Route 66

Back to Route 66! – Holbrook, Arizona

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Back down through Navajo country to the eastern edge of Arizona’s Route 66. Arizona has the largest stretches of the original highway and it’s fun to drive off highway 40 for the telltale brown “Historic Route 66” signs.

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Cowboy Monkey graffiti

First stop is Holbrook – a wonderful Main Street town with lots of charm and character. There are leather stores, pubs, old diners and of course, souvenir shops galore! I especially enjoyed finding an enoteca, a region

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Holbrook Jail Cell

nal wine tasting spot on the main drag. The wine was pretty good, too! The town museum had a great old jail house, (third photo) used as recent as 1976.  If you look on the walls, you can see where bored inmates drew – a few of the paintings and drawings are really good! Yikes, imagine being cooped up in here! ;-}

 

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The Wigwam Motel

Leaving town is the iconic Wigwam Hotel – actually motel rooms shaped like teepees. They have classic cars parked throughout the motel, as well. I stayed at the Lodge on Main street. Newly remodeled with lots of luxurious touches and a great outdoor fireplace lounge. Yep, it was cold, but the fireplace was on and the overhead heaters made my time there wonderful! Off season this is an affordable place to stay but in season, it might test your budget. Hence, travel in the “shoulder season” – after Labor day! The weather’s a little cooler, but not too cold until mid-October and the hotel owners and attraction workers are happy to see you, too!

 

 

 

 

 

Week One – Route 66 – between Victorville and Barstow, CA

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Right outside of Victorville, just 2 miles north on Route 66 is Emma Jean’s, home of the “Holland Burger” and “Brian Burger”. Since I endeavor to be a veggie, neither appealed – but the classic diner café beckoned, and I gave in and vowed to see what they had. Breakfast fare worked, a cheese and mushroom omelette, perfectly browned home fried potatoes – even homemade biscuits and gravy, all topped off with a chocolate milkshake complete with whipped cream and the extra in the metal mixing tin just for me! I filled up quickly, polishing off about half of the food and totally savored the milkshake and the home fries – two of my weaknesses! Typical American café meal – WAY TOO MUCH FOOD! Yep, I know it’s not the healthiest choice, but OH…it was tasty.

The café ambience was classic, as well.  A tourist family of five from Canada sat at the diner bar, snapping photos of everything from the waitress to the food. A few truckers and some disheveled locals graced the other stools and all were very well fed and happy. When first confronted with the grand menu, I asked the waitress “What’s good here?” to which she replied: “All the food’s good, but I can’t guarantee the quality of the service!” Hahaha…

I ordered my milkshake and her booming voice hollered out “SHAKE!” across the bar to the kitchen. Oh my…reminiscent of John Belushi and “Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger!”

It was a fun meal – Emma Jean’s looks like a total dive but the food is plentiful and good. A classic 50s diner, so stop in and indulge. I did!

Week One – Barstow, CA – Rt. 66

GSWA_009_Barstow2GSWA_010_Barstow3Barstow, California – off I go to the Visitors Center which is by the Route 66 museum and also the Railroad museum – but alas, the building is huge but looks deserted. A sign on a tucked away door confirms it – they are only open on the weekends! Argh…

Well, the Visitors Center at the historic Harvey House (a former trackside restaurant and rooming house) is open and the gal there (Sheila) is really helpful. Barstow’s sort of a bust, she concurs. Many vacant buildings, not a lot of town energy. However, there are some cool wall murals GSWA_024_VictorvilleMap2about town and I catch a photo of my trusty chariot, my Scion tC in front of a mural at Rosita’s.

Sheila advises Victorville as the place to go, about 30 minutes south of here on Route 66, the museum there is great! I look about for something else to do in Barstow, but am amazed that nearly an entire city block is taken up by a large thrift shop collective – The Treasure Chest. Well, I spend a few hours browsing and emerge with a few goodies. I always marvel at how much STUFF people accumulate. This is like a large tribute to hoarding! Keepin’ it lean…

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