Seguin, Texas. Mileage - 172,768

272 Miles Today
5,693 Trip Total
We had a beautiful fall afternoon to drive through the beautiful Texas hill country and arrived in Seguin at 7:00 p.m.
We left the motel and drove to the First Baptist Church of San Angelo to meet our former pastor. He and his wife are the directors of an adult Sunday School department. She has just recently had back surgery, so is not going out for more than short trips. We met a couple in the Sunday School class whose daughter lives in Pearland just down the street from our daughter. We called our daughter and her children know their children.

After church, our former pastor got some lunch to go and we had lunch and a nice visit with them. They have been in San Angelo for about eight years, so there was a lot of church and family news to catch up on. We left at 2:30 and drove south on 277 to intersect I10 again. We bought gas there in Senora and then drove non-stop to Seguin.
Our former pastor and his wife.
A pleasant afternoon with our former pastor and his wife.


More Hills

Central Texas Hills

San Angelo, Texas. Mileage - 172,496

333 Miles Today
5,421 Trip Total
6,436 Miles on the overhaul.

We got to San Angelo at 4:30 for an early day stop. They're having a Roping Rodeo of some sort, so the motels are filling up quickly. We got to Big Spring at noon and ate Bar-B-Q sandwitches at Al's and Son Barbeque in Big Spring. Then we drove around to see the Ann's family's old home places. We drove around the scenic drive on the hill above the VA Hospital area. The road and park features were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp back in 1935 and now it's operated by the Texas State Parks system. The weather and drive were nice.

The vast west Texas plain. (Click for 1500 x 332 pixel size.)

CCC Roadway
Interesting rock architecture along the one-lane road of Skyline Drive built by the CCC.
Big Spring View
View from Skyline Drive.

Van Horn, Texas. Mileage - 172,163

437 Miles Today
5,088 Trip Total
6,103 Miles on the overhauled engine and transmission.
We had a quick breakfast at the motel in Tucson and left there at 10:00 CDT. We had lunch at the Rancher's Grill in Deming, New Mexico, and arrived in Van Horn, Texas, at 7:00 CDT. Van Horn is 138 miles from the border. Traffic had to stop for a large Border Patrol checkpoint just west of here. I10 is a little smoother across Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, but there are still some occasional rough spots.

We are taking a detour through Big Spring where Ann was born and where her mother's family lived for many years. Then we turn south to San Angelo where a former pastor and his wife live. Then it's on to San Antonio and back on I10.

View from Motel
View from Tucson motel room this morning.

New Mexico Mountains
A mountain road in New Mexico.

Near Continental Divide
Approaching the continental divide in southern New Mexico at 4585 feet above sea level.

Rio Grande Valley
The Rio Grande valley near Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Mountain Pass
Moving toward a mountain pass in Texas between El Paso and Van Horn.

View from motel
View from Van Horn motel room this evening.

Tucson, Arizona. Mileage - 171,724

395 Miles Today
4,648 Trip Total
5,664 Miles on the overhauled engine and transmission.

While I was sitting in the lobby waiting for the laundry to dry, a young man can in and checked the lobby computer where I had been looking at our web site. He commented on the car and I explained a little about our trip. I think he had already looked at the web site.

Anyway, he is down here at an "airplane graveyard" with a crew from Montana to get three DeHaviland four-engine jet commuter planes ready to fly back to one of their main facilities in Calgary, Manitoba, for complete refurbishment. They will use one of the planes for parts. When two are ready they'll fly them to Dubai to be used as executive transport for some big company. (I may be off a little on some of this information, but you get the idea.)

They have one plane running, but are running into a few problems. They expected about six weeks to two months and he hopes to be home for Christmas. They get a few days off to visit places in the area.

The drive from Calimesa to Tucson was pretty smooth. The Barracuda is quiet and smooth now. The engine temperature did rise a little coming up the nine-mile grade west of here. I'm running about 60 to 70 mph on level or downhill. An indicated 70 on the speedometer is about 67 to 68 mph according to our GPS display. I did a 100 mile odometer check against the interstate mileposts. At 100 miles by milepost the odometer had increased by 97.5 miles, so we are actually traveling about 2.5% further than the odometer says.

At 171,455 Miles
I10 near Picacho
Full Moon Over Tucson

Calimesa, California. Mileage - 171,329

334 Miles Today
Route 66 Trip - 2,495
4,254 Trip Total
We circled through the Pier driveway again, but still didn't see a Route 66 sign so we headed west-northwest on California Highway 1 the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Then switched to U.S. 101. Ann and Becky consulted over the phone and decided that it was too far to see too little at the Hearst Castle so we turned back at Buellton. Becky found a fast route for us on Goodle and I put it into the Streets and Trips software that Becky had recommended for our trip. We drove back through the hills on Calif. 154 and found that the engine temp. does increase about one mark on the long steep pulls up the hills. It cools right down on the downhills. 154 took us back to 101 and we stayed on 101 until we reached Interstate 10 and turned east there. Becky says it's 1400 miles back to Pearland. About 800 of those miles are in Texas, so only about 500 miles back to Texas from here.

Santa Monica Pier, California. Mileage - 170,995

End Banner

166 Miles Today, but it seemed like forever. I think it took four hours to drive from San Bernardino to the Santa Monica Pier. It was a nice drive though. We got to the Pier at 5:50 local time. (7:50 CDT)
Route 66 Trip - 2,495
3,920 Trip Total

We visited the Old Harvey House in Barstow and saw that the Route 66 Museum didn't open until 11:00 so we went to the giant McDonalds with the railroad theme for breakfast. We visited the old Rancho Motel that was built of discarded railroad ties, then went back to the museum only to find out that it opens only on the weekend.

We took the old road from Barstow to Victorville. A beautiful drive and Victorville looks like a nice place to visit, but we just drove on through.

Much smoke in the Cajon Summit area. It was thick enough to shade us at one place and make it feel cooler. Otherwise the air was very hot, but apparently the humidity wasn't too high. We were on I15 through the Cajon Pass and then took the old road to San Bernardino and visited the McDonalds Museum. An interesting place owned by Juan Pollo, who recently bought the abandoned town of Amboy, California, the one we were not brave enough to drive to. More about the museum later.

From there we took the well-marked Route 66 west through all those towns and that was a really nice drive. Lots of stops for traffic lights though. Then south on the Arroyo Parkway to Highway 110 and to Sunset Boulevard. It's a wonder and mostly luck that we made every turn. We did miss the turn onto Santa Monica Blvd and had to circle the block. Santa Monica Blvd wasn't bad until we got into heavy traffic in the downtown area. That's where we just drove up to the policemen blocking the street and told them we just didn't know where to go. They must have had the street closed for local traffic and buses only because on of the officers was kind enough to say, "Help me out, just make a right turn at the strip-mall." I guess that made us local traffic. So that's what we did and there we went around another block to the right and then back to Santa Monica Blvd.

I turned on 9th street instead of Lincoln Blvd because the way I read the map they were the same street. Then we missed Colorado because we didn't see a sign there. Just made another block and came back on Ocean Ave and left onto the Pier.

We're back on Santa Monica Blvd at a Days Inn. I don't think I'll post any photos tonight. Maybe tomorrow night.
At the Santa Monica Pier
Young Tom

Alternate Plan

Because of the fires in the L.A. area, we are considering a side trip through Bakersfield and San Simeon to tour the Hearst Castle.

Then the logical thing would be to take the coast highway to Santa Monica. Then we'd have to drive the final part of Route 66 backward to San Bernardino and perhaps miss the Barstow to San Bernardino section altogether.

We'll see how the time goes. Of course, this inconvenience is nothing compared to what the people in the fire zones are suffering.

Barstow, California. Mileage - 170,829

232 Miles Today
Route 66 Trip - 2,329
3,754 Trip Total
The road up into the mountains and over the Sitgreaves Pass (Elv. 3550 ft. #39) to Oatman was beautiful and exciting. There are curves, grades, and switchbacks like these in the Arkansas Ozarks, but there the forests hide much of the view.
1. Sitgreaves Approach

2. Sitgreaves Pass

3. Down Hill

We enjoyed the quaint village of Oatman; at one time a gold-rush town of 20,000. The tourist season is just starting. Apparently folks from further north come down to get away from the cold and snow and make side trips to Oatman. We ate breakfast there. The folks were just opening their shops at 9:00 and the burros didn't come out while we were there, but we could smell them (horse manure).

We drove back down from the mountains into the valley of the Colorado River and across into California for a stop in Needles.
Needles Welcome Wagon

We took old Route 66 in an arc north of I40 and through Goffs. It was a beautiful drive.
Road West

Goffs Sign

Road Sign

We skipped the old road through Amboy, because we had been told by local people that the pavement was very rough. We did stop at Ludlow and drive back
east on Route 66 for about five miles to see how bad it really was. The first couple of miles were good, but it got a little rougher. There was now cell phone coverage in that area anyway.
West to Ludlow

Ann by the Barracuda at Ludlow

We ate at Ludlow and drove some on the freeway and some on the old road to the Bagdad Cafe.
Bagdad Cafe

Then on into Barstow. We got here at about 5:30 and drove on through town on Main Street then came back and bought some more motor oil at the Auto Zone and then found a motel.
Old Hotels
This photo was made at 5:14 CDT. Big fires near San Bernardino may delay our travel south. I15 has been closed today just north of San Bernardino.

Visit Magnus and Annika's Route 66 Blog

Link to their blog.
Magnus and Annika have some great photos of their trip, but if you can't read Swedish, you'll just have to go by the dates of their posts to know roughly where they were. They even have a photo of Ann in the Barracuda at the Dixie Trucker's Home in Illinois.

They are more adventurous they we. They visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and took some great photos from the top. They've been done some of the old "dead end" sections of Route 66 and apparently Annika went inside the old abanconed filling station in Glenrio and took a photo of Magnus pretending to be knocking on the broken window as he peers in.

Their latest entry is from Flagstaff so they are catching up with us again. They did the Sante Fe loop and took more time than we did in some of the other places.

(Becky, here's a cat picture.)