The iconic Route 66 covers quite a bit of the United States. It begins in Los Angeles and ends in Chicago but what about exploring just a portion? A road trip with family this summer? I am always looking for fun, lesser known adventures with my kids and this was no exception. This particular stretch of highway was from San Bernardino California to Needles California. Needles was a bit too far out of the way for us and after researching all of the available sights along the way, there wouldn’t have been time for it. If you have the time, then by all means take advantage and explore! We mapped out our multiple destinations, checked the weather, packed the cooler and headed out for an epic two-day road trip.
First Stop on Route 66
Our first destination was Amboy California. A speck on the map about 45 minutes north of Yucca Valley…with extinct volcanos in the middle of the desert! A huge field of lava rocks lead you up to the historical Amboy Crater. You can actually inside which would have been amazing, however, it was 92 degrees at 7:30 am, so we opted to enjoy it from afar.
Hats and Sunscreen!
On our way out of Amboy we passed the iconic “Roy’s Motel” which has been used as a back drop in a number of Hollywood films.
We headed toward the Mojave Preserve for some more volcanoes. It was hot as we traveled in June and if you are not equipped with a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water, you will be sorry. Not just sorry, but it will be dangerous. The Mojave Preserve is in the middle of nowhere and you need to be smart. If you or your children are heat sensitive, DO NOT visit from May through September.
We took a short hike up the side of a volcanic crater that was not too far from the car and the kids marveled at the incredible formations the lava had created. It is difficult to put into words how awesome it was to stand in the middle of an ancient lava flow and be surrounded by extinct volcanic craters only hours from home.
We ate lunch in the car and headed west towards Oro Grande Ca and the eccentric road side attraction that is “Bottle Tree Ranch.” This is a must see.
Stay in Your Very Own Wigwam!
headed south towards San Bernardino to our motel for the night. Not just any motel by the way, The Wigwam Motel. The coolest, quirkiest, most eclectic little place I’ve ever had the privilege of spending the night in. You and your family can stay in your own personal wigwam. The owners were fantastic and after the heat of the day, we relaxed at the pool and grilled hot dogs on the poolside BBQ. Comfortable beds, hot generously pressured showers and even a geocache to end our stay.
Breakfast at Emma Jean’s
Adventure and History!
Having to explain to my kids what a rotary phone was and how it worked really put things into prospective for me.