Throughout our entire trip there was lots of yelling “I’m pulling over!” or “Pull over!” depending on who was driving. Sometimes it was quite frantic. I have been called “dramatic” at times. But I just can’t help myself when I see a good vintage neon sign! And boy were there a lot of good ones! Some were attached to businesses still operating, others abandoned. So, in my last road trip post I share a collection of all of the gorgeous signs we saw, plus a few images of their accompanying buildings if the were pretty neat looking too!
On our way back, we stopped in Baker, mostly because I was starving. There isn’t much in Baker, though it is home to the world’s largest thermometer, and just before getting back on the freeway I eyes caught sight of one of my favorite things about road trips, abandoned Americana. There among dead, decapitated palm tress was Arnie’s Royal Hawaiian Motel, windows broken, signage faded. I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough to capture it.
Well, that wraps up our Vegas road trip! There was another abandoned site we had planned on visiting on the way back, but as Patrick wasn’t feeling too well, we passed. I do hope it is accessible next time we find ourselves headed toward Las Vegas.
It’s no secret that I am a fan of roadside Americana. While I love to see these 50-plus year old businesses alive and well, my real passion is photographing the abandoned Americana. I love seeing what time and nature does to man-made structures and objects. So when my dad said he wanted to drive down the less traveled Californian portion of Route 66 (west from Needles to Victorville) I was all for it. Camera in hand, Ghost Towns of Route 66 as a guide, we got in the car and drove on a clear and sunny day.
We started in Amboy, which is in the middle between Needles and Victorville, but directly north of Palm Springs, worked our way east on Route 66, then after arriving in Needles, we took I-40 west to Amboy, and dropped back down to 66 headed west, so if these photos seem out of order, in a manner of speaking, that’s why! I originally shot over 600 photos for this post, but of course with the glory of digital one can shoot as much as they please, and I often take two to six shots of the same exact frame, as well as multiple angles of the same object. I have narrowed this down to 30, and boy was that difficult. Most of these images are of long forgotten buildings and signs that dotted the Mother Road, but there are a few images of places that are still in business, because their signage was just too great, and, the sad truth is, you never know when a place might close. And just for fun, I have included a quirky roadside attraction that was just too amazing not to photograph. I hope you enjoy.