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Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Route 66 to Joshua Tree

I started toward Joshua Tree this morning and decided to take the old Route 66. The first large section of the original road curved in a semi circle from Seligman to Kingman on what is now AZ-66. This ran through a rolling landscape and there was very little traffic. It was peaceful driving along the empty road. It curved back to Kingman and then a section continued south from Kingman to Golden Shores on Mohave County Route 10.

This section was more than just rolling. The narrow road wound through bare hills and I drove on the outside way too often. In one part the speed limit was 35 and I was going 30 and passed a car going 10. I don't handle roads that have steep dropoffs right next to the roadway. It went through Oatman, an old mining town, that is known today for the donkeys that roam it's streets. I almost said wild donkeys but I think they're pretty well tamed now. There were quite a few tourists wandering through the shops and it's looks like a place I'd like to come back to visit.

I had a way to go today so continued on and rejoined I-40 at Golden Shores, where the interstate crossed the Colorado River into California. I had half a tank at Needles and figured I could fill up along the way. About twenty five miles west of Needles I took the Old National Trail Highway, as it's called on the map, also part of old Route 66. I planned to fill up at Amboy but the sign on the gas station said 29.9. Well I decided they probably weren't open.

I thought I had more than enough gas but I start to look for a gas station at half a tank and at a quarter of tank am worried, especially when it's as desolate as the country I was driving through. At Amboy I turned south on Amboy Road which crosses some very desolate and desolated country as it curves around the Marine Base. Nearly 50 miles later I got to Twentynine Pines. What welcome sight.

I drove up the road to Joshua Tree only to find the entrance station closed but I did get a map and found the campground I wanted was way the other side of Twentynine Pines. It starting to get dark and the ranger station at the campground, where I was suppose to find the campsite, was closed so I started wandering around a very dark campground yelling "Mike" until I finally got an answer. It was so good to see him. They had just gotten here and he said there was a list of who was at which campsite which I evidently missed.

Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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