Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Day Five - Wednesday, 25th June

Having made my usual list of things I wanted to accomplish, I sketched a calendar in my notebook of the week (AM, PM, EVE) and spent some time on the phone. I had to push myself to do anything at all, I felt so weighed down with sadness the lethargy was hard to fight. Eventlly, I filled in appointments with family and friends and the realtor who manages my rent house in OKC. I particularly wanted my Uncle Pat to come along with me to the rent house to help me verify that they had actually done the work they said they had.
Then I crawled up in Rita’s attic, over the garage. I’d never been up there before, but Jack reckoned there was stuff up there and sure enough there was. The loft space was only about a third of the width of the garage, which was probably fortunate. There was a variety of furniture, Christmas ornaments and stuff.... I made some notes, took a shower and picked up a few cookbooks to browse.
Rita had an interesting collection of really fattening cookbooks from touristy places they’d visited and from local fund-raising projects. Then there were the low-fat, Weight Watchers, Ultra-low fat cookbooks, which were of more interest to me. Rita apparently believed she was pre-diabetic and had a collection of diabetic cookbooks as well. I don’t know if she was right or not. She certainly seemed to have had virtually every other life threatening illness one could develop, so why not…
Bill's Road Book:
(do you know, I'm fed up fighting with the table in
Day 3, 25 June - 270 miles, 6 hours, Note 1
Hwy 138, 16 miles to Cajon Junction. Turn right on I-15 North
I-15, 10 miles to Victorville. Exit hwy 18, bear right onto 7th Street. Turn left at D Street (ca hwy 18)
R66, 30 miles via Helendale, Hodge and Lenwood to Barstow. Keep on E Main St. Do not join I-40. 7 miles to Daggett; cross I-40 to Newberry Springs. 12 miles to Junction 18, I-40. 23 miles, cross I-40, join National Old Trails Highway. 8 miles to Ludlow. 30 miles to Amboy. 30 miles to Essex, cross I-40 onto Mountain Springs Road. 5 miles to I-40 junction 107. 12 miles to Goffs. Turn Rt onto Goffs Road. 12 miles to Arrowhead Junction, turn left onto US-95. 5 miles Junction I-40, cross over and turn left onto I-40 East.
I-40, 13 miles to Needles. 12 miles to Colorado River, turn left at Jct 1, Topock (Map).
Rt 66/Hwy 95, 40 miles via Oatmen and Sitgreaves Pass to McConnico, cross I 40, Continue on old 66 on other side (Map). 4 miles to Kingman.
Note 1 Sitgreaves pass This is a switchback mountain road past Oatman. We have been recommended to go via I 40 with the RV and leave the hedonists to do Route 66 in the SUV

Again, Bill and Bob were up early to go for a run around the woods.

Bill said the drive down the valley on this day was almost as horrendous as the one the previous day. They bought only $50 worth of $5 gas then down to I-15 and then onto Route 66 proper. They stopped for breakfast in Victorfille at a place called Johnny Reb’s (Put some South in Your Mouth), which apparently was an adventure. Bill described it as a square box shaped sort of cafe with rough wood walls. All the windows were different and at odd angles -- no right angles to be found in the place. Also, they seemed to have lots of sound effects: pigs oinking in the bathroom; cows mooing in the kitchen, dogs barking in the yard. Sounds more Beverly Hillbillies than Southern Living. They also had a thing with peanuts. Each table had a bucket of peanuts and in return for those you were to make donations to their chosen charity. Part of that deal is that you throw the shells on the floor. Sounds like an interesting place… Of course everyone had a Pig-Out Pancake breakfast.
Continuing on Route 66, past a cement factory and through Barstow. On the other side of Barstow they discovered a Marine Corp depot where Rt 66 used to be, but was no longer. They had to go back onto I-40 to get around the depot and then off through the desert again.
They were struck by the interesting local architecture,
the long trains

the local wildlife
and a unique species of plant, the shoe tree.

At a place called Essex the road crossed over I-40 and became Spring Mountain Road. They guys took the RV off and and went on the motorway because a big sign said "This road is no longer maintained". But the Tourists went charging merrily along and enjoyed themselves tremendously. They all met up at Kingman, where they stayed the night.
I'm very grateful that Simon has taken and shared such wonderful photos; Bill had managed to misplace his camera early on in the trip; unfortunately this was also a recurring theme. I think he was so excited to finally be on his dream tour, he just sort of lost it all...

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