporarily off 66. Realizing my mistake, I go around a shopping center, the racetrack and re-join Colorado Blvd a little later.
I look around for the Little Old Lady in Her Shiny Red Super Stock Dodge, but alas, no drag race today. The Terror Of Colorado Boulevard must be home, taking a nap.
is pretty much the end of street road driving until Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. In Pasadena, I pick up Arroyo south ( CA 110 ) and head toward Downtown L.A.
I then pick up the Hollywood Freeway, the 101, toward Ventura and follow it to the exit for Santa Monica Boulevard.
Safely back on a street road, Santa Monica Boulevard, I enjoy the drive west toward Beverly Hills. Just a few miles and I’ll be in the City of Santa Monica.
Since getting off the 101 I’ve been driving Route 66 in
Traffic is OK. It isn’t that everyone in the western half of the U.S. is headed to the beach at Santa Monica Pier. They are already there, as I will discover later.
West of West Hollywood lies a place that many people, including Jed Clampett, have aspired to reach:
With a double roar, the lanes split in Beverly Hills! Just like Moses and the Red Sea!
Moses may not be here but the Tourists are worshiping at the Altar of Beverly Hills!
As I drive westward toward the Pacific Ocean, I notice a familiar face.
Then I’m in
I don’t know if I even noticed the sign …
I take a left on Lincoln as the GPS guides me south to Pico. Colorado Boulevard is NOT a through street to the Pier, so I’m guided south, west and back north toward the Pier.
A right on Ocean and I’ve looped around to the Object Of My Seven Days of Travel!
Santa Monica Pier!
I did not stop at the Pier. I had to leave something undone for next time, when ol’ Buzze will do the entire Road Trip On Route 66 again, but in reverse:
Santa Monica Pier to Adams Street in Downtown Chicago, via Route 66!
In six-and-a-half days I’ve traversed most of the continent, traveled many miles, eaten too much fast food, too much good food, took a million pictures, written 15,000 words, had a lot of great experiences and built a lot of great memories which will be x2 on the reverse trip!
I Drove The Mother Road Route 66!
See you on the flip-flop!
Meanwhile, it’s home to Arizona for some R&R, fleshing out the blog and ensuring things are OK at the house!
Buzze A. Long, reporting from the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California!
P.S. Keep coming back.
I’ll be updating the site with a scorecard, many more pages about locations along the way and reflections & roundups!
Thanks for reading and following along!
Buzze, Finished with The Ultimate Road Trip On Route 66.