Monday, May 20, 2013

Road Runner Retreat - Route 66 Ghost Towns

The Road Runner Retreat was another little desert oasis along Route 66 in the Mojave Desert.  It may not have been an actual town, but it was still an important dot on the map for travelers.  The official Postal address of this place has it in the ghost town of Amboy, but it really isn't that close to it. This place suffered the same fate as many others when the new Interstate Highway (I-40) bypassed it in the early 1970's. Although it doesn't get the same notoriety as Roy's in Amboy, it is just as much of a treasure.

photo circa 1962
Like most of these little outposts, the Road Runner Retreat consisted of a gas station, auto repair shop, cafe and some cabins. I have no idea exactly when this photo was taken, but judging by the cars in the lot, I'd say it was in the early 1960's.  I'd love to give the original owner of this photo some credit, but I have no idea who it was. I also can't find out when this place originally opened. 

I took this photo and the rest of them in March of 2013. Not much left of the place, but it is still recognizable when compared to the photo above.

It is pretty cool that some of the coloring remains in the sign.  It was also pretty cool that some clouds showed up to make the photos better.

Lots of nothing for many miles. 

Here is the gas station.  I wonder what the sign was that hung just to the left of it? 

This was taken across the street from the Road Runner. Once again, I REALLY would like to know what this sign said.  Oh well, it still made for a nice photo.
This week and next we are on our favorite mountain ridge. For the first time ever here, we have a decent phone signal (that makes this post possible). Unfortunately, there has been a high wind alert for just about the entire week and we've pretty much been glued to our RV. I'm not complaining though, this is the view out the door and I'm catching up some much needed relaxation.  Today was much better and tomorrow we're going to get out and do some hiking and exploring around Lake Cuyamaca. 

My wife took this with her phone (Geez, I may switch). The valley floor is part of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The Salton Sea is also barely visible on the horizon, about halfway down that brown mountain to the right. 

Just about the same photo, taken with my camera at sunrise.  It was also taken out of the door of our RV. You can see the huge Salton Sea a lot better in this one. 


Monday, May 13, 2013

Yucca Arizona - Route 66 Ghost Towns

A short time ago I did a blog post relating to Cool Springs Arizona. I told you that the demise of Cool Springs was caused when a new alignment of Route 66 bypassed it.  Although the "new" alignment was a death sentence for Cool Springs, the small town of Yucca greatly benefited from the increased traffic. Yucca was created to be a water stop for the Atlantic & Pacific RR. In 1952, the new alignment of Route 66 changed everything. All of a sudden there was a truck stop, a store or two, a couple of cafes, two motels and a church. I'm sure the people in Yucca were feeling pretty good about things. The good feelings ended in the  early 1970's, when the new Interstate Highway (I-40) bypassed them by several miles.

As a result, every retail business in town, eventually had to close their doors. Most of the old places are gone, but there are a few still standing, mixed in with newer houses (I said "newer" not new!) and a few other places unrelated to the highway.

I have no idea what it once was, but it's very old.

This is my favorite thing about Yucca. This semi-on-a-stick stood in front of a truck stop/repair place. It went out of business and all that now remains is the truck! Only in the desert my friends, only in the desert...

One of the original residences.

The sign says Yucca Mission, but I couldn't find out anything at all about the place.

Yet another great desert find!  I'm pretty sure it was a jeep at one time. I have no idea about that rear end though. Of course like most things left sitting around in the desert for any amount of time, it has been used for target practice.

This is an odd town because in the midst of all these things, there are still people living here.  I'm not sure how though, because it is brutally hot there. The average daily temperature in Yucca from May through September is over 100 degrees. 
We are hitting the road again in the morning. This time we're going to the mountains as it's getting darn hot in the desert. The good news is, I should have a phone signal (unlike our last trip). 

Happy Mother's Day! 


Monday, May 6, 2013

Cadiz Summit Ca - Route 66 Ghost Towns

Like Amboy (two posts ago), the town of Cadiz was also established in 1883 as one of a series of alphabetically named towns and rail road stations that were to stretch across the massive Mojave Desert in Southern California. This much needed and life saving outpost at Cadiz Summit, consisted of an auto repair shop, gas station, a few cabins and a cafe. The most valuable thing available there was water for automobile radiators.  Cadiz Summit was at the top of a pass through these high desert mountains and many an auto limped in trailing steam from their overheated radiators.

Origin of photo is unknown

Not sure when this was taken, but the autos are from the 1940's.  

I took this photo standing above the rock wall right above the spot where the car towing a trailer (in the first photo) was parked. Of course I was there about 70 years later. 

You can see the gas pump island on the right side of the photo.  At the horizon line in the middle of the photo, you can see Route 66. It was pretty much the same view behind me. We were there for about an hour and only one vehicle passed by.

I think this was the auto repair building.

I was standing on that concrete slab in the first photo.  We always wonder where the people in these places dumped their trash and after poking around and finding nothing, my wife suggested that we look on the other side of the highway.

Right away it looked promising as there was old glass and cans all over the place. It looked like most of it had been buried at one time.

Some of this glass was fairly new (maybe 15-20 years old) and some of it had been there for at least 50 years. It looks like somebody went to quite a bit of trouble to lay this stuff out.  The green piece at the bottom (just right of center) is a very old glass electrical insulator that was used with power lines. It could easily be 75, or even 100 years old.  Whoever did this should have re-buried it before they left.  In case anybody is wondering; NO! We didn't leave with a single souvenir.  We want the next person who comes this way to be as excited as we were to find history just laying there waiting for them.

No idea about this one, I just liked the way it looked.

Look how thick the green glass is. You don't see that much anymore.

It looks like a combination of many different metal cans. The large ones are old oil cans. A lot of clear glass in the front.