Well, it has been another whirlwind week on Route 66, At least that is the way it was in corner of the world.
We started the week on Sunday with a drive to Red lake, a large dry lake north of Kingman. The photo of the dusty old Adventurer parked on the lake bed presents a dramatic contrast to where we were Saturday evening, standing on the beach at Carlsbad, California, watching a breathtaking sunset. In retrospect it would seem these stark differences are quite apt in describing the week as a whole.
The drive to Red Lake on Sunday was my dearest friends idea as I have a tendency to bury myself in projects. Without her to nudge me into delightful and much needed breaks once and awhile when I have a project underway shaving and eating would most likely be forgotten activities.
As always the drive through the stark desert beauty was just the tonic needed. On our return I was able to add the finishing touches to the web site – www.route66infocenter.com – for its publication on Monday evening. Tuesday evening was spent ironing out a few bugs.
The rest of the week was the usual routine – hectic and rushed. Saturday, I closed the office at noon and by 12:30 my dearest friend and I were on the road for another adventure.
The centerpiece of this adventure was a birthday present for my wife, a trip to the beach. As time was an issue I closed my eyes, hit the interstate and set the cruise control.
As with our last visit to southern California we were blessed with light traffic and as a result made good time with minimal frustration. An added plus was we hit the coast less than a half hour before sunset, just in time for some spectacular photos and awe inspiring views.
Then we checked into our hotel and enjoyed a delightful, pleasant dinner. We followed this with a walk to the cliffs overlooking the ocean where the wind made me quite glad I had brought a heavy jacket.
Sunday we took care of business, visited the stunning flower fields in Carlsbad and began a leisurely drive drive south on US101 towards San Diego with a few stops for a walk on the beach. Then, with reluctance, we turned our sites toward home.
I had never driven from San Diego to El Centro and was quite surprised by the stunning scenery. We lunched in El Centro, breathed a sigh of relief as we watched the interstate fade from view in the mirror and headed north through the Imperial Valley toward Brawley and the Salton Sea.
Our original plan had been to hit the interstate at Coachela, turn north towards Twentynine Palms and Amboy through the Joshua Tree National Park and then follow old Route 66 to I40 near Needles. As it was near dark and we were feeling the effects of two long days we decided to take state highway 177 north from Desert Center to state highway 62, then east to US 95 at Vidal Junction and north to I40.
The traffic was a bit heavy but the drive under starlit desert skies was delightful. We made a leg stretching stop at the ruins of Rice, a former railroad supply center.
Lit only by the dim light of the stars and the occasional glow of headlights the ruins were mesmerizing. We ended up savoring the quiet and skies a bit longer than intended making our return home a late one.
I apologize for the rushed summary. Rest assured I will provide more details and more photos this week.