Day 4: Friday
After having a bit of a lie in, Paul walked round to Subway to grab some breakfast of egg and cheese sub rolls to eat back in the room, while I started packing. unfortunately they didn't do coffee so we had to contend with the hotel’s complimentary coffee instead.
It was an easy check out and within a couple of minutes our Uber arrived to take us to Hertz at Fullerton - picking up here rather then in Anaheim saved as several hundred dollars so worth the $20 odd dollar ride.
After a short wait, we received our car for the next 10 days a Buick Verano, it is filthy inside, looked like someone had thrown a drink around so after complaining and seeing how the Hertz employee was cleaning it, I decided to take over and give it a proper cleaning instead. The outside also looks like somebody has been throwing fruit at it, honestly! Not a good start. However we were on our way just after 10am which hopefully meant that we would miss all the Los Angeles traffic heading out to Las Vegas for the weekend.
We headed on down the I-15 to clear town and it was interesting to see the derelict old Route 66 between the two carriageways. When we got near to Victorville we decided it was time to start cruising Route 66 and started our Route 66 adventure. We cruised along by the Santa Fe Railroad passing the sagebrush dotted hills and the mostly dry Mojave River. Through the towns of Helendale and Hodge passing the Bottle Tree Ranch and onto Barstow. As we needed some road trip snacks we pulled into Vons supermarket at Barstow to stock up on fruit water and rice cakes and a few bits for lunch then it was back onto Route 66. We stuck to as much of the old Route 66 as possible eating our lunch at as rest stop on one of the sections of the I-40 that covers the old route. As we near the heart of the Mojave the temperature rose to 113F, its was a tad warm! We marvelled at the sights as we passed – Pisgah Crater lava field, The Baghdad café of movie fame and onto Amboy.
The old road is out for repair west of Amboy just after the famous Roy's Cafe but apart from a diversion there that led us to use the Kelbaker Rd diversion, we stayed on the original route all the way from Victorville out of California.
We stopped at a roadside shack just outside Needles and purchased a jar of sage bush honey, having smelled sage brush we have great expectations of it.
At Topock – not Topcock as our navigator had insisted! – we took the old Route 66 down to where the road used to cross the Colorado River, it’s now washed out but was indeed great to see. We did a short stretch on the I-40 to cross the Colorado and were now in Arizona.
Driving through the narrow and winding roads over the Black Mountains through Oatman – look out for the wild burros – we continued to climb to 3550 feet to the peak of Sitgreaves Pass, we pulled over just east of Cool Springs to take some photos of the spectacular views and noticed a set of rock steps – we later found out that this once lead up to Shaffer’s Fish Bowl Springs, a man made basin. We continued on and headed to our stop for the night, the El Troubadour Motel at Kingman.
The El Troubadour is a classic Route 66 motel from the hey-day of the road and we are staying in the James Dean themed room.
After dropping off our bags we head into town as we need a few supplies, namely fuel and some ice packs for the cool-bag. We then headed to the Rickety Cricket brew pub where we enjoyed a pint of Hangar 24 orange wheat beer and a Mission kolsch. Unfortunately they were only taking reservations that night so we headed over to Mr D'z classic route 66 diner where we shared a grilled cheese sandwich and a banana split after having our photos taken with the classic steam locomotive on display in the park opposite.
Day miles: 358
Total miles: 358