a few weeks prior to my birthday i decided to take a last minute little road trip for my three day weekend. i went with my aunt down route 66 to arizona. my idea of a good birthday is not going to vegas to celebrate, instead i go to tacky little western towns. that's what's fun for me. thus the itinerary was planned around visiting roadside attractions and national parks.
we left on an early friday morning. the first stop, which was last minute, was to to visit elmer's bottle tree ranch. everywhere online said it opened at noon, but since we left so early we had time to waste. we got there before 8 am, and it was surprisingly open. it's a few miles off the freeway, but worth it.
a reminder of home.
this is elmer, the mastermind. he said hello.
after an hour or so more of driving, it was time to eat. now mind you, i had not eaten or drank coffee all morning and i was grumpy. i need food to be happy.
hungry full belly
of course we needed to visit barstow station. it is a tourist trap, but i love it. it looks like an old train station, but inside are overpriced souvenir shops and a food court. also, you can eat your food in real passenger trains.
a happy camper with coffee :)
also in barstow is the real barstow station. getting there is really cool. you go over this old bridge and around the corner is the station. it is a historical building (the whaley house), but is still used by amtrak and freight. insteresting fact, but many old california stations have a "whaley house." these buildings were used as little hotels and restaurants for travellers.
the western american railroad museum occupied part of the station.
they also had old trains outside
also the route 66 mother road museum occupied a room.
a quick stop was in ludlow, a little ghost town off the i-40. ore was mined here in the olden days. it was used as a rest stop along route 66, but when the i-40 was built, business was lost.
the old gas station near the ludlow cafe.
our last stop was the mojave desert national park. it was a bit of a last minute addition to my itinerary, but definitely one of my favorites. unpopular opinion, but i enjoyed it more than joshua tree. you have to drive down a single road for over 20 miles and when you arrive you are greeted by kelso train station. kelso is another ghost town with only the station, post office, and some ruins. inside the station there are exhibits on the desert and the train station.
the old post office
because it was a little early, we decided to visit kelso dunes. but it was gonna get dark soon, so we only walked to the beginning of the soft sand and walked back (sand slows you down when you are walking). it was so pretty and silent. i would like to go back to visit. apparently, when you walk further in the dunes the sand 'booms:' this is when the sand blows in the wind and makes noise.
now for a song. i am gonna be a bit country (it was the soundtrack of our trip). i love me some miranda lambert, and her new single is no exception. 'vice,' by miranda lambert. enjoy!