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Draplin Design Co., North America
September 23, 2004
DDC 50: Day 04, Route 66, Good California
Posted at 09:40 PM


Quintessential �Open Road� Open Roads.

Being the Route 66 purists we are, we have gone/driven to painstaking lengths to make sure we are on the Mother Road as long as the wheels are on the pavement. We�ve had to bypass a couple chunks, due to deterioration or a hasrty, missed turn, but hey, we�re doing pretty good for a couple of asshole adventurers.

We made it outta Rialta around noon, had a quick lunch at the Cajon Pass Diner and dropped down into the hot valley north of San Bernadino. Smooth sailing ensued.

But here�s the deal, the next time you are on I-40, DO NOT MISS THE CHANCE to take the �Amboy Alternate Route.� You veer off the interstate onto Route 66 for some 80 miles of absolute desolation. Amazing. That�s where the shot comes from in the DDC 2002 O-A-M Mojave Exploration card. As far as the eye can see, neverending pavement and sky. You pass up Cadiz, Essex, Amboy, Roy�s Caf� and a handful of other drive-bys. The most amazing part is when you come up on the lone trailer. Who would live out there in all that nothingness? And to see toys strewn around; to think of kids playing in the heat is unimaginable. But hey, people are out there, and well, they collect a lot of old car parts and rusted shit. Good for them. God�s country.

Unfortunately, �General Bill� wasn�t holding down a a seat at the Bagdhad Caf�. His age ranges from 84 to 108, depending on how ornery he is that day. The cheerful waitress told us, �Bill is in a comfortable old folks home up the road. He�s with a group of guy his own age now.� I guess he was a fixture at the caf� for years, offering tall tales to whoever would listen.

Been snapping a lot of photos, and of course, I always feel like I�m �really onto something� with my limited photo prowess. Hey, I�m no goddamn Embry Rucker or anything, or nor am I an Amanda Marsalis�hell, I can�t even hang with the roommate Zimmerman, but, I try real hard, so that should count for something.

We pulled into Kingman, locked a spot down at the Hill Top Motor Lodge and are calling it a night. God Bless air conditioning. We put the machine on the �meat locker� setting and cool down.

We’re holding court at a Love’s Truckstop, but a couple flatbeds off the interstate, enjoying the cigarette smoke and zippo lighter revolving display. This is the part of the day we’re the “DDC Mobile Command Unit” comes to life. Tired and spent, we can barely lift our fingers to the kieyboard. Dad is flipping through our library of Route 66 history books, I’m updating thing and answering emails. Good shit.