Day 5: Sep. 14, 2005
Wigwam Arrival

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I did end up at the Route 66 Motel in Barstow last night. I had heard from others that it was a good value and that's what I found, too. The office is small but tastefully decorated and so is the court yard. I knew that some rooms had round beds so wasn't surprised when I saw mine. I suspect the beds were purchased used from a more upscale establishment in a move to cut corners.

That "PAVEMENT ENDS" sign isn't exactly correct. The sign is on Fort Cady Road and, yes, that road does end just past the truck stop but that's where a paved spur, that maps identify as Memorial Drive, begins. The road is virtually unmarked; No signs proclaiming its name, no edge or center stripes, and no speed limit signs. Yet this is a public roadway but without the frills. When I-40 came through here, it ran right through the only connection between some private property and what was then US-66. Apparently some quibbling took place but in the end, in 1968, the government built a $101,000 4.1 mile very straight asphalt path from the property to the nearest I-40 access. A widow named Margaret Orcutt owned that property and, since the road officially served only her, it became known as Mrs. Orcutt's Driveway. However, the road's existence was known to others, including Car and Driver magazine and, since there was no budget or intention to patrol the road, it became a favorite test track for the magazine. Once 200 MPH runs were made here but the road has since deteriorated and those speeds just aren't recommended. I reined in the Stratus and cruised the "driveway" at a sedate 65.

This is Dry Creek Station, a former Whiting Brothers gas station. It is preserved behind chain link fence like a museum display. The other pictures are of the motel and restaurant used in the film Bagdad Cafe. I ate here in 2003 but had since heard the place was for sale. Today, despite posted hours and the latest daily paper in the vending machine out front, it seemed closed. The door was locked and the lone man I saw inside did not seem interested in opening it or even acknowledging my presence.

My attention was drawn to the town of Daggett by a recent e-group discussion on the word "mugwump" but the little town offers several photo ops. The Sportsman Club is at the very east edge of town or possibly even a bit before it. The closed cafe and Mugwumps are on Sixty-Six and the store and old hotel are north of the tracks in Daggett proper.

I was kind of surprised by the Greystone Cafe. I didn't notice it on my one previous pass by here and I don't recall reading anything about it. Some hasty web work has turned up little beyond the fact that it was built in 1918 and may have been in operation recently enough to have been advertised on the internet.

The 1915 T was owned by the mayor of Barstow and the bicycle by Susan Holmes of Daggett. It was actually one of my favorite items in the Barstow Route 66 museum due to the tale taped to its rear fender. It tells of finding the major pieces of the bike during multiple junk yard visits and the joy of riding it around the area.

The museum is housed in the old train station so a walk around the building seemed appropriate. The Casa Del Desierto, a Harvey House, operated here from 1911 till 1970. A railroad museum (not open today) is also housed here and the last picture is of one of its outside displays taken from the Casa Del Desierto balcony.

This one time gas station and cabins popped up somewhere a little north of Victorville. My best guess from what paint remains on the front of the wood overhang is that this was "Bill's Station". Besides the station and what I took to be tourists cabins was this curious stone tower.

Once I was forced onto the interstate at Cajon Pass, I stayed on it to San Bernardino. Once there, it was a short drive to the beautifully restored Wigwam Village #7. The eGroup gathering was picking up speed. The Juan Polo "bunnymobile" (A rabbit selling chicken?) was parked out front and I caught a couple of the gathering's ringleaders at the pool. That's Mike Ward whose music selections (The word eclectic was created for this.) played throughout the day and Ken Turmel who instigated this event. Those with very good eyes can see the smile on Manoj's face as he completes a short ride in Ron Moruzzi's 1951 Studebaker. "The oldest car I've ever been in." That's Ron and wife Jody posed with the car. I understand that Ron hardly ever slides off of the bumper.

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