Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Kicks on 66: San Bernardino Wanderings

During Christmas vacation, I took advantage of one of my days off, during which I had to travel east anyway on an unrelated matter, to keep traveling east for a while, until I found myself in San Bernardino.  Specifically, I took the time to explore Route 66 in that area, with the help of my GPS, KITT.

I told KITT to take me to the "center of the road" in San Bernardino, but I'm wondering if I either did something wrong, or if the road has changed since the latest map was programmed in, because it clearly took me to the end of the road that it deposited me on.  I've never really been in San Bernardino before, and certainly would never have attempted the trip without the GPS in hand.  However, even at this "middle of nowhere" juncture, there were independent restaurants and establishments just around the corner.

Being at the end of the road, I at least had a clear path to follow to return to town, so I just followed the road for a while. Not too many buildings for quite a stretch, but I found myself in the main part of town soon enough.  One point of interest is the "Mitla Cafe," which I confess I'd never heard of before, but since it had a "Route 66" plaque on it, I figured I should snap a picture of it.

I've always known that Route 66 isn't exactly contiguous.  Indeed, parts of the road that used to be there years ago simply aren't any more.  Besides this being part the reason it was possible for me to be deposited at the end of the road earlier, I also discovered that just "staying on the road" while traveling through San Bernardino was no easy task.  In fact, to stay on "Route 66," I actually had to retrace my steps on three separate occasions as the "Route" took a turn when the road I was on didn't!  Still, with the help of KITT, I was always able to figure out where I needed to get to.

Toward the end of my journey, I found this unusual motel where all the rooms looked like "Wigwams" (to use the word they used.  I'd have called them "Teepees," myself.  If I'm reading Wikipedia correctly, my usage would be more correct, but who am I to tell the motel folks they got it wrong?).  The minute I saw these, I thought about the "Cozy Cone" in the Pixar movie CarsWikipedia suggests that this resemblance is indeed intentional.

But that's hardly a surprise.  Indeed, Route 66 is a huge part of what made Cars the movie that it is, with it's small(er) town values and distinctive establishments, and I found myself thinking of that movie quite a bit while I was enjoying my afternoon drive.  I'll have to take the time out to head back to San Bernardino sooner rather than later.  But now that vacation time's over, that will probably prove difficult.  Fortunately for me, there is still quite a bit of Route 66 to explore closer to home!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fun adventure - thanks for sharing! :)



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