Friday, 29 January 2016

Old Route 66 to Amboy

Leaving Paso Robles, we took highway 46 back to Bakersfield, it’s a good road, but scarily once again we drove right across the San Andreas fault, I think I’ve been reading too many reports talking about how overdue ‘the big one’ is!
After an overnight stay in Bakersfield we drove back over Tehachapi Pass.
It’s a long drag with the fifth wheel, especially if you get stuck behind a truck and can’t pick up enough speed to overtake, luckily we didn’t, get stuck behind a truck that is.   I think we timed it right as a couple of days later another winter storm dropped several inches of snow on the tops.
Our destination was Needles about 300 miles away, it’s further than we usually drive in a day, but as we didn’t particularly want to stay in Barstow again, we just fuelled up, got coffee and carried on.   I40’s pretty desolate in places between Barstow and Needles.
It was an easy journey and we arrived in the late afternoon and got nicely set up before watching the sun go down.   

The next morning we planned to drive to Amboy.  At the Old Route 66 exit on I40 the road was closed as heavy rains had washed out the road.  We followed the detour which took us back along I40, to the Kelbacker road exit.  Once we left the interstate we drove through a whole lot of absolutely nothing, although surprisingly my cell phone worked!

Even though water had to be trucked in from 50 miles away, Amboy once had a high school,

motel, service station and post office.

When the interstate passed it by in the 1970’s Amboy became a ghost town.   All that exists now is a post office and Roy’s.  

Roy’s is an iconic landmark and has appeared in commercials and movies.   You can still buy gas and diesel here.   
The reception area looks as though everyone just walked away and left things as they were.

The motel rooms at Roy’s.

While the kitchen at Roy’s is long closed you can still get drinks and snacks.   We got some very welcome hot chocolate and cookies.

As we left Amboy the caretaker told us that Old Route 66 had re-opened almost all the way back, just follow the detour on the final stretch before rejoining I40.

Further along the remains of the diner in the almost deserted town of Chambless were visible from the road.

As we drove over Cadiz Pass there were more deserted buildings, although should you need a rest one does have an armchair.

Have fun, we are!

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