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Showing posts from 2019

Support Route 66 non-profits with your holiday shopping

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Support Route 66 with your Amazon purchases, all year round

AmazonSmile is a program by Amazon.com that enables its customers to support non-profit organizations at no cost to themselves. When you use AmazonSmile, Amazon donates a small portion of your spending to your chosen charity. Amazon prices, and your cost, remain the same!

All you need to do to participate is visit smile.amazon.com and select a charity from over one million available 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. AmazonSmile uses your normal Amazon account, with AmazonSmile branding at the top of Amazon's web pages to show that you are participating. If you have an Amazon link in your web browser or phone, you can change it from www.amazon.com to smile.amazon.com, or load Smile just before checkout if you have forgotten to do it earlier. If I put items in my shopping cart while on Amazon's regular site, and remember I should be using Amazon Smile, I just go to smile.amazon.com using a new browser window - my Amaz…

Upcoming Event: Roy's sign relighting

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Coming up on November 16, the iconic Roy's Motel & Cafe sign in Amboy, California will be returned to service!

Roy's is one of the most famous historic stops on Route 66, in large part because of its very large Googie-style neon sign, erected in 1959. This sign has been turned off since the 1980s and its restoration has been a long term project that is finally coming to fruition. See the official flyer below, from the town's web site visitamboy.com.



Since we live in Las Vegas, Amboy is pretty close to us and we've been there numerous times, including last month when we visited during the Road Runner's Retreat cleanup weekend. There is no EV charging available at Amboy, but the manager was very interested in pursuing the possibility as they restore more of the town. As an aged, remote, near-ghost town, Amboy has challenges with infrastructure such as power supply and fresh water. These difficulties are complicated and progress is often slow, but the relighting o…

Road Closure info: Route 66 in California

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As many Route 66 travelers will know, there has been a long-term closure of a section of Route 66 in the eastern Mojave Desert in California. Due to the abundance of questions about this area on Route 66 Facebook groups, I decided to write up a summary of what is signed for travelers on the affected roads. Our October trip to the Road Runner's Retreat provided the opportunity to photograph all of the road signs that have been placed to deter travelers from the closed area.

Two segments of Route 66 between Needles and Amboy have been closed for a couple of years, and there is no timetable for reopening. Many bridges were washed out in flood conditions and San Bernardino County has not finished repairing them all, as they are an enormous county without a lot of funds. After having a chance to photograph all of the signs, the source of travelers' confusion becomes clear: the signs are a jumble of contradictory and often wrong information. I will try to lay it all out here, i…

Upcoming Event: Road Runner's Retreat cleanup

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Sorry about the lack of posts lately; it's been a busy few weeks that hasn't left much time for writing! But The Blue Spirit will be out on Route 66 this weekend, as we participate in a cleanup at the Road Runner's Retreat, a restaurant/truck stop that needs some loving care.



Located about 10 miles east of Amboy, California on Route 66, the Road Runner's Retreat has been closed for decades. It was once a popular stop for gas and food along 66, but after I-40 bypassed this section of Route 66, the flow of passing travelers dried up and the business eventually closed. In the years since, the owning family has tried to keep up the property with periodic cleanup visits. Recently, the call has gone out for volunteers to come help. Last year's cleanup was one of the earliest weekend adventures of The Blue Spirit into an area that was devoid of major charging infrastructure. We are happy to help support Route 66 preservation by visiting again this year!



This year's cl…

Upcoming Events: National Drive Electric Week

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National Drive Electric Week is coming up soon on September 14-22. Now in its ninth year, there are a whopping 275 NDEW events slated to take place, primarily in the U.S. and Canada. These events are a chance for EV owners to show off their own cars and inform the public about their real-world experiences living with EVs. Some events feature EVs from new car dealers as well. Both 100% electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles are shown. Many events will feature information booths or other resources relating to EVs, and all of the events are FREE. Learn more about NDEW at the official web site, DriveElectricWeek.org.



Here is a brief rundown of the NDEW events happening on or near Route 66 this year, plus the Las Vegas, Nevada event that we will be attending. I hope that you will be able to attend an event, whether you own an EV and want to participate, are interested in learning about EVs, or just want to check out some cool cars!

Chicago, Illinois
September 17, 11 AM - 2 PM
Daley Pla…

New chargers: Kingman, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada

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Just a quick post today, about a couple of new chargers. One is on Route 66 and the other is not, but both are worth knowing about.

Kingman, Arizona

Years in the making, the Powerhouse Visitor Center finally has an EV charger! Given its name, and the fact that the Powerhouse is home to the Historic Electric Vehicle Museum, it's only fitting that EV charging be available at this historic building, which provided power for Kingman and vicinity from 1909 to 1938. The city of Kingman had been in a holding pattern for years on installing a charger here. One of the possibilities they were exploring was a commercial ChargePoint installation, but the time frame was going to be long and the cost significant. Back in May I met Josh Noble from the City of Kingman at the Powerhouse. He told me that the city was in possession of a donated charger and we went to take a look. It was determined that this unit would be suitable to put into service, and before long an electrician came out to install…

Trip Report: A Long Drive in a Short Time

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An unusual situation presented itself to us in June. We needed to travel a long distance in a very short amount of time, to attend a high school graduation hundreds of miles away from home. There wasn't much sightseeing on this trip, and it didn't take place on Route 66, but I thought it deserved a report anyway. It is a type of trip that is often brought up in arguments against EVs, and the ease with which it was done is a good illustration that electric vehicles really are ready for the mainstream.

We have made the trip from Las Vegas, Nevada to Crescent City, California many times in the last 25 years. Usually, we travel down into California on I-15, west on CA-58, and then north along mostly I-5 and US 101. This route is about 1,000 miles and we do it in two days. The 'short way' from Vegas to Crescent City is north through Nevada on US 95 towards Reno, then northwest through Susanville to I-5, up into Oregon and then down US 199 back into California. It's abou…

Trip Report: Painted Desert Trading Post

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A Trading Post Outing

On Memorial Day weekend we had an opportunity to help out the Route 66 Co-Op, a non-profit group that recently purchased the Painted Desert Trading Post. This long-closed trading post is considered to be a sort of 'holy grail' of Route 66 destinations. It is located along an abandoned segment of Route 66 east of Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. In the 1950s, the business closed for good after the highway was rerouted onto a new alignment. Its isolation kept it relatively safe and intact for some 60 years. It has been virtually inaccessible on private land, unless you knew the right people to ask for access, or were willing to trespass and hoof it several miles down abandoned 66.



In recent years, the land surrounding the PDTP has been used for cattle grazing, leading to increased damage as cattle could walk around inside the building, bump into walls, etc. Without action, it would not survive for much longer. The Route 66 Co-Op was able to purcha…