Rt 66 - The Summit Inn, Cal

Visited on September 21, 2014

The Summit Inn dates back to 1928. It was originally located at the summit of the Cajon Pass, between the eastbound and westbound lanes of U.S. Route 66. When that route was realigned along a lower elevation in the early 1950s, the Summit Inn relocated to its current location.

Over the years a number of famous patrons have dined at the Inn, including Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood, Pearl Bailey, Pierce Brosnan, Danny Thomas and members of the Koeppel family.

Back in the late 1960s, my parents had some friends who lived in nearby Apple Valley. It was always exciting to take a trip to visit Miriam and Sally, as we never knew if our car would overheat driving up Cajon Pass, or what we might find while exploring the desert around their homestead. Rumors of a downed aircraft, rattlesnakes and a storage shed which my brother and I were warned against entering, due to thousands of black widow spiders said to inhabit the gloomy, yet alluring, ramshackle old building.

But the best time of all was when we would stop at the Summit Inn for a meal, on either side of the trip. We always looked forward to dropping a nickel into one of the fortune telling machines that were located on each table. And sometimes, the fortunes came true.

I recently had the opportunity to drive from southern California to McKinney, Texas for an international Munzee event. I decided to try to travel as much of the way as possible along Route 66, to see what I could find. It was a great trip and my only regret is that I can’t travel full time, there’s so much to see.

The Summit Inn was my first stop. I’ll be adding more posts as time permits and would welcome comments regarding the places I stopped at, and recommendations on places I missed.