The End (sniff) of this Journey

You know how you look back and wonder if you would reach a particular goal? You know how you look back and realize that goal has been achieved? We had simultaneous feelings.

We made it to — sunny California.

Before entering Needles, CA we took a detour south Lake Havasu to see the repurposed “London Bridge”:

It actually rained in the desert–Hurricane Rosa effect centered in Mexico.

The bridge was brought over in 1968 by Robert McCulloch, Sr.:

He purchased it after reading that London was planning to tear it down to build a new bridge.

I’ll admit it does look strange (even though does look at home there) to see the bridge in the middle of desert in Arizona somehow it works:

We then got back on this long ribbon of highway and drove through the San Gabriel Mountains toward Pasadena:

We entered Needles, CA later in the day.

Needles has approximately 5,000 inhabitants including many Native Americans. We found the city museum located across from the refurbished El Garces hotel:

No longer a hotel — it’s empty and owned by the railroad. Originally it was operated for the railroad by Fred Harvey:

These are Harvey Girls (they were called this):

These are old photos taken nearly 90-years ago:

I met a man in the town museum who’s mother worked as a Harvey girl. He said she’d loved it.

As we left Needles we saw this mural:

We re-entered I-40 and drove westward.

In Victorville we found the Summit Inn sign — an inn and diner once frequently patronized by Elvis Presley. The structure is gone due to the freeway. This is all that’s left:

Our next stop at a rest area had this warning — won’t see this in the Midwest:

Never did spy any snakes.

Then it was on to Newberry Springs, CA. There we searched for the Bagdad Cafe:

It was in rough shape.

Driving to Pasadena we saw several “dust devils” — a small “twister” of sorts made from wind and sand:

We arrived in Arcadia , CA found lodging and began our final searches– Pasadena was in our sights:

In Pasadena we went the Colorado Blvd “suicide” bridge near the Rose Bowl:

Local officials have put fences on either side of the bridge to prevent suicides — most use to be linked to patients at an adjacent sanitarium– now a hotel.

Next we found the Rose Bowl which has been used primarily for the Olympics and football:

There was information on Jackie Robinson during on his college years:

One final find in Pasadena was this pharmacy and soda fountain — didn’t eat because weren’t hungry:

Nearby was the Marston’s Diner;

Before leaving the town we saw:

City-hall — a beautiful building:

With an inner courtyard that had this fountain:

The men above helped plan civic area of Pasadena.

We hopped onto Highway 134 to make our final run to Santa Monica.

We drove through Los Angeles along the last stretch of Route 66.

In downtown LA We saw Cliftons on Broadway – under renovation;

We continued to drive to the final destination — Santa Monica (Pier):

Only in LA:

This was the last point on our journey west:

We made it!

Rarely does something look so good.

Glad we did it and glad it’s done!

What a trip! Soon we’ll be heading home–wow!


About tourdetom

I'm retired. Travel a lot.
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1 Response to The End (sniff) of this Journey

  1. Sue says:

    What a fun trip. You do a great blog with great photos too.
    May see a sign in Midwest about rattlers/ that southeastern tip of MN that was not hit by the glacier has them. Cousin who once lived in Lanesboro saw one while biking on a trail with her family.
    My Mom’s Mom was a Harvey Girl in Seattle- but she did not like it – came back to MN and married a Swede even- she was Norwegian. Mom said she was determined that all of her five daughters had a skill so they would never have to work in the service trade. This “Me too” era has me wondering now if something like that made her hate it so?
    Mom was bummed that they could only afford to send the oldest and youngest to college. She was stuck with two year business school for typing and such. She would have majored in US history-would have enjoyed sharing the history you provide in your blogs with her too.
    (My MT cousins-who also drove the route together In the 70s in an MG’s first date was to see the movie “the Harvey Girls” – have you two seen it? Worth a look-one of those musicals I do not mind seeing over again. Judy Garland always seems to elevate hers to another level.)
    No info on why Needles is Needles?
    Nice to see Jackie Robinson memorial- Max did a hero report about him in school and we really became admirers of the man. Was sad to read in an early interview that Ken Griffey Jr. did not know his story-being he was the son of a major league player himself- but sure that was to change soon.
    I did get to Santa Monica once – a great spot to see the Pacific. Santa on the Santa Monica pier -of course- thought on Cherie’s FB it was Pasadena.
    Enjoy the sun while you can-guess the whole country must be wet if AZ is-been raining again here, temperatures dipping- and snow accumulated up north.
    Fun watching you two have so much fun together still after all these years- but never doubted it would be so the way you two looked on your wedding day.
    Hmm where did you two go on your first date?
    (Are you doing this now because you turned 66?)
    Enjoy your daughter time-safe trip home.
    (All ? Rhetorical)
    Happy trails.

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