Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Route 66

My plan, when I left Barstow in time to enjoy the sunrise, centered on several challenge caches and three earthcaches that were all located along Route 66 - at least at first glance.

My first earthcache started in Ludlow, where an info plaque (not this one, but nearby) told an amazing story. It turns out, 'they' had actually considered using nuclear blasts to create a road cut for Interstate 40.

The observations needed to complete the earthcache requirements required driving east on I-40, almost to Kelbaker Road. Not a big deal since another of the earthcaches was on Kelbaker Road just before the intersection with Route 66. I'd just do them in a different order.

I wasn't sure what to make of this sign when I pulled off of I-40 onto Kelbaker Road. Nothing to do but drive on...

When I got to Route 66, the road to the east was blocked, with another sign that read the same as the last one - no through traffic WEST of Cadiz Road. That was disappointing since one of the caches I wanted was on Cadiz Road south of Chambless. But first, I needed to backtrack to Amboy.
Amboy is a burg located west of Kelbaker Road. It still has a post office and a large neon sign advertising Roy's Motel & Cafe.

The motel now has an open door policy. In fact, there are no doors! The hotel was obviously out of business. The cafe might still be in operation but there was only one car parked there.

I continued west of Amboy another mile or so to Amboy Crater for the last California earthcache I planned to visit on this trip.

There's a three mile trail that loops around the hill in the background but the heat was already making itself known so I located the info I needed to complete the requirements and headed back the way I'd come.

I did find one classic geocache hiding in the rocks, but because of the rerouting, I missed visiting places like Klondike, Siberia, and Bagdad.

When I returned to Kelbaker Road, the semi driver was just returning to his truck after delivering a front end loader with a 12' wide bucket. He had unloaded here because of bridges with inadequate load limits but said the road was open to Cadiz road, but not EAST of there.

With that info, I drove around the road closed signs and continued east towards Chambless. Spotted this sign which was in better condition than the former cafe and gas station that it advertised!

Chambless appeared to be totally lacking in residents. The buildings were decaying but the fences were in good condition.

Immediately east of Cadiz Road was another road block and this sign stating the road was impassable. It certainly didn't look it, and there was no one to ask. I'm betting a bridge washed out at some point.

Since the highway is now a county road, it could well be that they decided not to replace or fix whatever made the road impassable. Unfortunately, this loop used to be a 75 mile section of surviving Route 66, complete with several 'whistle stop' towns that survived on tourism.

I'm hoping to go back this winter and spend some time in the area, including finding out what makes the road impassible.

1 comment:

  1. Great route 66 stuff:) We have done about half of the route and need to get the other half done some day:))