Are we there yet?

Michael Bushnell
Northeast News

Checking out of the old White Rock Court, we continue our westward trek as Route 66 roughly follows the route of the old National Trails Highway.

The old route wanders to the northwest, through Goffs, and then dips to the south and west through California’s desert towns such as Amboy, Newberry Springs, and ultimately, Barstow, where we’ll overnight at the Town and Country Motel located right on Main Street.

While in Barstow, be sure to catch the Western American Railroad Museum as well as the Barstow Route 66 Mother Road Museum located downtown.

Admission to the museum is free, but donations are encouraged in order to keep things running.

The museum is completely staffed by volunteers and is only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

If you’re into oddities like the famed five-legged cow that was the feature at a tourist ranch in Oakley, Kansas for years, head over to nearby Oro Grande, home to the Elmer Long Bottle Tree Ranch.

The Bottle Tree Ranch, a hand-welded forest of metal frames covered with all manner of glass bottles, has been featured in Atlas Obscura and a host of web sources that feature kitschy roadside attractions.

Think of KCPT’s old ‘Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations’ series where the hosts sought out weird attractions across the country.

This postcard featuring the Town and Country Motel was published in the mid to late 1950s and features a view of the motel’s pool, ceramic and steel neon sign, and the motel itself.

The advertising copy on the back of the card notes the motel is AAA approved and lies at 1230 Main Street, on top of the hill, holds 30 new units, cooled by refrigeration, has full tile showers, telephones, free TV in units, a swimming pool, and good restaurants nearby.

The motel still stands today and operates as an Econdo-Lodge, retaining a good percentage of the motel’s original footprint.

Next week, we’re off to San Bernardino, our final overnight stop as we navigate America’s Main Street— U.S. Route 66.

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