Thursday, February 7, 2013

2012 California Road Trip

Part VI Old Route 66

Leaving the central California coastline we headed south and east to Bakersfield, CA  where we spent the night at a nicely furnished Holiday Inn Express.   The following morning we headed east through some beautiful wine country and the sierra mountains.  We drove through part of the Mojave desert and connected to old highway 66 in Kingman Arizona.  We followed 66 and Highway 40 to Gallup NM. 
We stayed overnight at this Holiday Inn Express in Bakersfield, CA. 

It is amazing to a Colorado boy how much green and how many flowers are available in late November in central California.

We next drove through the Sierra mountains and through the lower reaches of the Mohave Desert.  Again we had great weather on this stretch of the trip.

This was our first stop on the Route 66.  It looked as though it was mainly used as a trailer park currently. 

I think this photo really sums up the spirit of old Route 66.  This is the kind of stops I remember from trips my brother and I made back in the late 50's.

This old Chevy looks like it could have been around since the 60's.

The two arrows stop was closed and this is what remains.

The old Wigwam Motel was a highlight on old Route 66.  It is still open and has space for rent.  We were short on time or we would had loved to stay there.  The next few shots give a real feel for the place.  There were old (mostly 50's) cars parked by each wigwam.

A rusted out Hudson with a few teepees in the back ground.

Here is Kathleen in front of one of the teepee rooms.

Another shot of the teepee's with old cars in front

The El Rancho Hotel in Gallup is a famous landmark going back to the 1950's when a lot of movie stars stopped here.

The hotel is in remarkable shape (I suspect it has been restored).  Kathleen and I had a very nice lunch there before continuing our journey.

From Gallup we headed north through Indian country to Shiprock, NM, then on to Durango, CO.  It was too dark to get any photos on this stretch of the trip.  We left Durango the next morning after breakfast and headed over Wolf Creek Pass and the last leg of our journey back to Denver.  Wolf Creek pass is noted for very heavy snow pack, 8-10 ft of snow not unusual this time of year.  But as the photo below shows this year in late November there is virtually no snow.  This is very unusual, but made the last part of a long trip much less stressful then expected.  You might call that an unexpected pleasure ;O)>.

This wraps up a tell of 2 travelers on a great road trip, eleven days and 3300 miles.  The photos here only give a hint of the scenes and places visited.  We hope you enjoyed sharing our journey.  Thanks for looking.

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