Glory Days' Claire Gormly continues her whistle stop tour of West Coast USA. Here she explores Route 66 from Victorville to Daggett.
There is no end of people that appreciate the aesthetic and history of legendary Route 66, it is a tourist destination and something I thought of as a national treasure.
So why then are the building and signs that make it special allowed to crumble into the dust of the Californian desert?
As we drove along the highway, potholed and broken in places it felt like I had been transported into every old American movie i had ever seen. It doesn’t disappoint – there are things to see every mile or two, and most are able to be walked around, some you can even see inside.
But the signs and the buildings themselves are just sitting there, vacant, falling down. With no sign of anyone even caring. No sign of renovation or even preservation. I give them 10 years and they will all be gone.
The Dunes was a perfect example – a picturesque sign leads you into a 1940s motel forecourt, with units set by a lovely pool. All empty, crumbling, with boarded up and broken windows. But not so boarded up that you cant see inside, probably even get inside if you wanted to.
I wanted desperately to buy it all, rescue it and revive it back to its 40’s glory. It would be the perfect vintage holiday destination!
All along the highway it was the same – defunct gas stations, diners and homes, showing the faded glory of their heyday. But now, like the transport route itself, forgotten and past over for something more “convenient”.