Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Roy's on Route 66

Needles, California - January 14, 2007

We spend all day cruising north and east on back roads though the Mojave desert. The roads we choose have no gas stations or services.

At 29 Palms Mrs. Phred says turn right. I think straight ahead is the right decision. After five miles, we top a hill and the road suddenly ends and turns right. I brake hard and skid the RV and Toyota to a stop 20 feet into the desert. We both remember the first National Lampoon "Vacation" movie with Clark Griswald and family. We back out and turn right twice find Mrs Phred's road.

We finally hit Amboy. It's in the middle of a huge dry salt lake basin. Amboy is on the old Route 66. It became a ghost town when Interstate 40 was built 40 miles to the north.

There is a 6,000 year old volcano just outside town. The "Amboy Crater" is a National Landmark. A ranger runs a visitor center. Lonely duty.

Perhaps more interesting is the closed Roy's Motel, gas station and cafe. It has a 1950s look and is now owned by a preservationist. He also owns the first MacDonalds opened in San Diego, which he runs as a museum. You could have blown though here in 1957 in a a black Chrysler with tail fins and a big hemi V-8. Nostalgia.

We drive into Needles on the border for the night. London bridge is nearby. We buy green chili marmalade and a bottle of merlot at the camp store.


  1. The Pixar animated movie, Cars, brings that Route 66 nostalgia back onto centre stage. Your posting today reminded me of this.

  2. Route 66 was a great American TV program which ran from 1960 to 1964.

    Tod Stiles' (Martin Milner) father dies and leaves him a shiny new Corvette. He and Buzz Murdock (George Maharis), take off to discover America, in search of adventure..

    Guest stars included Rod Steiger, Martin Sheen, Buster Keaton, Robert Redford, and Robert Duvall. Most of the cities on Route 66 were featured during the four year run…the crew of 50 included two tractor trailers and two new Corvettes.

    Maharis made headlines when he was busted in 1974 for engaging in a sex act with a male hairdresser in a public bathroom in LA; he had been arrested previously on a charge of lewd conduct after propositioning a vice-squad officer in a Hollywood restaurant restroom. i