"... and they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the ru
Baggers' Guide To Route 66, Part 8: California
Vaginas, a glistening field of vaginas standing proudly next to Route 66 in the urban wasteland of Rialto, California. The field of womanly beauty is a highlight of the Mother Road. What can be better than a glorious site like this? You can actually spend the night in one.
Easy, cowboy. Before I go on further, we need to backtrack from Rialto (230 miles or so) to the point where the Colorado River splits the Earth (make funny time machine noises now). On the east side of the river, I rode already-traveled miles in Illinois, 317 miles in Missouri, 13 lucky miles in Kansas, 396 miles in Oklahoma, 178 miles in Texas, 604 miles in New Mexico with a few fun detours and 396 miles in Arizona. On the west side of the Colorado River is 314 miles of Route 66 traversing across California not stopping until the Pacific Ocean. The end of the road.
Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel across the country f
A few miles into California, I thought I took a wrong turn and ended at the U.S./Mexico border. Fortunately, the large barricade blocking my path was merely an agricultural check station supposedly used to prevent invasive plant and animal species into the Golden State. I pulled up, and the uniformed dude casually waved me on. I sighed a breath of relief for escaping another compulsory strip search.
The agricultural stop points were put up along the California/U.S. borders in the '30s. The definition of "agriculture" was severely distorted during the Dust Bowl days. Anything the gatekeeper thought was bad was denied access to the holy land. The "agricultural" blockade kept out millions of Midwestern migrant workers from entering California. It must have been tough in those days to travel so far on decrepit roads only to get denied at the border. In the end, it took federal authorities to break up this illegal ring of inspection stations; however, to this day, agricultural check points still exist before entering California.
The Deuce 6 has greatly improved since the Great Depression and Dust Bowl era. The maintained, paved roads pass through deserts, mountains, ghost towns, metropolitan sprawl and beach communities.
Be prepared for limited facilities as you pass through the Mojave Desert. Don't expect to see any curio stands, open gas stations, restaurants or motels. What you will see along this abandoned slab of pavement are magnificent dunes, ancient craters and eerie Joshua trees. The first sign of life will be the sleepy town of Amboy. Back in the heyday of Route 66, Amboy was an oasis for weary travelers; sadly those days are long gone. Just a few buildings bleached from the hot sun survive: Roy's Motel and Caf, a schoolhouse and a few homes without any obvious owners.
My ass was begging for some alone time from sitting in the saddle for too long. I drove into the welcoming shade created by a protective awning that was comforting four decrepit gas pumps next to Roy's Caf and Motel. I lied down in the cool, shaded air next to my '08 Road King Classic 105th Anniversary Edition and quickly fell asleep with the sweet smell of the desert's pristine air. Everything was quiet. Too quiet.
I had an uncomfortable feeling. It was like they say in badly written stories, kinda like this one: I felt someone staring at me. I opened my eyes to see a regular-looking dude with long, dirty blonde hair standing over me. "You look like you need a drink." I scrambled to my feet and followed him into the abandoned caf. He offered me a bottle of water but quickly realized that I was a more of a beer man. The cheap swill was cold as it slid down my food tube and landed in my overheated belly. We chatted till dark. The man let me pasture my iron horse in a gated fence. I fell asleep next to my steed without ever catching the dude's name.
A huge ball of intense fire woke me early in the morning. I searched for my host to offer my gratitude. My search left me empty-handed. I headed toward the end of my ride.