The most fun day yet! This is what I imagined when I started thinking about this trip. We spent the night in Victorville
This is where we would join the Mother Road when I was a child. We’d head out of Palmdale down Highway 138 and take the cutoff to Victorville. A trip of maybe 50 miles? This driving is what I remember: lots of open desert with nothing but telephone poles to mark the miles.
We left Victorville at 7:30 in the morning and headed back to Emma Jean’s Holland Burger for breakfast. What a kick. The waitress is the owner and she was a blast.
There were a bunch of locals in having breakfast. We tooled around Victorville a bit but the museum was closed (a recurring theme we were later to find out). Outside of Victorville is the bottle forest. We stopped in, took some pictures and met the owner. Retired from Manhattan Beach in SoCal; he’s been working on it for about 8 years now.
Then up through the desert into Barstow, where we stopped at the depot but found the museum to be closed. We got a couple of pictures though!
Also in Barstow is the El Rancho Barstow hotel. Built completely of railroad ties when the old Tonopah railroad went defunct.
Then, the serious lonely desert through Amboy. We lost sight of I-40 for miles but ran next to the railroad tracks. The temperature topped 112 degrees. When we stopped for pictures, it was quick clicks then back to the air conditioned comfort of the car. We came across the shoe tree, where people leave shoes on some random tree .
Then we went through Needles, crossed the Colorado River into Arizona and headed up to Oatman and Sitgreaves pass. This alignment was bypassed in 1952, so we never travelled it when I was a kid. Oatman is a little burb up in the mountains and it has burros roaming the streets. We bought a beautiful purple bottle that will go in our new kitchen cabinet when we the remodel is done.
The road was NOT built like they build roads today; lots of dips; narrow with steep drops and no guard rails. Carla drove this stretch and had white knuckles by the time got to the valley. When I told her I was a little worried, she said “do what I do and close your eyes!” Here is a picture looking east just after we crested the summit.
We passed Cool Springs on the way to Kingman.
Kingman is TRAIN CITY. We pulled into Kingman at 6:15 (that’s more than 9 hours of driving) where it was a relatively balmy 103 degrees. We relaxed in the pool and headed to a really great Mexican restaurant for Margaritas and dinner. This was a much longer day than we had anticipated, but we wouldn’t have changed a thing.