Cadiz Summit dates back to 1883; it was named by Lewis Kingman, who was a locating engineer for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. It was one of a series of railroad stations built across the Mojave Desert (Amboy, Bristol, Cadiz, Danby, Esses, Fenner, Goffs, Homer, Ibis, Java, khartoum and so on). Back during those early years, Cadiz existed to supply water to the trains. And years later, when Route 66 was constructed, Cadiz served a similar purpose.Read More
The Mojave Desert
The Mojave is a desert of wind, temperature extremes, Joshua Trees and solitude. When most people hear the word ‘desert,’ images of tumbleweeds, rattlesnakes and bleak desolation typically come to mind. In reality, the Mojave is anything but a wasteland. Amongst the sand and sagebrush lie many places of beauty and wonder, and of historic importance. Some are the result of time and the elements, some are the result of man and his efforts to live in the Mojave, both in recent and prehistoric times. Let’s go see what we can find.
"Desert" Steve Ragsdale founded the community of Desert Center back in 1921. He had the large, adobe-style concrete Cafe, gasoline station and service garage built to entice travelers to stop in for food, gas and a shady spot to rest. Next to the cafe, he built a large "plunge," where travelers could escape the desert heat by taking a quick dip. A number of "cabins" on the west end of town provided a place to stay for folks who wanted to spend the night before continuing on their journey. A Post Office, general store, and other buildings opposite the Cafe were also built by Desert Steve and still stand today.Read More
So the first thing to say about the Death Valley Mine is, it's not located in Death Valley.
A man by the name of J.L. Bright discovered the Death Valley Mine in 1906, why he chose that name is anyone's guess, as the location was some 70 miles from Death Valley.
With the prospect of gold or silver, it wasn't long before a mining camp known as Dawson sprung up nearby. Named after the directors of the Death Valley Milling and Mining Company of Denver (who had bought the property from Bright shortly after his discovery), the inhabitants of Dawson worked not only at the DVM, but at other mines in the area as well.Read More
You don't need a visa to go to Siberia. At least, the one in California. You will need to use some mapping skills and your imagination though, to get there.
Siberia was originally founded as a water stop and rail siding for the Sante Fe Railroad, which later also became a motorist stop for travelers along Route 66. It was located between Bagdad and Ludlow and must have had some years of minor prosperity. Cafes and tourist camps operated here during the 1930s and 1940s, but things never quite took off.Read More
As soon as I drove into Tucumcari, it was plain to see that this town must have been one of the premier towns of old Route 66. There are traces of those glory days on each side of 66, all through town. From neon signs to old cafes and motels, it's definitely a photographer's dream. But I'm going to start this post with a spot I stopped at a little west of town, south of I-40 at Exit 321.Read More
I spun off I-40 at exit 96 to see if I could find the old Whiting Bros. Gas Station. I’d seen some pictures of it and knew it wasn’t too far out of the way. Exit 96 is also the exit to use to get to McCartys, a small town that originated from a farming and trading community on the Acoma Indian reservation. It was later named McCarty after a railroad contractor who had his camp in the area during the 1880s.Read More
I turned off I-40 at Exit 47 in order to stand my ground on the Continental Divide. I’m not sure exactly where it was, as there were several signs and monuments amongst the tourist stop shops in the area. I do know that I was at an elevation of over 7200 feet and that many claim this spot to be the highest point on Route 66 (although that’s open to debate).Read More
You never know what you might find when you’re on your way to a poker game. Walter Peck was heading over to play some cards with friends when he stumbled and nearly fell into a large hole in the ground. Returning to the spot the next day, he and some friends began exploring the hole. Thinking he had found gold while down in the large cavern, Peck later purchased the property and began making preparations to strike it rich. Unfortunately, the assay reports on his find revealed the shiny stuff was nothing more than iron oxide. But Peck was not discouraged, he came up with an idea to bring travelers to the site and tour the caverns, for the small fee of 25 cents. Thus began what would later become the Grand Canyon Caverns.Read More