Saturday, May 14, 2011

Route 66 Near Amboy

On our trip to Cadiz a couple of weeks ago, we traveled on the old Route 66 for a short stretch east from Amboy. We knew there was stuff to see there from a book my cousin Roger recently sent us, The Complete Route 66: Lost and Found by Russell A. Olsen. Thank you, Roger--this is is a fabulous book! Olsen covers the entire route, and each featured spot has a photo from the past alongside one from the present.

Our first stop was Road Runner's Retreat, nine miles east of Amboy. This was a restaurant and gas station that opened in the 1950s. According to Olsen, this spot was extremely popular with truckers. The new interstate bypassed this section of Route 66 in the 1970s, marking the end of an era. The roadrunner art on the former restaurant building is surprisingly intact.

Next we stopped at Chambless Camp, a real old-timey spot that dates back to 1932. In its heyday, it had a service station, cafe, grocery store, and cabins. Today there is not much to see--the property is fenced off and vacant, though Olsen says that the cabins are sometimes rented to workers in Cadiz. The property is tidy, and someone is definitely keeping those tamarisk trees pruned.

El Clampus Vitus has put a plaque about Route 66 along the route right across from the Chambless buildings.

The view from here.