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In California Route 66 is a twisty-turny affair that seems to bubble out into the desert for no reason, some of it not even paved, especially in contrast to the modern highway that cuts a relatively straight path West. The landscape my wife, Gwynne, and I were driving through was brutally dry; your imagine sand & tumbleweed kind of desert; in fact, the Mojave National Preserve.
After driving for hours, we got to the microtown of Amboy; little more than a closed gas station, motel, post office & forlorn little church. To attract the few passing motorists to stop, a big “Route 66” was painted on the road along with a small sign reading, “Public Restrooms.” Mens had a trough urinal, 4 stalls, 1 sink and a broken hand blow-dryer. Judging by the number of vehicles that stopped while we were there, it was a success. The white stallion in front and a nearby trash tree made it even more bizarre.
Little ghost towns stood forlornly off in the distance. Ghost towns are macabre in their own right, they radiate melancholy, but touristy ghost towns are even more so. It’s like they’re trying to keep a corpse alive with wrapping paper & bows; zombie ghost towns with the skeleton showing through. Of course, Gwynne had to go to Calico. It did have a 15” gauge steam train, and sold meteorite fragments, so the visit was good for both of us.
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