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.



  1. Reading through your post and seeing your photos, I feel like I'm watching an episode on History channel.

    They are just awesome, and really cool to see that at one point in life, there were people there..

  2. Hardly anything left of the place. That is odd someone laid out all of those bottles.

  3. That's a great "wondering" place. So full of questions, and what a lovely treat to imagine all the answers. Great pics~

  4. Another lonely but interesting find. I love old glass bottles. One of my cats broke one with a giraffe on it. I would have loved to poke around that site.

  5. Yes, wonderful pictures to remember, the time will never forget!

  6. A pity.. to see them abandoned and decaying Patrick.

  7. I wouldn't have been able to leave without at least one piece of glass.

    Love that Ducati graffiti. My Dad had a beautiful, black Ducati and it was my favorite of his motorcycles.

  8. Sad to see so many abandoned and decaying places, Pat. But I do enjoy your posts and photos that you share with us! They are a history lesson in themselves of a time gone by. Hope you have a great week!

  9. I wonder about the ghosts hanging around there and watching you!

  10. I never thought about how much we can learn from trash.

    The auto repair shop (or whatever it was) looks like it'd work well as a movie stage set.


  11. Did you leave any glass behind so that in 25 years people can find it?

  12. I love your Route 66 photos. They bring back so many memories of when I was a child traveling this road with my family on vacations.

  13. It's amazing how much we can learn from what others have left behind.

  14. PAt...I think it is exciting that you and your wife were able to find all the broken glass and cans. It really brings the remains to life. Boy, the graffiti people had a hay day at this site. So many walls to write on. Thanks for including the post card so we can see how it was. genie

  15. I've been really enjoying these ghost town visitations - makes me want to get out on the road with the family - excellent photo journal you have going here.

  16. Really loved this set. There's something oddly intriguing about the variously aged glass. Different generations calling out.

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  18. What a cool place and photos. So what's between Amboy and Cadiz?

  19. Icy BC - Thanks for saying that! I also always wonder about the people.

    Alex - I'm surprised the owners haven't put a fence around it. Maybe they don't care.

    Shelly - Yep! Wandering and Wondering. Thanks!

    Sharon - Lonely and interesting is a good way to describe it. If you ever get the chance to poke around there, I'm sure it will still be around.

    Leovi - Thanks Leovi! You are correct.

    Costas - Yes it is Costas. There is always a price to be paid for progress.

    Ms. A - If it's somewhere that nobody ever goes, I don't have a problem taking it. It was obvious that people had been there recently and left it, so we had to do the same. I also loved the Ducati part.

    Sylvia - It is kind of sad, but I guess that is part of the history of these places. Thanks Sylvia, you do the same.

    Brian - I sure hope not!

    Robyn - One man's trash is another man's cash! Or is it treasure?

  20. PTM - I left it all behind. Unfortunately, not everybody does.

    Kay - Thanks Kay! I also have memories of some of these places from my youth.

    Amanda - Yep! I don't own one, but it might be interesting to go around some of these places with a metal detector.

    Genie - I agree! People were there doing the same things we do. My pleasure and thanks to you.

    Jhon - Thanks Jhon! I'm glad you liked them. I'm still writing, but it rarely finds it's way onto my blog these days. Say, the other end of Route 66 is close to where you live. You could start there and make a long road trip...

    Tim - Thanks Tim! Yep, layer upon layer of history.

  21. Pat: Are you ever worried some Mad Max gang ,ay come riding over the hill while you are standing there? With all the graffiti and barren landscape it must feel like being a lone survivor of a catastrophe.

    Great shot and thanks for the tour!

  22. These ghost town images are remarkable - they have a film set sort of quality.

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good camera must be in want of gadgets for it!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  23. Your photo of the bottles prompts me to ask the following question Pat: do you ever find purple bottles? I ask because when I was working in Australia in 1970, I occasionally came across discarded purple bottles. They had been clear glass once, but in the nineteenth century manganese salts were widely used as a flux in glass making. Decades of exposure to ultraviolet turns these ancient bottles purple!

  24. one car in an hour. wow. I can't imagine that kind of solitude. I wonder who did all the graffiti and how long they camped out there to do that much of it. I would have taken something from the trash pile. I love these posts about these towns. awesome.

  25. Gosh what amazing vistas all around Pat. So if these places are no longer, are there newer gas stations to replace them? That would be too far to cross without a stop surely..although I suppose the modern cars do travel further.

  26. I wonder if the 'Ducati' is graffiti or was on the building originally? This is a great site to wander around, I like the graffiti and broken glass.

  27. Al - Except for two little abandoned areas, nothing but desert. I'll be doing posts on those two places soon.

    Chuck - It is an eerie feeling sometimes. The one that made me feel the most uneasy was the abandoned water park I posted about a few months ago. When it's just us out exploring, I do feel kind of vulnerable, but if the RV is near, I'm prepared.

    Stewart - Thanks Stewart! You are so right about camera gadgets.

    dennis - Thanks Dennis! I've seen pieces of purple and violet colored glass, but never anything close to a whole bottle. I also look for red glass, or to be more specific, old tail light lenses made of red glass. I usually only see little pieces of those also.

    Seriously though - It's very isolated, that's for sure. I think the graffiti is an ongoing thing. thanks! I want to take things, but just can't do it because it's part of the history.

    PerthDailyPhoto - Amazing is a good word for it all. There are no new gas stations on the road. There are some on the Interstate (that killed Route 66). When you venture out into the Mojave, you better have lots of two things. Gas and water. You are right about modern cars!

    Wayne - The Ducati part has only been there for a few years. It is a lot of fun.

  28. Strange place. Thanks to you I learnt there is another place called Cadiz tan the one in the south of Spain. Greetings.

  29. I love the color you got in your images, Pat. It shows the beauty of the desert. And I really liked the glass and can graveyards. Interesting.

  30. Ohhhh, I know what you mean about the souvenirs. I sometimes find them so tempting, will even pick one up and turn to leave, then feel a wave of guilt and return it. Besides, an old bottle out of context is nothing but an old bottle.

  31. your rides in the desert are addictive to me...wondering what you will find an early explorer! I love the collection of glass and my husband would go nuts if he saw all that old stuff.

  32. I have two green insulators in my kitchen window - different models. My dad was a lineman with the power company. He retired in 1963 and I don't know when he "collected" these but they should be on their way to being antiques.

  33. I you would have a little bit more text and daily entries, you could make a journal (book) of your desert jouwney! Have you heard of I used it for a photo book for my paintings.

  34. Congratulations, you prepared a great article, very interesting place. Looks an isolated place, I love that picture with stones and the flower!You got beautiful pictures there!

  35. Good pictures on this site forgotten the legendary Route 66. I know her through literature and film.

  36. Pat, I enjoyed this so much. Your photo essay was taken in a place a Midwesterner like me would definitely call "desert"--but you show how rich in life it is and was. All of your photographs show that. As for the graffitti, it's both disturbing and gorgeous! Art busts out, nothing can stop it.

  37. Another set of hauntingly beautiful pictures. I'd really like to see this for real one day.

  38. I love that you stop, get out and really look around these places.
    So many people would just drive on by, never knowing the treasures they have missed

  39. I love and miss that country!

  40. Oh my, what a find! I don't know if I'd have been as disciplined as you guys, leaving the goods intact. Good thing your wife is such an excellent detective, or you might have missed the pay-off. I can't believe no desert bottle-tree makers have stumbled into those bottles...

  41. Japy - Yes it is! Thanks to you also Japy. I didn't know there was one in Spain.

    M Pax - Thanks Mary! Most people think the desert is lifeless and ugly, but it is full of life and beauty.

    altadenahiker - I've done the same thing many times. Your last sentence is PERFECT! "Besides, an old bottle out of context is nothing but an old bottle." I'm going to quote you forever.

    Nora - Thanks so much Nora! We've visited many more of these places and I'm very much behind on posting about them. In fact, we're leaving on another two weak road trip in few days (our fourth of the year already)

    marlu - They look great with sunlight on them! When electric lines started popping up all over the place, the various green glass insulators were produced in huge numbers and unfortunately for us, they aren't all that rare. They are worth something, but not as much as I (or you) would like them to be.

    Jesh - Thanks for saying that! I have much more information than I put on my posts. I don't want to bore people, so I try to keep the words to a minimum. I'll think about what you said though.

    Cezar and Leia - Thanks so much Leia! Any compliment from you is a great honor and I truly do appreciate it.

  42. Leovi - Thanks Leovi! Maybe someday, you can explore "the mother road" in person.

    Margaret - Thanks so much! I'm really glad that you think I'm showing the desert as beautiful thing. I agree with you about graffiti, some is pure vandalism, but some is most definitely art.

    Al - Thanks Al! I hope you do. Pieces of it disappear every year, so don't wait too long.

    Mynx - You are so right. The Interstate (that killed these places) isn't too far away and now people don't stray from it. I'd say about 99% of people who use roads like Route 66 these days are there to see it, or some of the few locals. Most of the Route 66 enthusiasts, stop take photos of each other standing in front of something and speed away. My wife and I will drive a hundred miles and then hike several more to see a single place or item. I'm SO happy that she enjoys this stuff as much as I do.

    sage - Me too! It's getting very hot in the Mojave and we'll probably not go again until Fall.

    Stickup Artist - As Karin (altadena hiker) said in her comment "an old bottle out of context is nothing but an old bottle." Having said that, I REALLY know what you mean. I just remember that you were out in the Mojave a while back and I'm going to go take another look at your posts.

  43. Fantastic post yet again Pat. I love what youre doing and your interest in history. I would love to do what your doing. It's sad to see old places die. We have a lot of that here too. Old towns are left to basically rot as big freeways bypass them and stick revolting big service stations on them and people don't go through the towns anymore and they just falter. I always try to pull off the road and get a coffee or lunch, but yes, its sad.

    Great shots as always. I wonder about the stories that took place there. Lost to the desert and time.

  44. Hey Pat
    What an absorbing, beautiful post. I truly enjoyed reading it, and the photos are fabulous. I would have been tempted to take a souvenir, but then all I need to do is remind myself that it wouldn't mean as much to me owning a piece as it meant to me seeing it in the natural "museum" from where I'd taken it. You did the wise thing, leaving it untouched.
    Your travels take you to amazing places, and it makes me happy that you share all of this with us. happy weekend to you Pat.

  45. Hi Pat, In answer to your question: I didn't use a Lens Baby but mimicked the effect in Photoshop. I can't remember if I created a gradient mask and ran the Lens Blur filter, or if I used the Iris Blur filter. But, those are the methods I use to get a Lens Baby look.

    Happy Trials!

  46. Anthony - Thanks! I totally agree with your feelings about all the things so called "progress" has destroyed. I'm very glad that the desert takes a long time to completely destroy things.

    Esther - I know exactly what you mean. I get all kinds of mixed feelings in these places.

    Ms. Becky - Thanks Becky! It is my pleasure. That's a great way of putting it (about taking versus finding).

    Stickup Artist - Thanks for the info. Although I really don't know much at all about Photoshop (or any other program like it), I'm starting to get interested.

  47. a very interesting place to see.

    thanks for posting these shots.
    they all are amazing!

  48. All that old glass is fascinating! I love that you didn't take any...a true explorer!

    It's a bit terrifying to think about driving along in the desert and breaking down. You might be stuck there for a while before anyone came across you!

  49. Betty - My pleasure Betty! It is even more interesting to see it all in person.

    Kato - Thanks! It would have been so easy to take a sample, or all of it for that matter. As beautiful as the desert is, it is also dangerous. Especially so in the summer.

  50. me bad - I'd of gathered up the purple and aqua glass chards and the transformers

  51. Pasadena Adjacent - I promise you, I did think about it. But then the next person who took the time to explore, wouldn't have the same experience as we did.

  52. haha, now i'm feeling nostalgic for old tires, glass bottles, and other such splendors of childhood. though i can't think of any games or hobbies that involved rusted cans, this looks like the perfect place to play. :)

  53. Lovkyne - when I was a kid, I was lucky enough to go to some of these places with my granny. She was a desert rat through and through. We had a blast.

  54. Just looking at this, very nice. I lived there when I was a kid and have visited many times since. I can tell you pretty much whatever you would like to know about the place if you had questions.

    That other building you photographed just below the white rocks behind where the restaurant used to be was the Ice House. There was a small cabin on top of that.

    The original house was built from RR Ties and chicken wire. We called it the White House (walls / chicken wire was plastered in). You are correct about the garage, it was built by Bob and Bud Flannagan, Jim Flannagan’s Sons.

    Electricity was supplied by a single cylinder generator just outside the previously mentioned cabin… should be a foundation there. We used to go down to the Train station in a truck and buy water for 25 cents a load. Up the hill towards the N/W was an old aircraft beacon.

    Whole setup was originally across the road. When the road was re-grated it was not accessible so was moved across 66 to its current location. Also used to be a big cross on top the hill where the radio tower was. Someone burned it down. So sad. It was made of RR ties and put up there before there was a road.

    We had to burn the place down because of the Johnson Administrations “Beautify America” program. We were not living there at the time. Wonder how many historic places were destroyed by the program.

    A lot of that trash is recent. People see the pull out and use the place as a dump. Pretty sad. About 10 years ago we rented a bulldozer and cleaned it all up but looks like it is a mess again.

    Cost too much to fence it, and do you think it would keep people out? Glad people can enjoy whats left without a fence, but too bad all are not as considerate of it as you.
    Anyway, enjoyed the blog.

  55. Anonymous - Thanks for the comment! I do know a lot of those things, but only because I've read everything I could find. Were you by chance, interviewed by Joe De Kehoe? His 2012 book, The Silence and The Sun, contained more information on Cadiz, than I thought existed. If you were interviewed, I'd appreciate it, if you would let me know. Either here, or in an email. Thanks again!

  56. Pat, yes, I worked with Joe gathering information and photos for that chapter in the book. Some of the family even met with Joe at the property. Unfortunately I was not able to get off work to be there at the time. Coincidence, I just e-mailed Joe this morning.

    We were the last owners listed in the book (still currently own the property).

    saw a comment about how it is too bad everything is in ruins. You can thank ladybird Johnson for that. In her "clean up America" crusade she made everyone burn down the abandoned structures. I remember the family sitting in lawn chairs out by the road watching the structures destroyed. Brought my Grandfather to tears. But the government is always right, right?


  57. John - First off, thanks so much for taking the time to fill me in. I LOVE Mr. De Kehoe's book.

    I hate when old things are destroyed for any reason Those places, including yours are part of our history, and if anything, should be preserved. Eventually, all the historical spots will be gone, and people crossing the Mojave, will only see desert. I may be old, but I feel it was worth it to have been able to see places like Cadiz when they were an oasis in the desert. It was an adventure!

    Thanks again John!


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