Tag Archives: route 66

Halls of History—Small town America, abandoned

Halls of History

I spent two days in Barstow, California, in late July 2018. The population was 22,639 in the 2010 census, and the city covered 33 square miles. I’m pretty sure I drove all 33 square miles in the two days I was there.

Barstow is a major transportation hub. Five major highways converge in the city, including Interstate 15 and Interstate 40. Two major railroad systems, the Union Pacific and BNSF, have major classification yards in and around Barstow. The city is the midway point for car traffic between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Before the Interstate highway system was built, Barstow was a major city on Route 66, “America’s Road” stretching from Santa Monica, west of Los Angeles, to Chicago. The Interstate highway system, particularly Interstate 40, replaced Route 66, bypassing many cities and their downtowns that originally serviced Route 66 traffic. You could get your kicks on Route 66.

There are many once-vibrant towns and cities on Route 66 that are now ghost towns. They didn’t survive construction of the Interstate highways. Even some major cities, such as Barstow, were affected significantly by the Interstates. Throughout Barstow, on every street, I found abandoned buildings—hotels, restaurants, businesses, houses. Sure, those exist in every city, but not to the extent that I found them in Barstow. Unfortunately, I believe this type of abandonment is ramping up again because of the Internet sales through the likes of Amazon, killing many small businesses. Note that Interstate and Internet are very similar words, and I believe their effects are similar, as well.

Following is a slide show of just some of the abandonment I found in Barstow. I found similar conditions in many other cities on my journey that had been circumvented by Interstate highways.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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Out & About — They got their kicks on Route 66, and stayed….

Out & About The World

Before the Interstate system came along, Barstow, California, was a thriving city on Route 66, the Mother Road. Barstow’s main purpose now seems to be as a major railroad junction, and visiting the historic railroad yard was my main purpose in going to Barstow this past July.

I stayed at a little Route 66 Motel:

Route 66 Motel

The motel celebrates its association with historic Route 66 using historic items, especially vehicles.

Route 66 Motel in Barstow, California

Route 66 Motel in Barstow, California

Route 66 Motel in Barstow, California

Route 66 Motel in Barstow, California

Route 66 Motel in Barstow, California

Route 66 Motel in Barstow, California

Route 66 Motel in Barstow, California

Route 66 Motel in Barstow, California

Route 66 Motel in Barstow, California

Interestingly, most of these historic vehicles were taking up parking places, which seems to indicate that the motel doesn’t have a lot of business. Another way to look at this is that these folks in their cars got their kicks on Route 66, and stayed….

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Out & About—Here, There & Everywhere

Out & About

Many readers who like my San Diego Historical Landmarks series might think that I have given up on them. Not so. I simply want to do them in order, and I got stuck at #15. Its name is “Conception,” and it’s on the United States Naval Submarine Base at Point Loma. In other words, it’s not accessible to the general public….

….Except for one day each year. Guess which day that is? Yep. Today. “Cabrillo Festival” day. So you know where I’ll be going later today, and I can resume my San Diego Historical Landmarks series. I have no idea what I’ll find there since I have not done any research on #15 year.

Meanwhile…. September has been a very active month for getting Out & About, and I’ll have blog posts on everything as the summer comes to a close and the cold, wet, fall and winter months arrive. To whet your appetite, here’s a sample of some of the places I’ve been.

We’ll start at home with Zoey the Cool Cat. I continue to take care of her every need—boxes, tummy rubs, food, clean litter box, food for the squirrels and rabbits so she can get her daily exercise running from window to window watching them, and what does she do? Turns her back on me.

Zoey the Cool Cat turns her back on me

September 3—Wildlife Corner at our new home

Rabbits & squirrels coexisting

September 9—Queen Califa’s Magical Circle in Kit Carson Park, Escondido

Queen Califa's Magical Circle in Kit Carson Park, Escondido

September 10—Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar

Surf Dog Surf-a-thon at Dog Beach in Del Mar

September 13—San Diego Zoo

Rattlesnake at the San Diego Zoo

September 15—Getting some kicks on Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga

Overturned tanker on Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga

September 16—Chili Cook Off & Classic Car Show in Alpine

Pirate Chili at the Chili Cook Off in Alpine

Classic car show in Alpine, California

September 18—Big Border Baby in Tecate

Border Wall baby

September 21—Watching trains in Colton

Union Pacific's West Colton Yard

September 22—MCAS Miramar Air Show in San Diego

MCAS Miramar Air Show in San Diego

September 23—San Diego Bonsai Show

San Diego Bonsai Show

September 23—Wavecrest Woody Meet at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas

Wavecrest Woody Meet at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas

September 24—Cuyamaca Rancho State Park near Julian

Deer in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

September 24—Apple Days in historic Julian

Apple Days in Julian

September 24—Gold mine tours in Julian

Gold mine tour in Julian

September 24—Cool shopping in Julian at The Warm Hearth, The Birdwatcher, and the Julian Jewel Box

The Warm Hearth in Julian, California

Hummingbirds at The Birdwatcher in Julian

Julian Jewel Box in Julian

September 25—Newest visitor to our new home

Praying mantis in Winter Gardens

September 29—San Diego Quilt Show

San Diego Quilt Show

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

 

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California

Out & About San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The historic Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California, is where the historic US Route 66 ended. Route 66 is also known as America’s Main Street and The Mother Road, covering 2,448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles.

The pier was built in 1909 and includes restaurants; shops; historic pictures of the pier through the years; an arcade; an aquarium; Pacific Park with its ferris wheel, roller coaster, and other rides; a Merry-go-round built in 1922; and a lower deck for the fisherpeople.

Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, California

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Fishing
(Long-time readers know that I was going to find a pelican.)Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoltar (Remember the movie Big?)Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I felt like I was back in college at Texas A&M University.Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos