Friday, July 8, 2016

Route 66 - Day 11: L.A. at Last!

I got back on the Mother Road after a good night's sleep. The motel was only half a block off of Route 66, which in this town is AKA Main St. and AKA CR-66 and AKA Historic Route 66 and AKA I-15 Business.
Once I got out of the town of Barstow, it was also known as National Trails Pkwy.
It was mostly uninteresting west of Barstow, with much of the same Route 66 hype, now wearing thin on me. I didn't even feel inspired to take any pictures until I got to Victorville.
Here, they seemed to get into the spirit in a big way with a giant arch over the entrance to "Old Town Victorville".

The fun lasted only briefly though, until Victorville changed dramatically. Not only did the old time shops and facades change to modern mega chain stores, but then it dropped this bomb:

Unceremoniously, I was dropped into a morass of Taco Bell, Starbucks and Coco's. And this little town has a big traffic problem that I can't justify. What is here to warrant so many drivers?  Was everyone dropped off and forgotten by Route 66 and couldn't find their way out?  Or is it the attraction of all the car dealerships?  Stop, Victorville, you have enough cars already.
Well I drove around a bit longer than I wanted to, finding my way to the Interstate.
And I stayed on I-15 until I got to a place where I could get back on the frontage road, CR-66.
We stopped and enjoyed some shade under some trees at the summit of Cajon Pass, which is at 4200 feet on the top of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Once we got to the other side, we were nearly in Los Angeles. I headed to Pasadena where I knew I could get on CA-110, which runs concurrent with Route 66.
By that time, I was in stop and go traffic and was appalled at the change in air quality. The mountains were not visible in the far distance. Even the skyscrapers in the near distance were hazy. The sky was the same color as the highway and it was nauseating.
I checked into the Motel 6 in Gardena and found a really delicious burger by looking on Zomato.com. I fed River his dinner, and by that time, I had a sick headache and a sore throat. I'm what you call a sensitive individual. The kind that had to stay indoors during 'smog alerts' in the 70's. I thought L.A. had fixed the poor air quality problem decades ago. But it seems to be back.
I'm going to lay low tonight and get out of here as soon as I can in the morning.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live out in Hinkley, not far from Barstow. There is a side road section on National Trails Hwy between Barstow and Victorville that will take you through Hinkley, and actually is quite interesting. You start to feel like more in a woodsy area when going down Hinkley Rd to the Mojave River. However, there is no market anymore here, or hardly anything - due to the water situation, PG&E bought it out.