Needles to Barstow

Day 18 – Saturday

Needles to Barstow

Today we woke up to glorious California sunshine…..so very welcome! I’m not sure if our hotel looked any better during daylight but it’s amazing what a blue sky, sudden emergence of Palm trees and a pretty mountain backdrop can make.

Hotel and neighbouring restaurants…..

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Nevertheless, after a soul destroying day yesterday, we wondered if Barstow was going to be as grim as Needles? We had a brief debate first thing as to whether to do a mad Vegas 24 hour detour instead. Tempting! Only 100 miles north, so we could be there early afternoon. However, it would mean a near on 300 mile trip tomorrow, and after a night partying in Vegas, was this wise?! Also, this would mean missing out a big chunk of Route 66…..the purist in me wasn’t happy!

We checked Barstow out, and decided to book a better hotel and give it a whirl. Plus we found there was a discount mall there which was no bad thing!

We took a few photos of Needles highlights (not very many), tried to avoid the crazy people, and pushed on.

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The disappointment today though was the lack of Route 66 available to drive. Much more was shut than indicated on our maps, as a result of floods a few months ago. So our Route 66 experience was limited to a 20 mile or so stretch, taking in Amboy (including the volcanic crater and Roy’s dinner and mock motel – set for many films), the famous Bagdad Café, and Daggett.

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We arrivied in Barstow just in time for an hour’s retail therapy and dinner at the lovely ‘Idle Spurs Steakhouse’. Hotel lovely, shops great, free cookies in the lobby, and lots of great restaurant to choose from! Harmony is restored!

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Only 2 nights left – San Bernardino and Pasadena tomorrow…and…not to forget….Superbowl Sunday!

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