Category

California

California

July 6, 2019 Sticky

Elmer RIP

Elmer RIP my friend. I loved meeting you back in the winter of 2010 when my wife and I did a California-Arizona Route 66 trip. I was very excited to see the Bottle Tree Forest, buy didn't realize I'd meet the genius behind it.

Elmer RIP my friend. I loved meeting you back in the winter of 2010 when my wife and I did a California-Arizona Route 66 trip. I was very excited to see the Bottle Tree Forest, buy didn't realize I'd meet the genius behind it.

Elmer RIP my friend. I loved meeting you back in the winter of 2010 when my wife and I did a California-Arizona Route 66 trip. I was very excited to see the Bottle Tree Forest, buy didn’t realize I’d meet the genius behind it. I was saddened to hear of your passing.

Elmer R.I.P. my friend.
Elmer Long 1946-2019

I was exploring your creations when I saw smoke coming from a small shack. I approached the shake wondering if someone actually lived here. As I got real close you came in to view with your arms full of scrounged wood.

You gave me a friendly greeting and we dove in to conversation. I learned you love the Bible and were quite well versed. We then talked about your creation.

Bottle Trees

Stop Sign Bottle Tree

I was impressed when you told me that most of these bottles came from your hikes through the desert. In my mind I could see you going on treasure hunting treks and coming back to your property with your booty.

As I looked around I could see your welding equipment, and envisioned you welding up a rack. Eventually, the rack would hold dozens of bottles arranged to look like a makeshift Christmas Tree. After all, everyday is Christmas at the Bottle Tree Ranch.

Elmer RIP

I Came Prepared

I came prepared with some toys I was going to photograph for my grandchildren, and then I would give them the toys along with pictures of their toy. When I told Elmer of my plans he smiled and thought that was a neat idea.

Action Figure on a Piece at the Bottle Tree Ranch
Action Figure on a Piece at the Bottle Tree Ranch
Little Critters on Bottles
Little Critters on Bottles

It’s too bad my grandchildren will never meet you in this life. They would have loved that.

2017 Tour

In 2017 I was nearing the end of a 30-day tour of Route 66 with my friend Paul Bardotz. We met a young couple, nursing students, who we had fun photographing.

Nursing Students We Met at Elmer's Ranch
Nursing Students We Met at Elmer’s Ranch

While we were talking to them and taking pictures, I caught you out of the corner of my eye.

“Hey, you two,” I said to the young couple, “come over here I want you to meet the mastermind behind all of this.”

I then introduced them to you. It wasn’t difficult to remember your name because Elmer is what Ham Radio Operators call a mentor who teaches them about radios. You struck me as a wise old man whom someone could learn a lot.

When the couple wandered off, you and I got talking about God’s commandments. I knew from previous visits you were a Bible reader. We exchanged scriptures we had memorized. You said something about the importance of memorizing verses from the bible.

Paraphrasing a line I once heard, and applying it to you, I said, “You know Elmer, there are only two scriptures you need to memorize.”

You looked at me very perplexed as if you were thinking, “What does this young man (comparably) know that I don’t know?”

Elmer - September, 2017
Elmer – September, 2017

I smiled and said, “That’s right. Only two — The old and new testaments.”

You laughed with a twinkle in your eye and I knew even though we’ve only met a couple of times that we were friends.

Elmer RIP

Paul Gets to Meet Elmer

I was excited that my friend Paul would get to meet you. Our Route 66 trip was more about the people we were meeting, and you were no exception. We talked quite a bit about your having seen you. It was a highlight of our trip.

Yes, Elmer RIP My Friend

Yes, Elmer RIP my friend. There’s no doubt in my mind you were greeted by loved ones and our Saviour when you passed through the veil of death.

October 9, 2017

Superlatives

What are the superlatives of Route 66 as Paul and I saw it? Well, let us list them.

What are the superlatives of Route 66 as Paul and I saw it? Well, let us list them.

Superlatives

What are the superlatives of Route 66 as Paul and I saw it?

Well, let us list them.

Best & Worst

Friendliest

The friendliest state was New Mexico.  I’ve never been to New Mexico before, but every single person we met was friendly.  We’re not talking about the tourists, but the people who live and work in New Mexico.  They score a 10 out of 10 for being friendly.

And Not So Friendly

California.  Yup, California.  I had one guy walk up and call me a “scum bag”.  Okay… that’s a first.  While we met friendly people, many of the businesses there could use a course in customer service.

Biggest Surprise

The biggest surprise along the way is the Los Angeles Temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is right on Route 66.

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A Family of L.A. Dodgers Fans Visiting the Temple Grounds

Best Food Superlatives

This is a very tough one.  I found it not too surprising that the beast meals were comped meals.  I guess when you are providing a complimentary meal to two journalists, you want it to be the best.

That isn’t to say the non-complementary meals weren’t good (well, some weren’t), we noticed a trend.

Burgers

I love a good burger.  The best burger is a tie – Santa Fe Grill in Santa Rosa, New Mexico and Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner in Kingman, Arizona.  Their onion rings… the same – a tie.

copyright 2017 db walton - Superlatives
Mr. D’z Diner Staff

copyright 2017 db walton - Superlatives
Santa Fe Grill Burger

Mexican Food

Best Mexican food was at Jerry’s Cafe in downtown Gallup, New Mexico.  The food was good, authentic and they are the friendliest people you’ll meet.  If you like sopaipillas with honey… mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.  This is the place.

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Sopaipilla

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The Staff at Jerry’s Cafe, Gallup, NM

Funniest Place

The funniest place on Route 66 is in Seligman, Arizona – the Snow Cap Drive-in.  Just ask for half a cone and see what I mean.  You don’t go here for the food, you come here for the entertainment.

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Inside the Snow Cap

Saddest Place

I remember the Oklahoma City bombing vividly.  Any news like that is sad, however, I was not prepared for the emotions I felt when I visited the site. Consequently I cried a lot while visiting this memorial.

I wasn’t sad for the slain, I was sad because of the evil that exists in the world today.

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Sad Reminders

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Jesus Wept

Happiest Place

Oh, there are lots of happy places along Route 66.  It depends on what you’re in the mood for.  For me, it would be the nicely restored Corvairs this couple have.  Or, maybe it was the fun people we met along the way.  Well, it could have been the tongue-n-cheek humor in Uranus, Missouri.  Therefore, there are MANY happy places on Route 66.

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The Axe Hole at Uranus

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Young Couple Enjoying Frozen Custard

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Fully Restored Corvair Monza Wagon

Road Conditions

To say there are superlatives with road conditions on Route 66 is an understatement.  Hence, I’ll just share a few of photos that tell the story.

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Cobblestone Brick

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A Dead End Section

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A Big Drop Off (this was actually closed to cars)

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Washboard and Potholes

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Unexpected Road Closures

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Winding Mountain Roads

Hotels and Motels

We stayed at many great places.  All of the hotels who provided complementary lodging were clean and nice.  I can’t say that about all the paid rooms.

It’s best in this category that I thank those who comped us roomes:

  • Comfort Suites in Rella, Missouri – Clean and friendly staff and right on Old Route 66
  • Enlight Inn in Joplin, Missouri – Charming Cottages, I want to go back.
  • Fairfield Inn in Tulsa, Oklahoma – Clean
  • Broadway Inn in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Off the beaten track, but close to everything
  • EconoLodge, Elk City, Oklahoma – Elk City is the middle of nowhere, but here’s the place to stay.
  • Quality Inn, Tucumcari, New Mexico – Treated us like family (in the good way).  The pool was ultra clean!
  • Holiday Inn Express, Gallup, New Mexico – Another clean hotel on Route 66
  • Ramblin Rose, Kingman, Arizona – Best Value for your money near the Grand Canyon!  Clean too!
  • Hilton, Pasadena, California – Best place to stay in Pasadena.  Service is top-notch
  • Special Mention
    • Fairmont, Santa Monica, California – Amazing view.  It’s a couple blocks off Route 66, but you can see it from the rooms that face south.

Not So Good

On the not-so-good side, I would not recommend Motel 6 in Normal, Illinois.  And, I would not recommend Budget Host Inn, Williams, Arizona.  The Motel 6 in Normal, Illinois, is filthy, and the Budget Host Inn in Williams is very over priced for what you get (or don’t get).  Don’t be fooled by Budget Host’s “free breakfast”.  It was a gallon of milk sitting on the counter, two sugary cereals and a couple of boxes of mini doughnuts (boxed, store bought kind).

More to Come

There is more to come.  Check back often for updates as we review our trip.

Thanks to Sponsors

Also, a very heartfelt thanks to all those who sponsored our trip…

  • Bay Photo Labs
  • Republic Wireless
  • Warner 5 Color
  • Walworth Animal Hospital
  • Alien Skin Software
  • Anthropics Software
  • ACDSee Software
  • Topaz Labs
  • On1 Software
  • Nataliacha Doodley Do
  • Fine Art by DB (Yeah, I personally put a lot of my business money in to this trip)

October 6, 2017

Lessons Learned

After a trip of this magnitude, we have lessons to share. The lessons learned are categorized below. We hope this serves as a guide to others.

After a trip of this magnitude, we have lessons to share. The lessons learned are categorized below. We hope this serves as a guide to others.

Lessons Learned

After a trip of this magnitude, we have lessons to share.  The lessons learned are categorized below.  We hope this serves as a guide to others.  (Note, some of these are specific to photographers.)

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Route 66

Lesson 1 – Bring Less

We over packed.  The next time I will bring less.  For example, I brought things from home that I’ve never touched.  If I would have needed them, I could have stopped at a store to purchase them.

I planned for 14 days of clothing.  However, most hotels had a self-serve washer and dryer.  Next time I’ll bring 10 days of clothes (just in case).

Lesson 2 – Give More Time

30 days to do 2500 miles isn’t enough time.  Give more time to your trip.  Perhaps one way is to break it in to several small trip.  Of course, that would be more costly, but we honestly missed quite a bit.  We planned for about 100 miles per day.  I think 40 miles per day would have been much better.

Lesson 3 – Have a Back-home Support Person

We had one.  It was my wife, Elizabethe.  She handled all of our lodging and would text us where we would be staying and the confirmation number.

Lesson 4 – Rent a Car

Don’t take your own car.  We put 7500 miles on the rental car.  Rent one with unlimited miles.  If you have the time, drive to and from on Route 66.  If you have the money, drive one way, and fly home.

Lesson 5 – Visit Museums Early

If you plan to visit museums along the way, plan to visit early in the day.  Most of them are closed by 5pm (or earlier).

Lesson 6 – USPS Offices Have Shorter Hours

If you need to mail postcards or letters, visit the Post Office between 10 and 11am, or 1 and 2pm.  We found most Post Offices closed when we arrived.  11am to 1pm, they were out to lunch.  After 2 pm they might be closed for the day.  Before 10am, they might not be open yet.  As a result, you only have a couple of small windows of time.

We actually found one that wasn’t a Post Office in spite of the building bearing the words, “United States Post Office”.  (Location:  Beverly Hills, California)

Lesson 7 – Don’t Trust Models

We had arranged for a few models to meet us along the way.  In spite of much advanced planning, they flaked.  While my professional experience is that most models aren’t professional these days.

So, if you make arrangements to meet a model, don’t be surprised if they flake on you.

Lesson 8 – You Won’t Need Certain Lenses

That’s right, you won’t need certain lenses.  You want the widest angle lens you can get without going to a fish eye.  My 15-36mm was the lens I used the most.  I wish I had my 24-70mm (it was in the shop), however my 50mm came in handy.  I brought my long zoom lens (70-300mm) but it proved to be useless for this type of trip.

Leave the long telephotos at home.  Bring the wide angle lenses.  The wider, the better.

Lesson 9 – Lots of Cards

Bring lots of memory cards.  I had enough, but it was close.  I shoot 32GB cards and filled about 3-4 cards per day.

Lesson 10 – Lots of Batteries

Bring lots of camera batteries.  My battery pack allows for 3 batteries.  There were days when I had to swap them all out for recharged ones.

You should also have a 12v charger just in case.  This way you can charge them in the car.

Also, don’t forget your charger AND don’t forget to charge your batteries at night.  You might want to bring an extra charger or two too.

The most important lesson learned is this – when you venture far from the car, make sure you have spare cards and batteries on you.  As a result, if you do not, you’ll kick yourself because you left them in the car.  This only happened to me once and I learned my lesson.

Lesson 11 – Don’t Trust Google Maps

That’s right – don’t trust google maps.  This lesson learned is a result of relying on Google Maps which ran us in circles because a freeway off ramp was closed.  Other times it lead us to empty fields with no hotel for miles. (They guy at the hotel, when we finally got there, said it happens to a lot of people.)

A good way to verify it is to turn the satellite image on so you can see what buildings are in the area.  However, the best way is to carry a paper map along with a good Route 66 guide book.

Lesson 12 – Buy It Don’t Bring It

If you can buy it, don’t bring it.

This doesn’t apply to everything – mostly consumables.  Don’t bring a lot of snacks from home.  You’ll be stopping for gasoline and potty breaks, buy the snacks then.

Bringing too much fills the car and makes the trip less comfortable.  As a result you should plan to pickup a snack when you stop for gas.  AND, don’t buy too much.  Just one item at a time.

September 27, 2017

Reaching the End

It's a bittersweet feeling knowing we are reaching the end.  Here we are.  We've been on the road since Labor Day (Route 66 since 9/5/2017), and now we've reached the end.

It's a bittersweet feeling knowing we are reaching the end.  Here we are.  We've been on the road since Labor Day (Route 66 since 9/5/2017), and now we've reached the end.

Reaching the End

It’s a bittersweet feeling knowing we are reaching the end.  Here we are.  We’ve been on the road since Labor Day (Route 66 since 9/5/2017), and now we’ve reached the end.

Which end?

It turns out there are multiple ends to Route 66.  There’s the official end of the official U.S. Highway (Lincoln and Olympic).  There’s the literal end-of-the-road end — off the Santa Monica Pier.  And, then there the many other places people call the end.

Pasadena

We checked out of the Pasadena Hilton after meeting with their marketing manager.  She was a delightful lady, born and raised in Pasadena.  After telling her what we’ve been doing, she was excited for us.  We took a few pictures in the hotel of areas they have updated, and then we were off.

Our first stop was Best Buy where they didn’t have the size lens cap I needed.  Why doesn’t that surprise me?  But, they had 40.5mm, just not 39mm.  Strange.

We turned around and headed back on Colorado Boulevard.  To me, the highlight of Route 66 in Pasadena was the Rolls Royce Dealership.  I had to stop in to see the all time best car.  Yeah, so it is a small $330,000 mortgage… if you decide to live in your car.

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Rolls Royce

Beverly Hills

Yes, Route 66 goes through Beverly Hills.  I was joking about the tour busses when guess what?  A Tour bus drove by.

At the park at the Beverly Hills sign was a trainer sparing with one of his students.  We asked for some photos.

Down the road we saw the Beverly Hills P.D.  I wanted to stop in and say, “Hi”, to Eddy Murphy, but something told me he was off solving some sort of crime.

The Post Office… Yes, the friggin’ Post Office, wasn’t closed… It simply didn’t exist in that building any more.  We have such bad luck with Post Offices.  It seems Post Offices along Route 66 are a hit-n-miss proposition.  The building that says, United States Post Office, in Beverly Hills is a theatre… not a Post Office.  Oh, and we were told the one down the road in Santa Monica is no longer a Post Office, but the office for a film producer.

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It Says, “United States Post Office”, but it isn’t.

Go figure.

Fat Burger

Fat Burger is a really good fast burger joint.  Fresh and tasty.  Ask for Alishia if you’re in Beverly Hills and stop at Fat Burger.

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Our Friendly Fat Burger Server

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Fat Burger

Los Angeles Temple

So, did you know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a temple on Route 66?  Yes, it does, and it was a surprise to me because we always call it the “Los Angeles” temple.  In actuality, it is in Santa Monica… with a Route 66 Address.

We met lots of people there who posed for us.

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Four Elders Heading Back to Their Areas

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THE ZONE LEADERS!

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Missionaries Serving in the Visitors’ Center

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A Family of L.A. Dodgers Fans Visiting the Temple Grounds

Our Last Hotel on Route 66

We had a hard time finding a room in Santa Monica.  Finally, we got in at the Fairmont at Miramar.  We made it to our hotel, the valet rushed off with our car and the bellman our bags, and we checked in.

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Brett Provided Excellent Service and Let Us Photograph Him (This is the front room of our suite)

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Paul by the Outside Sign at the Hotel

Words don’t describe our room.  A view of the beach, walk-in shower, huge tub, and two balconies overlooking the beach.

Yeah, we’re ending this tour in style.

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View from My Hotel Room

Ocean and Santa Monica Boulevard

As we set out to photograph the official end of Route 66, we ran in to a lot of people before reaching our end..  Here are a few…

 

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Street Performer

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Having Fun

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A Couple from San Diego

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Ernest and His Family

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From Turkey

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Locals

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From Florida

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From Italy

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Showing Off On Ocean Blvd

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Young Ladies Excited About our Route 66 Mirrors

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Street Performer at the End of the Santa Monica Pier (end of Route 66)

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Street Performer and Fan

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Mom (from Maine) and Son (now living in Santa Monica) Visiting

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Two College Students Ordering Dinner by Candle LIght

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Our Frozen Yogurt Guy

 

September 26, 2017

Longest Day

This was our longest day yet.  We got up at the crack of dawn, drove to the desert, and photographed the sunrise.  Our location - Cool Springs Station.  It is just outside Oatman, Arizona.

This was our longest day yet.  We got up at the crack of dawn, drove to the desert, and photographed the sunrise.  Our location - Cool Springs Station.  It is just outside Oatman, Arizona.

Longest Day

This was our longest day yet.  We got up at the crack of dawn, drove to the desert, and photographed the sunrise.  Our location – Cool Springs Station.  It is just outside Oatman, Arizona.

The management at the Ramblin’ Rose were very nice.  They didn’t have a key slot, so I had to wake them at 5am to return the key.  Even thought I woke them to do so, they were cheerful and kind.  The place is a great deal.  No thrills, just a clean comfortable place to stay on Route 66 near the Grand Canyon.

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Cool Springs Station, Arizona

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Sunrise This morning

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Just before the Sunrise

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Twilight

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The Road Down from Oatman

Desert Sunrise

We got to Cool Springs a few minutes before twilight.  It was quite chili before the sun came out.  The wind made it feel colder.  It wasn’t real cold, but cold enough to make my fingers numb.

Once the sun came out, we took a few more pictures and made our way to Oatman.  Oatman is an old gold mining town at the top of the mountains between Kingman, Arizona, and Laughlin, Nevada.

Oatman is best known for its wild donkeys.  Many business take advantage of this.  Sassy Ass, Saving Your Ass, etc.

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Yeah, there are a lot of asses in Oatman.

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See What I Mean?

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Old Gold Mine Addit

 

Road Closures

After leaving Oatman, we discovered the west bound Route 66 was closed between I-40 and Oatman.  This detoured us through Nevada and in to Needles, California.

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Road Closed

Then, every time we exited I-40 for Historic Route 66 the road was closed.  We ended up going 3 exits before we found our way south to Historic Route 66.  It was a long drive south to meet up with Route 66, but once we did, things sailed along.

Bagdad

The Bagdad Café is a Route 66 icon.  We stopped and added our names to the door as well as a Bay Photo sticker.  (We’re sneaky that way.)

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Where’s Bay Photo? It shouldn’t be hard to spot where I put their sticker.

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Leaving Our Mark When Allowed

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Bagdad Cafe on Route 66

The owner posed for a photo, and we were on our way again.

Bottle Tree Forest

The bottle tree forest blew Paul’s mind as I thought it would.  We met a young couple from L.A. there, as well as a man from Sweden.  Then, while we were walking around, the owner, Elmer, came out.

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Elmer – The Artist Behind the Bottle Forsest

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A couple of students we met in the Bottle Tree Forest

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Paul Takes a Break in the Bottle Tree Forest

Elmer has built the bottle tree forest and loves to memorize scriptures.  We had a very nice talk.  He’s a very nice man.

On To Pasadena

From there we pretty much booked to Pasadena.  We made a stop at a biker bar that is being rebuilt after a fire.  The owner explained they provide memorials to any dead biker.  He showed us celebrity biker memorials like Evil Kenevil, James Dean, Dennis Hopper and more.

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Owner Poses with Elvis Memorial Guitar

We finally arrived at our hotel where we were warmly greeted, our car parked, and luggage taken to our room.  Our room tonight is courtesy of the Hilton of Pasadena.

After checking in, we enjoyed a nice Brazilian BBQ dinner.

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Our Room at the Pasadena Hilton just off Route 66 (Colorado Blvd)

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Dinner In Pasadena

Special Thanks

Special Thanks to day to…

Republic Wireless – worked amazingly well through the California Mojave Desert

Bay Photo – People are loving the bookmarks!

Ramblin’ Rose  – for nice accommodations the last two nights.

Pasadena Hilton – for superb service and a very nice room tonight.

P.S. More photos will be added to this blog tomorrow.

May 27, 2017

Casting Call

This is sort of a casting call. Paul and I are looking for people to photograph as we travel Route 66. You don't have to be a professional model. In fact, you don't have to be a model at all.

This is sort of a casting call. Paul and I are looking for people to photograph as we travel Route 66. You don't have to be a professional model. In fact, you don't have to be a model at all.

Casting Call

This is sort of a casting call.  Paul and I are looking for people to photograph as we travel Route 66.  You don’t have to be a professional model.  In fact, you don’t have to be a model at all.  (Although, models are always welcome!)  Also, you could be a guy with a very cool car and want pictures of your car.  That’s cool too.

For models, we encourage you to dress for where you plan to meet us.  If you plan to meet us at a 50s diner, dress in 50s attire.  But, you don’t have to play dress up for the shoot.

If you’re a car or motorcycle owner, you can have your picture taken with your car (or motorcycle) or just the car/motorcycle by itself.  This is a chance to make your car/motorcycle famous… and possible you too.

How This Works

Here is how this works…

  • Look at our travel plans at http://route66photographers.com/dates/
  • If there is a day and location that works for you to meet up with us, contact me at brent@route66photographers.com and let me know the day and location.
  • In your e-mail, include the following:
    • Your name
    • The best phone number to reach you at (and let us know if you accept text messages)
    • A picture of yourself so we’ll recognize you
    • A short paragraph of why you are meeting us at the Route 66 location.
  • When the day gets close (1-2 days before) we will contact you and let you know if we are running ahead or behind schedule.
  • You must be flexible on the time of day.  We are driving from Chicago to L.A. over a 30+ day period.
  • When we meet, you’ll have to sign a release.
  • We’ll take a few pictures (it won’t take very long).  We’ll shoot until we get some good usable photos
  • That night, you’ll see your picture on our blog, social media pages and/or in our vlog.
  • We’ll e-mail you copies of the pictures we publish.

copyright 2017 db walton - casting call
Standing on a Corner in Winslow, Arizona

We Cannot

  • We cannot photograph minor children without a parent signing a release.  And, we cannot photograph minor children without the parents being present the entire time.
  • We cannot offer financial compensation for your modeling.  This isn’t that type of venture.
  • We cannot guarantee we will agree to meet up with everyone.  Schedules are very nebulous for our tour.  We will not leave you in the lurch if we say we will meet you, but if we have to cancel, we’ll do so at least 24 hours in advance.  (We’d expect the same from you.)
  • We cannot provide “copyrights” to the images.  That would involve legal fees and involving lawyers.  But, we will give you license to share whatever files we send to you on social media, your personal website, and e-mail them to friends and family.  If you want prints, we are partnering with Bay Photo Labs.  You’ll be able to order professional prints at www.dbwalton.com.

Summary

In summary, this casting call is simply… we want to meet you and photograph you as we take this epic journey.

February 17, 2017

Before Decommissioning

This video shows portions of Route 66 before decommissioning. The video is an hour and 45 minutes long, but it presents a good overview of Route 66. It's worth watching...

This video shows portions of Route 66 before decommissioning. The video is an hour and 45 minutes long, but it presents a good overview of Route 66. It's worth watching...

Before Decommissioning

This video shows portions of Route 66 before decommissioning.  The video is an hour and 45 minutes long, but it presents a good overview of Route 66.  It’s worth watching…

I like how this video presents the people and communities.  While it is from the 1980s, it presents the importance of Route 66 and it’s place in history.  Imagine riding a bus for a week while traveling from Chicago to L.A.  Today, people fly.  Back then people couldn’t afford to fly, so they took the bus.

Bloody 66, Mother Road, and other nicknames have been given this highway.  Because you cannot drive it end-to-end any more, few people get off the Interstate to drive it.  That’s why we’re driving it.

Our Tour

Our tour will be spread out over a month.  We know many of you will never get a chance to drive Route 66.  For this reason we want to provide you with a virtual road trip along Route 66.

Paul and Brent plan to stop at every significant attraction – man made or natural.  Come night time, if we have access to the Internet, our pictures and videos will go online.  Our blog will post here along with links to our videos and social media posts.  We will also Tweet updates as they happen — signal strength permitting.

 

January 19, 2017

Steinbeck

Were you aware that John Steinbeck mentions Route 66 in the Grapes of Wrath?

Were you aware that John Steinbeck mentions Route 66 in the Grapes of Wrath?

Steinbeck

Were you aware that John Steinbeck mentions Route 66 in the Grapes of Wrath?

Steinbeck

Yes, that’s right, Route 66 is mentioned in the classic Steinbeck novel the Grapes of Wrath.  Steinbeck writes,

Pa scratched the dry earth with his forefinger. “I kind a got a notion Tom’s right,” he said. “It ain’t goin’ ta do no good all of us stayin’ here. We can get fifty, a hunderd miles on ‘fore dark.”
Ma said worriedly, “How you gonna find us?”
“We’ll be on the same road,” said Tom. “Sixty-six right on through. Come to a place name’ Bakersfield’. Seen it on the map I got. You go straight on there.”
“Yeah, but when we get to California an’ spread out sideways off this road—?”
“Don’t you worry,” Tom reassured her. “We’re gonna find ya. California ain’t the
whole world.”

Chapter 12

Chapter 12 is his description and worth the read.  Here are some excepts:

“HIGHWAY 66 IS THE main migrant road. 66—the long concrete path across the country, waving gently up and down on the map, from the Mississippi to Bakersfield— over the red lands and the gray lands, twisting up into the mountains, crossing the Divide and down into the bright and terrible desert, and across the desert to the mountains again, and into the rich California valleys. 66 is the path of a people in flight, refugees from dust and shrinking land, from the thunder of tractors and shrinking ownership, from the desert’s slow northward invasion, from the twisting winds that howl up out of Texas, from the floods that bring no richness to the land and steal what little richness is there. From all of these the people are in flight, and they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads.”

The Route

Steinbeck continues…

“66 is the mother road, the road of flight. Clarksville and Ozark and Van Buren and Fort Smith on 64, and there’s an end of Arkansas. And all the roads into Oklahoma City, 66 down from Tulsa, 270 up from McAlester. 81 from Wichita Falls south, from Enid north. Edmond, McLoud, Purcell. 66 out of Oklahoma City; El Reno and Clinton, going west on 66. Hydro, Elk City, and Texola; and there’s an end to Oklahoma. 66 across the Panhandle of Texas. Shamrock and McLean, Conway and Amarillo, the yellow. Wildorado and Vega and Boise, and there’s an end of Texas. Tucumcari and Santa Rosa and into the New Mexican mountains to Albuquerque, where the road comes down from Santa Fe. Then down the gorged Rio Grande to Las Lunas and west again on 66 to Gallup, and there’s the border of New Mexico.

“And now the high mountains. Holbrook and Winslow and Flagstaff in the high mountains of Arizona. Then the great plateau rolling like a ground swell. Ashfork and Kingman and stone mountains again, where water must be hauled and sold. Then out of the broken sun-rotted mountains of Arizona to the Colorado, with green reeds on its banks, and that’s the end of Arizona. There’s California just over the river, and a pretty town to start it. Needles, on the river. But the river is a stranger in this place. Up from Needles and over a burned range, and there’s the desert. And 66 goes on over the terrible desert, where the distance shimmers and the black center mountains hang unbearably in the distance. At last there’s Barstow, and more desert until at last the mountains rise up again, the good mountains, and 66 winds through them. Then suddenly a pass, and below the beautiful valley, below orchards and vineyards and little houses, and in the distance a city. And, oh, my God, it’s over.”

Telling

The story is telling about road travel back then.  Published in 1939, the story illustrates a distant time when things weren’t as prosperous in the United States.  You might want to read it before driving Route 66.

January 1, 2017

Goodbye 2016

It's goodbye to 2016, and tomorrow we say hello to 2017. 2017 's big resolution for these photographers is to drive Route 66 from Chicago to L.A.

It's goodbye to 2016, and tomorrow we say hello to 2017. 2017 's big resolution for these photographers is to drive Route 66 from Chicago to L.A.

Goodbye 2016

It’s goodbye to 2016, and tomorrow we say hello to 2017.  2017 ‘s big resolution for these photographers is to drive Route 66 from Chicago to L.A.

As I look back over 2016, I also look back to years past.  Backing up my server today, I saw some pictures one of my children took on our very first Route 66 road trip.  Route 66 was something we saw while driving to the Grand Canyon and we got hooked.

copyright 2016 db walton
My Son Zack on Route 66

We stopped at Alien Jerky and one of my children snapped the above photo of their brother standing by a car with an alien in the back seat.  Alien’s are a huge thing in this area with it’s ties to Area 51.

My daughter had to stop and kiss an alien…

copyright 2016 db walton
Kissing an Alien on Route 66

2017

2017 will be a great opportunity for businesses to come on board and sponsor our Route 66 tour.  Every day we’ll bring people updates and progress as we motor along Route 66.

As we blog (every night) we will mention those sponsors who helped make this trip possible.  This is a huge undertaking, and we will give our sponsors due credit.

November 2, 2016

Surface Streets

Surface Streets

What I wrote about decommissioning Route 66 leads us to a discussion about surface streets.  Like most U.S. Highways, Route 66 (the former U.S. Highway 66) was never a freeway.  Today, sections of Route 66 are simply surface streets.

In cities like Chicago, St. Louis and Oklahoma City are examples where Route 66 is now just one of the streets in town.  Driving Route 66 through Pasadena, California, meant keeping my eyes open for street names.  Portions of it were marked with “Historic Route 66” signs in white and brown, but for the most part, sections looked like any other street in a Southern California city.

copyright 2016 db walton
Route 66 – Pasadena, California

Turns and Disconnects

When attempting to navigate Route 66 today one must watch for turns and disconnects.  Historic Route 66 can end, and then pickup later on the other side of town.  This is because when it was decommissioned, portions of Route 66 were completely removed and built over.

Some, I discovered, aren’t worth the drive to find.  Others, however, have you saying, “I’m glad I took time to find this!”

As Paul and Brent drive Route 66 they will let you know about those disconnects and you’ll be able to see for yourself whether it was worth the detour or not.

For Your Entertainment

Enjoy these four guys as they swing out on Route 66…