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:
Back in June, there was a Kickstarter campaign to raise $16,000 to restore the sign — but only about $1,000 was pledged.
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:
The former Whiting Brothers gas station in Newberry Springs. Closed since 1968:
Also in Newberry Springs — the long-closed Henning Motel:
All my life, I’ve heard about the Calico Ghost Town in Yermo. I finally made it there today:
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:
And when they went monkeying with the sign:
Note how they sliced off all chunks on the right hand side of the sign and moved all the letters over:
Former rivals and next door neighbors in Barstow — the Astro Motel (now the Astro Budget Motel) — its original look:
and the former Imperial 400 Motel — this location in better days:
More about these chains and loads of photos at my page here:
In Helendale — a Polly gas sign. The station was demolished long ago. A fenced dirt lot since at least 2003:
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:
The museum also has a couple of signs from the former Hulaville in Hesperia:
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.
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:
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?
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:
Best to all of you in 2014!
dj & the dogs