Desert Wrap-up

OK — back home safe.  Here are some photos from yesterday’s shooting.  I started the day with a long drive out to see Roy’s in Amboy.  This long-closed gas, food & lodging complex is really in the middle of absolute nowhere.  There were no signs of life there — but, evidently, work is still going on:
http://www.amboyroute66.com/frontpage.html
Back in June, there was a Kickstarter campaign to raise $16,000 to restore the sign — but only about $1,000 was pledged.

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Since around 2005, the town of Amboy — or at least the land where these buildings are located — has been owned by man who owns the Juan Pollo fried chicken fast food chain. It must have been soon after that when a smaller Roy’s sign was built for a Juan Pollo in Barstow (at a former Arby’s building).  But that location is now closed:

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The former Whiting Brothers gas station in Newberry Springs.  Closed since 1968:

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Also in Newberry Springs — the long-closed Henning Motel:

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All my life, I’ve heard about the Calico Ghost Town in Yermo.  I finally made it there today:

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Back in Barstow.  Yes, the Sands Motel sign had neon and a different color scheme until 2009.  Here’s a photo of its old look:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/11036774@N07/2120865066/
And when they went monkeying with the sign:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/92136363@N00/3741298725/
Note how they sliced off all chunks on the right hand side of the sign and moved all the letters over:

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Former rivals and next door neighbors in Barstow — the Astro Motel (now the Astro Budget Motel) — its original look:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12597438@N07/4379144495/

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and the former Imperial 400 Motel — this location in better days:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12597438@N07/3522121665/

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More about these chains and loads of photos at my page here:
http://www.agilitynut.com/modarch/chain.html
In Helendale — a Polly gas sign.  The station was demolished long ago.  A fenced dirt lot since at least 2003:

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On to Victorville and the California Route 66 Museum.  This sign was replaced with a plastic box sign but luckily this sign was saved & has been on display at the museum since at least 2007.   The rundown motor court buildings are still there:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31086818@N08/5162522893/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/65446203@N00/8178995530/

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The museum also has a couple of signs from the former Hulaville in Hesperia:
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2891

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One of the highlights of the day for the dogs was exploring the abandoned dinosaurs in Apple Valley.  Four acres of dirt and dinosaur statues.  This was to have been a mini golf but the project started in the 1970s was never completed.  Very sad — but still wonderful.

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On up into the mountains — Sparkle really got a workout this weekend!  Up to Big Bear Lake to shoot a couple of things.  This one was not on my list.  Madlon’s Restaurant in Big Bear.  Their website explains that this was built as the Knusperhauschen Restaurant in the 1970s:

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The sun ran out in Yucca Valley — just enough time to grab one more sign.  I don’t know what it advertised for originally — Sky Harbor Shopping Center?

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The next trip and blog post will be the weekend of January 18 when the dogs at I will head back to the desert for more goodies & fun times around Palm Springs.  Until then, don’t forget more photos from this weekend over at Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Best to all of you in 2014!

dj & the dogs

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5 Responses to “Desert Wrap-up”

  1. paper doll Says:

    You are ending the year with a bang! Fab post!

    Happy 2014!

    • Thanks! Glad you liked it. It was fun to do something other than L.A. & Orange County which I’ve covered pretty well for now. I’ll gradually be doing other parts of California in 2014.

  2. DJ – When I flew out to PHX recently I thought about the name “Sky Harbor” for their airport. Seemed so vintage. Then I saw your post. Is Sky Harbor a common usage? Just wondering? -Ron

  3. Oh, the Knusperhauschen is a charmer! Love your Amboy shots as well. We have not made it there yet, but I of course hope to—who doesn’t want to go there?

    Happy New Year. :)

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