Roy’s Sign Barstow

Taking a friend to California in December 2012, I just happened to notice a sign in an unusual location. I knew the Roy’s Café and Motel sign belonged in the town of Amboy, California. The unusual thing about noticing this recognizable sign is the fact that I wasn’t in Amboy, I was in Barstow 80 miles north and west of where I would have expected the sign to be.

I thought it strange since I never heard about the moving of the sign, a Route 66 icon.

This is what I did know: the town of Amboy was for sale on ebay for 1.9 million dollars but didn’t sell in 2003. The town was repossessed and in 2005 a restaurant owner bought the town for $425,000.

Later I found out that the restaurant owner is the owner of the Juan Pollo Restaurant Chain.

I pulled the car over to the side of the road downtown Barstow and took a few pictures as well as having my friend take a photo of me.

20121220_145018[1]     20121220_145323[1]

Juan Pollo Restaurants owns, operates and is in the process of restoring the historic town of Amboy. For more information about Roy’s Café, Amboy, Juan Pollo, and Route 66 visit the Juan Pollo Website.

Check out a previous post entitled, “A Harley Ride through Amboy.”

Ride Through Amboy


Blue Whale, Catoosa Oklahoma

The Blue Whale is one of the most recognizable icons on Route 66. The attraction was built by Hugh Davis in the early 1970s as an anniversary gift to his wife Zelta, who collected whale figurines. The gentleman in the photo is Blain Davis, son of Hugh and Zelta. Photo taken September 7, 2013.

Blue Davis

Blain Davis in front of the Blue Whale, Catoosa Oklahoma

Route 66 Rendevouz

“Route 66 is as diverse as America itself.”

“The legendary strip of asphalt that runs the 2,448 miles between Santa Monica and Chicago, dubbed “The Mother Road” by John Steinbeck, connects a cultural crossection of Americans via highway icons ranging from Wig-Wam motels to shiny Cadillac diners and neon lights.”

Over twenty years ago, San Bernardino hosted the Route 66 Rendezvous — California’s biggest salute to the route — in the city’s downtown area and has been hosting the celebration ever since that time.

You can read the entire article, “Get your kicks on Route 66 at dueling cruises” at Dualing Cruises.

What Was in That Mud?

Just last week, I was telling a friend an interesting story about an incident that “happened in the 1980’s in the town of um… well… It was somewhere past Sunland and Tujunga. It was before Pasadena and Burbank. It was near Alta Dena and La Canada.”

Oh, I gave up with trying to figure it out, so I just got out my California map. The town I was trying to recall was La Crescenta.

Now if you’ll stay with me, I’ll tell you what happened. That year during the mid 80’s, the area flooded so bad that there were mudslides on the sides of the hills of La Crescenta. Along with the mud, were bodies from an old cemetery washing down the road. At one time, caskets did not have to be buried within a concrete box as they do in many areas now. They didn’t even use coffins or even plain old wooden boxes for that matter. They just placed the body in the mud, and when the mudslides came, so did the bodies or shall I say skeletons of the deceased who were buried there.

The heavens have opened up and poured its waters upon Tulsa throughout the month of May. In fact, depending on what it does tomorrow, May could very well be a record breaking May as far as inches of rainfall for the month.

The cemetery in front of our house was flooded with streams of water rushing into the street and that is why I told Pete the story about the bodies floating down the hillside. I took photos of the rushing waters because I have lived in this neighborhood for fifteen years and have never seen it so bad.

Rushing Waters   Flooding cemetery   dsc04656_2007_low.jpg

Anyway, my whole reason for telling this story is because yesterday, in the Tulsa World, there was an article entitled, “Erosion Exposes Human Remains.”

The subtitle is, “Heavy water drainage has washed away the banks of a creek at Rose Hill Memorial Cemetery.”

It turns out that on the very day I was telling my friend about the La Crescenta story, the remains of three bodies turned up floating in the creek at Rose Hill. They believe the bodies were buried about ninety years ago.

And so..

You’re probably wondering why the story of floating bodies is on a blog about the Mother Road.

Rose Hill Cemetery is located on the corner of Admiral and Yale in Tulsa, Oklahoma which was Route 66 at one time. The sign in front of the cemetery reads, “Route 66, 1926-1932.”

I’m glad one of the bodies didn’t get washed up into my front yard.

A Harley Ride

A Harley Ride Through Amboy

According to Wikipedia, “In 1938 Roy Crowl opened “Roy’s” as a service station on Route 66 in Amboy. Roy, together with his wife Velma owned the town.”

Here are some great photos my sister took during their recent Harley trip. Two of the photos were taken in front of the Roy’s Cafe Sign. Notice the Route 66 emblem on the sign.

    Amboy Sign

3 Harley Davidson Motorcycles

Amboy is Famous

According to Wikipedia, “Amboy is famous as a genuine Route 66 landmark.”

Located in the Mojave Desert, Amboy is nearly a ghost town.

Amboy was established in 1858 and is one of the oldest towns in California. More recently, Albert Okura, owner of the Juan Pollo restaurant chain, purchased the entire town in 2005 for $425,000 and a promise to restore and preserve the town.

The reason I’m writing about the this little town located on the old Mother Road, is because I recently received an email from my younger sister with photos from a recent trip her and her husband took on their “his and her” Harley’s.

Here is what she said, “The pictures of me and Hugh are from our trip to Laughlin two weeks ago. We had a great time and rode home on old route 66. The picture with the signs are from Amboy an old boon town from the 50s.”

She sent photos taken in front of Roy’s Cafe which will be included in another post.

She went on to say, “It was an awesome little town. We took Route 66 home from Laughlin and went the long way through 29 Palms past Joshua Tree. It was so much fun.”

“We also hit Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona and stopped at a restored cafe. I didn’t take pictures but wish I had, I noticed other people taking pictures.”

New Welcome Center Tourist Destination

New Welcome Center Becomes Tourist Destination

San Bernardino is the largest county in the US and home to California’s largest cruising classic car show the “Route 66 Rendezvous.”

San Bernardino’s new California Welcome Center opened it’s doors on May 18, 2007.

“I believe the center can really be a nucleus for establishing San Bernardino Valley as a bona fide tourist destination,” said Steve Henthorn, outgoing president of the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau, whose offices will be housed in the center. Henthorn, born and raised in San Bernardino, graduated from San Gorgonio High School and San Bernardino Valley College. He finished his bachelor’s degree at Cal State Chico.

The California Welcome Center in San Bernardino will literally put San Bernardino, and the surrounding area, on the map, nationally and internationally. Not only will the center be located in San Bernardino, the Welcome Center will have its own Web site and will be linked to the state of California Department of Tourism’s Web site, which receives 84 million hits annually.

State studies project the center will draw 100,000 visitors annually and pour close to $6.5 million into the local economy.

The new Welcome Center promotes San Bernardino and surrounding cities as destination points. The opening of the center is a major step toward revitalization.

Josie Gonzales said, “With myriad resorts and sport venues, the San Bernardino area can become a tourist hub and not just freeway sign en route to Los Angeles or Las Vegas.”

Janice Simoni, the state’s manager of the Welcome Center system, said, “State leaders who approved San Bernardino for the center site were impressed by the city’s community support and collective investment.”

According to Henthorne, “Refurbishing the building to accommodate the center and posting billboards on Interstate 10 cost about $200,000, a tab split among more than a dozen public and private partners.”

The center will be open seven days a week. Inside, it features multimedia panels advertising local destinations, an Internet cafe, a gift shop and kiosks with promotional brochures. Two Red Fusion computer stations take tourists on virtual tours of local hot spots.

A faux Route 66 made from composite material slinks between the multimedia panels.

“Tourism will enhance the city’s economic and social future. If they visit and enjoy, they’ll stay and invest,” Pat Morris said. This region is a wonderful place in which to live, work and play. We now have the opportunity to share it with the world.