Monday, June 11, 2012

Fourth Time's The Charm

Day 12: 387 Miles
Total: 3,598 Miles

As the title says, it's my fourth time driving Route 66 end to end, and Sharon's second time. We arrived at the Santa Monica Pier shortly after 5pm today to take our obligatory photos. The drive today went well. We left early to beat the brutal Mohave heat, but it never really happened. I don't think it ever got hotter than the mid-80s. We stopped a few times for photo ops, and then we stopped for a late breakfast at the Bagdad Cafe.

The cafe was originally called The Sidewinder back in the 80s when a cult classic was filmed there called The Bagdad Cafe. The owners later changed the name to match the film title. Jack Palance and Alfie Woodard star in it. Look for it; while very quirky, it's a great film. The funny thing is, the film has nothing on the real-life quirky characters who populate this place. We enjoyed talking to them and having them show us all kinds of items left over from the movie, including a boomerang, jukebox, piano, Airstream trailer, etc. We also visited with a man from England who now lives in Orange county, California, and with a German couple traveling 66. It's a bit hard to describe the atmosphere in the place, but it was actually one of the best times we have had on our trip.

After leaving the cafe we traveled through Barstow, Victorville and into San Bernardino and the beginning of the never ending civilization of metropolitan LA. We stopped and got a room at the third wigwam on our journey; Wigwam Village #7 in Rialto, CA. We then left for the 80 mile drive to the pier, following Route 66 through 337 traffic lights (give or take a few) and several stop signs. It took almost 3 1/2 hours to complete, and that was on a Sunday afternoon. We then drove back to the motel via I-10, which took less than 1 1/2 hours.

Tomorrow we will begin the trek back to Amarillo to pick up the '37 Ford. We will make the trip in two days, so nearly all of the driving will unfortunately take place on the interstates. We'll try to make up for that once we get the '37 back by sticking to the two-lane highways as much as possible.

Here are a few of today's pictures, beginning with a few shots in the desert.

The next three pictures are from the inside of the Bagdad Cafe.

Here is an exterior shot.

Here is the motel that was next to the cafe in the movie (and also in real life).

Here are two shots of Sharon and I on the Santa Monica Pier.

And finally, a couple of shots of Wigwam Village #7, the last of the villages to be built, and of the three remaining, this on is in the best condition by far.



Mona Taplin said...

I hope your car is now in 100% tip top condition! I have closed down my facebook page because of a multitude of problems. someone apparently took over my page today and made a few people really angry bringing up past issues under my name. Oh boy! Here we go again. I changed all my passwords and had a guy double check to make sureI don't have a virus to pass around. Have a safe trip! Mona

Mike said...

Hi Aunt Mona,
I have been reading all of your comments on the blog and i appreciate them. I hope you are able to get your Facebook issues sorted out.
Love, Mike