Visited on September 20, 2014
I was driving along a short (36-mile-long) section of the National Old Trails Road, between Victorville and Barstow, Cal. Also known as the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway when it was established in 1912, the National Old Trails Road stretched some 3,096 miles from Maryland to California. When Route 66 was established years later, it incorporated much of the National Old Trails Road into its route.
This portion of road travels across the Mojave Desert. Traffic is light, population is sparse. A few of the small settlements once located along the way have long since disappeared.
I was approaching the community of Lenwood when I noticed an old sign near the road. The Dunes. There were some old buildings farther off the road that appeared abandoned. That's all it took. I pulled in to see what I could find.
The Dunes was comprised of four bungalows, each with four rooms. I was a bit surprised at the lack of graffiti and that there were still a good number of windows fully intact. All the front doors were locked, but a couple of the rooms were accessible from the back. The creepy Santa and the "Floor of Coupons" still stick in my mind. A fenced in pool was also on the premises. I'm not sure if The Dunes was a motel or an apartment complex, as each unit was pretty good sized.
The Dunes - as seen from space. It was probably quite nice when originally built.