Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Day 11: Needles CA - Pasadena CA

Okie Chorus: Yay! We haz crossed all teh Scorching Plains™ and are now at teh Mitey Colorado FTW!
Okie #1: Yes! Look! [Points] California, teh Promised Land!
Teh Promised Land, yesterday
Okie #2: Get tae fck, Okie #1! Mi truck haz b0rked down se7en tiemz, Mrs Okie #2 haz run off wif teh rodeo cowboy in Winslow and we haz been stalked by John fckng Steinbeck all teh way from Texas!!1! Where iz teh palm treez? Where iz teh oranj grovez? Where iz teh WORK?
Okie #1: Er...
Okie Chorus seizes Okie #1 and throws him into teh Mitey Colorado

Now read on...

The builders of the early Route 66 were members of the Smart Party and made it more or less follow the railroad across the desert west of the Mighty Colorado.  I-40 stooges off into the hills to do its own thing.  The railroad depots along this stretch were named Klinefelter, Java, Ibis, Homer, Goffs, Fenner, Essex, Danby, Cadiz, Bristol and Amboy i.e. in alphabetical order. Presumably to make sure the train drivers didn't get lost. Some of them still exist in one form or another. Here, for e.g., is one specially for Miss von Brandenburg:
while this is at Amboy and, apparently, quite famous:
It's supposed to be in mid-renovation by some chicken magnate from further west, but it still looks a bit sub-par, as do the two old cars - an Imperial and a Packard - round the back.  I love the Imperial's tail lights:

Scene: Detroit, 1954
Styling Dept: ...and here is the new for 1955 Imperial!
The Mgt: Did you forget something? Like, y'know, rear lights?
Styling Dept: I, er, oh! Bugger!

but apparently no, they were meant to look like that.  Also near Amboy is the Amboy Crater:

As you can see, it is not very crateresque, but rather a cinder cone surrounded by lava fields.  There may be a crater in the middle but the noticeboard at the start of the trail leading in that general direction said "Allow three hours" and the temperature was already into the thirties.  No thanks.

If you are a connoisseur of FOREIGN films you may have seen Bagdad Cafe, a 1987 German language wossname.  Well, here is the caff in question:

It's in Newberry Springs.  Fifty miles from Bagdad, but they couldn't shoot it actually in Bagdad because this:
is all that's left of the place.  There's a lot of that sort of thing around these parts but fortunately there are also nutters willing and able to relieve the monotony with roadside attractions like Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch:
Now, when Hunter S Thompson wrote:
We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold
I think the drugs may actually have taken hold some time previously, as Barstow is not on the edge of the desert, no, it is smack in the middle. Of it.

Down to Victorville, home of the California Route 66 Museum.  It was shut.  But it does have a nice mural:
Though the said mural transgresses the Unwritten Law, which is that every cinema, or depiction of one, along the entire two and a half thousand miles of Route 66, must pretend to be showing Pete's Dragon.  I have no idea why.

After Victorville it's back on the Interstate - I-15 now - for the run over Cajon Pass.  I have read enough accounts on that Internet, that they have now, of the utter scariness of Cajon Pass and the lunatics who drive over it that I was expecting a Californian remake of the entire Mad Max franchise, but it's actually no worse than the drop into Salt Lake City on westbound I-80, or the A406 at Hanger Lane.  Better surface than the A406 too.  You're supposed to peel off and sneak into San Bernardino the back way, but some unfortunate had stuffed his 18-wheeler into the bank on Cajon Boulevard causing a Highway Patrol officer to make "go away" gestures at anyone approaching the wreck.

San Bernardino is home to this:
Where all the trouble started...
which is the location of the first-ever branch of The Scottish Restaurant.  And it pretty much marks the eastern edge of the Los Angeles conurbation.  From here westwards is an exercise in how many sets of traffic lights you can stand before you give up on Route 66 and take the nearest available freeway.  It's forty miles from San Bernardino to Pasadena - which took two hours - and that's still not LA proper.  That starts about ten miles west, and another twenty on top of that to Santa Monica, the end of the road and the Pacific Ocean.  One of the 'burbs you pass through is San Dimas.  I did look out for a couple of slackers hanging out at the Circle K store but they were obviously off being excellent elsewhere today.

So, end of the road tomorrow, assuming I make it through the night.  Because the room next door is occupied by members of the Flag Service of the Church of Scientology.  I do not know what the Flag Service of the Church of Scientology does (apart possibly from separating credulous idiots like Tom Cruise from their money) and I'm not sure I want to either.  Though it appears to involve driving here from Florida in a big box van with "Flag Service" written on the side in large friendly letters (and "Church Of Scientology" in much smaller ones).


  1. Replies
    1. No, that didn't work either[1] and any reply you may see here is an hallucination brought on by Strong Drink and Moral Turpitude.

      1: Lie.

  2. Monsieur le Maire: Lettres ouvertes. Derivation?

    1. Rather from the events of 2007 which led to my claiming to be the mayor of Mortagne au Perche.