"Where ET meets The Mother Road"

Route 66 : Area 51
USA TOUR 1997 & 1998

Return to the Route 66 : Area 51 homepage by clicking on the 66:51 marker.

Route 66 north of Topock

North of Topock, AZ, an old alignment of Route 66 in California ends at I-40. To the east at this junction, one can see the Colorado River and the Black Mountains in Arizona. To the west, about 4 meters away, is the interstate. 66:51

lava flow west of Amboy, CA

In numerous places in the California desert one can find ancient lava flows like this one reaching old Route 66, west of Amboy, CA.

This is in the Mojave desert. It was hottest day I ever spent. I used the geologist's hammer to get souveniers. 66:51

Bagdad Cafe

Go out right now and rent the video Out of Rosenheim, aka Bagdad Cafe, filmed here at the Bagdad Cafe in Newberry Springs, CA.

There was a picture on the wall that looked like a guy who drank too much. 66:51

Victorville Museum

We visited the friendly ladies at the Route 66 Museum in Victorville, CA. They are expanding into larger quarters and we hope to revisit this fine display. 66:51

Summit Inn

We made it out of the desert, and we stopped at the Summit Inn for breakfast. Soon, we were headed down Cajon Canyon. 66:51

Route 66 south of Cajon Summit

Just past the summit is the Cleghorn Road exit, leading to Route 66, between I-15 and the railway. We watched several trains straining up the canyon. 66:51

Ryan prospecting

Ryan prospected on the embankment separating Route 66 from I-15. 66:51

Will Rogers Park

We traversed Los Angeles, CA, to find Will Rogers Park just north of the Santa Monica pier.

The end of old Route 66. 66:51

Ryan and cannon

Naturally, Ryan zeros in face-to-face with some military hardware. How many "Top Guns" can you find in this picture?

Thank goodness this cannon wasn't loaded! 66:51

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica pier, and our Route 66 Tour is complete. We have traveled over 2,500 miles on 66 and explored its many alignments, ranging from modern four-lane to twin ruts in the foliage-camouflaged dirt.

I could not endure taking a photograph of the arch from its front - everyone else does. I found it ironic that as I faced the front, I could see (or imagine) only several hundred meters of land before it is covered over by the Pacific Ocean. For me, that was too little land representing the expanse of our transcontinental tour. From the rear of the sign, however, I could imagine the formidable trip east - and home.

Go out right now and get the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Although one should be cautioned against drawing too many parallels between author Robert Pirsig (brain-damaged motorcycle-riding college professor) and me, I think you might gain some important insights reading Pirsig's brilliant work illuminating a father and son voyage. 66:51


Before we left California, we visited the March Field Museum in Riverside. Our next task: find the place in the desert north of Las Vegas, NV, where men and women worked in secrecy to develop craft like this SR-71.

They had an F-14, F-4, SR-71, and all the other airplanes you could imagine. 66:51

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© Frank P. Maloney   <frank.maloney@villanova.edu> Revision: 21 September 1998