|Travelogue -- Dr Bob's Route 66 Motorcycle Ride|
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23 May 23 08, 9:00 PM PDT, Santa Monica, CA
What a difficult riding day, especially since it was the last day of the Route 66 portion of my journey! I had all kinds of good thoughts in mind leaving Barstow. I just love the way the I-15 goes down through the Cajon Pass. I was going to go down through the pass, get off and go back up, then ride the Angeles Crest Highway through Wrightwood until I reach the point where Angeles Crest is closed, then go back and down into the Antelope Valley to catch the Pearblossum Highway, then up Angeles Forest Highway to the Upper Big Tujunga, then to the Angeles Crest Highway, then to the point where Angeles Crest is closed. Just for fun, I wanted to know how many miles it was to "get to the other side" of the closure. Then I was going to stop at Newcombs Ranch on the way back, and finally ride into Santa Monica.
Well, when I was approaching the Cajon Pass it was raining so hard I got off the I-15 and headed back north. No way was I going to go down that road with the heavy rain I was in. I headed to the Pearblossum Highway thinking I would head west and maybe the rain would go away. About one mile into Pearblossum, I say "NO WAY". It was as dark ahead as it was in the Cajon Pass.
So, I headed north on US395. I decided I would go where the rain was not. I went to CA58, the road that goes from Barstow to Bakersfield, and headed west to Mojave. About 30 miles before Mojave, I could see a big storm ahead. I hoped it was west of Mojave. Well, anybody want to guess what happened? Right, in the rain again. But I preferred being here in the rain to being in the Cajon Pass in the rain.
I didn't have to endure the rain too long, and I already knew that would be the case because I could see the size of the storm as I approached Mojave, and I knew it was clear to the south. I continued on through Rosamond, Lancaster, and Palmdale and followed CA14 through the mountains to the I-5. I had some rain, but not too bad.
Along the I-5 through the connection to the I-405 the rain got heavier, but manageable. Finally I got into the Sepulveda Pass where traffic came to a standstill. I should have gotten on Sepulveda Boulevard, but I just stayed on the slow I-405. Finally I got off at Wilshire, jumped across to Santa Monica Boulevard (which is Route 66) and rode the rest of the way to the Pacific feeling like Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in the parade before they were thrown in jail in "Easy Rider". The first thing I had to do upon arrival was get a picture of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica pier.
And a picture of the memorial dedicating Route 66 to Will Rogers.
Because of the rain, I have very few pictures today. Here's a bridge on Route 66 that is still used. This picture serves two purposes, because there is a train running next to it. Not only that, there are two trains, one going each direction. If you look carefully, you can see a yellow locomotive between the two red cars directly above the 15'0" sign.
This bridge was kind of neat because it was not square. You can see that it comes closer to the camera on the right side than it does on the left side. This bridge was just at the Victorville city limits.
This shot with a Route 66 sign going across the highway is from downtown Victorville.
Notice the Route 66 shield painted on the road surface. That has been done in many places and it helps confirm you are on Route 66. I wish they would do that in more places.
The ladies on the Route 66 Tour.
We did a group picture at the memorial dedicating Route 66 to Will Rogers. Dick was not there physically, he had a flat tire on I-10 and was unable to join us. As he is known as the invisible guy, we imagined he was there with us. Here's the entire group. Click on the picture to see the full resolution version. Or, right click, and then click "Save Target As..." to download the full resolution image. Standing from the left are Mick, Mike H, Mike G, JJ, Bob M, Dr Bob, Jim, Frank, Bill, Jessica, Kurt, and Roger. Kneeling from the left are Mike W, Susan, Karen, and Danny. And, of course, Dick on his bike.
Danny and Jessica with AMA Route 66 Tour leaders Karen and Frank.
Mick, Mike, JJ, and Mike.
I rode 3,370 miles on the Route 66 portion of my trip, I have ridden 4,787 miles since leaving North Palm Beach.
While this is the end of the Route 66 portion of my journey, you may wish to continue to follow me on my journey back home to Florida. I promise more beautiful pictures from Death Valley, Monument Valley, and other gorgeous places.