December 13th, 2021

Unfortunately on this trip I have been so busy trying to get somewhere and/or get out of weather I have not written anything in my paper journal. I just have not made the time to do that so I need to get better about that.

The hotel I stayed in last night just happened to be on Route 66 in Barstow, CA. I figured since I was pushed so far south by the weather I might as well make the best of it and hit parts of Route 66 on my way back east. It has been something I have wanted to do so here we go!

I gassed up the truck and took off. As is the case in most parts of Route 66 it tends to be a frontage road for Interstate 40 running next to it. I did decide to drive on a few sections of it in California over to Arizona, but since it was so close to the interstate I just decided do use that most of the way instead of the old road to make some time. What parts I did drive on were mostly away from the Interstate and there was some beautiful scenery and interesting old buildings.

One section I went on I wanted to stop and see a volcanic crater. It’s called the Pisgah volcanic crater. I drove back on this old road that used to be paved, probably when Route 66 was the big deal through here and it was a real attraction, but the road was pretty beat up. I just put the truck in four-wheel-drive and drove back to a parking area but there was no visible trail. I decided I wasn’t gonna go wander around and just get back on the highway and leave. But, I did see some lava tubes.

The one big section I really wanted to drive on was the segment that goes east through Kingman, AZ to Seligman. This section goes far north of interstate 40 and goes through some small towns. Along the way I got to see Giganticus Headicus and a few other curiosities they had to look at.

Along this section of Route 66 were some throwback signs for Burma Shave. There’s were popular back when people started doing family road trips, much like the “Meramec Caverns” signs in MO, and a clever way to advertise their product. They started this advertising campaign and it was very popular. I have seen others copy this type of sign.

Admittedly, and I have said this before, I have never really spent much time in the southwest desert country. I always liked the Rocky Mountains and it’s where I spent all my time. I think maybe in September or October would be a good time to take a long trip in this area, but probably still too hot for me.

This is the perfect time of year weatherwise and tourist-wise. Today it was about 65 for a high so it was very comfortable. I have not really run into the weather like I thought I would but I’m still trying to get as far as I can. They were talking winter weather in Las Vegas which was just north of where I was and also high winds on my route today. I was trying to avoid all that nonsense. I went on past Flagstaff because it is in the mountains and there was some snow on the ground.

I have not been in this area very much before. I will say that I really have gotten to see some nice scenery on this trip, with about 1/2 of it new territory to me. I have been to Barstow from Vegas, but east of Barstow to the Meteor Crater was all new territory for me (as was the drive on I-5 from Medford to nearly L.A. on I-5.

I have been to said Meteor Crater (it’s well worth a stop) about 10 years ago on a road trip with Rich after we went to Albuquerque and the lava tubes off the Interstate. We were standin’ on the corner in Winslow, AZ, too. Went to the Hubbell Trading Post NHS north of here, and Petrified Forest NP. We went to Mesa Verde NP in CO and hiked on a tour to the ruins, did some other hikes before heading back home (when I still lived in CO).

I just saw a weather report and it’s a good thing I got away from Flagstaff. Winter storm warning over there but I am far enough east that I only (!) have high wind warnings.

Maybe I’ll come back and spend some more time seeing a few more things I wanted to see but couldn’t stop and see. There are some things I would like to see in CA, but I really don’t think I need to go back anytime soon. It’s way too expensive…

Every gas station in Needles, CA had this price. Goddamn greedy corporate rat bastards.

Yep. That makes for an expensive fill-up. Gas in CA ranged from $4.99 a gallon to this larcenous amount. I cannot afford to take a trip there paying that kind of money. Another good reason to see what I can while I can on this trip.

That’s it for today.

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