Day 10: Sep. 19, 2005
Heading Home



I spent Sunday night in Blythe, CA, only because it's at the right point between San Bernardino and Phoenix. There are some chain motels and gas stations near the exits but there isn't much else. I stayed by the interstate at a Motel 6 that was OK. Nothing special but clean and reasonably priced. The Sunset Grill and the motel next to it are among the few bright spots in town. I had a very enjoyable breakfast at the grill and eyed the motel - the Travelers Inn Express. If there is a next time, I'll probably give it a try. The Blue Line is a survivor of Blythe's happier days when US-60 ran through the center of town. The remains of other, less fortunate businesses are scattered along Hobson Way.

At its highpoint, US-60 ran all the way across the country from Virginia Beach in the east to Los Angeles in the west. It didn't start that way. At its birth in 1926, its west end was in Missouri where it stopped at US-66. It was extended until it reached LA in 1931 then cut back until 1974 when this spot near I-10 just west of Brenda, AZ, became its western terminus.

Brenda also has remnants of better days followed by a road that seems like a perfectly straight line all the way to the mountains.

A faint "MECH ON DUTY" is still readable on the front of this old rock station. Not too far east of the station I started seeing bits of what I took to be an older alignment of US-60 off to the right. After closely following the current US-60 for several miles, it rises and curves away just a little. The old truck stop is just past the point where the older alignment returns to the new.

I really liked this little motel near Salome, AZ. From the web, I've learned that it was once called the Blue Star and that name can almost be read under the neon "motel" on the cafe sign. It last operated as the Amber Hills and I'd really like to know what was on the bottom of that sign. Little pink houses, palm trees, and car ports. Pretty cool, eh?

The Welcome Motel sign is visible from in front of the Amber Hills while the other pictures come from the other side of Salome. Clearly, this stretch of US-60 was once a very busy place with business travelers and vacationing families filling all those motels. I'm pretty sure that the stone building (hitching posts?) predates all the others by many years. The Sunset Motel is at the edge of Wenden. Brooks Outback is also in Wenden with a sign out front that reads: "Hot Beer, Lousy Food, Bad Service. Welcome. Have a Nice Day".

Burro Jim's Motel, in Aguila, looks like it might still be operating. I know that the Two Pelicans right next door certainly is. Bud drafts for a dollar.

In Wickenburg, I checked out the Desert Caballeros Western Museum and reached a familiar point on US-60. I have now touched both the eastern and western ends of the current US-60 and have driven some distance from each of them. Now all I need is that 950 miles between Springerville, AZ, and Vinita, OK.

The trip was essentially over when I turned in the rental car and the vacation state of mind vanished when I landed in Indianapolis. After ten days of sunshine I saw my first rain through the airplane windows. A two hour drive in pouring rain left no doubt. This vacation is over.

[Prev] [Site Home] [Home] [Next]