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Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

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  1. Today
  2. This is like a feast of recollection and reflection, with a big dose of fine writing. I recall that motel….it was probably 10- 15 years ago and Sheila and I were following the Pony Express route. We didn’t stop. The post below gives a bit of the history of the motel. It still had cars in front based on the 1999 Google Earth image. You could have owned a piece of Nevada history, a motel, and RV park for just $225,000. Guess no one wanted to!! http://www.exploreforums.com/topic/3150-schellbourne-station-motel-rv-park/ Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  3. Yesterday
  4. Slots Motel, Schellbourne, Nevada The only scenario that I can see where I would consider stopping at a place like this when it was functioning as a motel would be because all the motels in Ely were full and no rooms were available in McGill either. It's getting late as you drive through the darkness northbound on US93 towards Wendover, kids asleep in the backseat, and your looking for anywhere possible to sleep. Your wary when you find a motel in the middle of a dark desert landscape but the 6 room motel with the roadhouse next door will have to do. Wendover was still at least an hour down the road, if not more. It was one step above pulling onto the side of the highway and sleeping in the car. And what's with wooden railings in front of the rooms? Did they think I was going to hitch my car to it? All it did was make it impossible to back the station wagon up in front of the room and do a straight in unload. We were back on the road before the sun was up. Unfortunately, I don't know much about the life and times of what finally ended up being called the Slots Motel. It is located in Schellbourne, Nevada, where the Tippets Route of the Lincoln Higway\Pony Express Trail intersects with US 93. I do have vague recollections of it looking open on either my 2007 or 2011 trip through that are but neither the 2006 or the 2011 google images show any cars in the parking lot. We didn't explore it either time. To me it looks like a motel that could have been built in the 70's, or thereabouts. There were still some fixtures in a couple of the rooms but most of them had been vandalized with at least broken windows and doors off the hinges. One room was filled with mattresses and a few of the others had mattresses leaning against the wall. Looking through the screen door of the building to the left I could see a bar just inside the door but not much behond that. I didn't enter the building. It may have had a dining room of some sort, probably a few gambling machines or even a small casino. Photos taken Sept 2018 Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  5. Last week
  6. Keep the Show on the Road!

    New touring vehicle

    Hutch, Sometimes we buy vehicles to comfort ourselves, or our egos. But the best buys are those that expand our horizons, and enable us to do things we would not, or could not, do before. Your Big Red is a good example of the latter. Congratulations! Eastern Oregon where I believe you live has terrific places to go, and a little early snowfall can really add to the beauty. You don’t need this advice, but I learned the hard way that a capable 4 wheel rig can also get you into big trouble if you are inclined to off road solo in the winter. So have a great time, and keep us up to date on your adventures. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  7. Earlier
  8. hutchman

    New touring vehicle

    This thing makes me feel like kid. I'm 5 min or so away from some beautiful scenery and don't take advantage of it enough. The wet season is upon us and they close most FS Roads 12-1, so I need to make the most of it over the next month! Maybe do some cold weather camping before it gets too bad.
  9. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Amargosa Hotel and Opera House, Death Valley Jct. CA

    Becky, Great to see you chime in! We all appreciate your enormous contribution to the joys of traveling the American Road! Dave
  10. Keep the Show on the Road!

    New touring vehicle

    Hutch, OH THE JOY!! I recall my days with my Toyota Land Cruiser. Of course it more often than not got me into places I had no business going with a wife and 2 year old. But truthfully, your photos practically brought tears to an old man's eyes. I wish you many more happy trails ahead!!! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!!
  11. mga707

    Route 66 trips

    For me, Chicago to OKC is a bit too long for one day--I'd stop in Tulsa. And as much as I enjoy Flagstaff, I'd stop in Winslow instead and spend the night at the classic La Posada Fred Harvey railroad hotel there.
  12. David Lynch's "Lost Highway", 1997.
  13. hutchman

    Amargosa Hotel and Opera House, Death Valley Jct. CA

    Something about that place makes me think I've seen it in a movie.....
  14. etchr66

    Route 66 trips

    If you had to break up a Route 66 trip in to say three separate trips where would you break it? I would say Chicago to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City to Flagstaff and then Flagstaff to Santa Monica with a stop at Laughlin for a little righteous casino time. What say you, please chime in where you would make the breaks.
  15. beckyrepp

    Amargosa Hotel and Opera House, Death Valley Jct. CA

    Thanks for sharing! These photos bring back memories. I remember staying there and seeing a show. This was, I think, in 2001. The painted rooms and the opera house are amazing.
  16. Sometimes you get to see the change as it is occurring. Wells Nevada was once a railroad stop, a town along the Victory Highway, a stop for the night along the US 40, and now a gas stop along Interstate 80 before driving to Elko or Wendover for the night. Prior to the earthquake on February 21st, 2008 the row of storefronts along 7th St that dated back to the time of the Transcontinental Railroad were a premier example of western railroad towns. In 2007, when the photo below was taken, many of the shops were still open. In the case of the Meat Market it wasn't open but still had meat grinders and slicers on the countertop with the meat cases still in place. Wells Nevada, July 2007 When the earthquake hit it damaged nearly all of the historic buildings to the point that they could not be repaired and had to be torn down. When I visited again in Sept of 2018 the row of stores along 7th St. was completely gone. Photo below was taken at approximately the same location as the 2007 photo. Wells Nevada, Sept. 2018 The smoke in the background? Another building gone forever. The building was next to the El Rancho Hotel on Lake Ave. The firemen didn't even try to stop it from burning, only making sure that it didn't spread any further. I'm not sure what the building was built for originally, or used for prior to burning, but it certainly looked old. Image is from Google Earth. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  17. Hutchman, Thanks for pitching in. I wonder if that Shell station was ever that clean while it was in use? Back in my past I often had to travel to Chicago for business, specifically the Skokie area, but unfortunately it was before I knew much about road history or Route 66. Before one of the last trips to Chicago I picked up the "Route 66 Traveler's Guide" by Tom Snyder at the newstand before boarding the plane and the spark was lit. All the weekends that I was stuck in Skokie and could have been out exploring Illinois if I had only known. The Motel in Durkee is one of those I always hope to find while traveling along the road. Such character in the design and what time has done to it over the years. I hope it sticks around long enough for me to find it. Dave, I though you might appreciate that note from Betty. It was a first and certainly a welcome surprise to me. Rick
  18. Thank you, Dave! Did not see any peacocks. Just one resident dog and two resident cats. No ghost cats, although there is supposedly one 'haunting' the hotel, along with an adult male ghost and a juvenile female ghost. I slept like a log, but my travel companion did not! After I got home i learned that the Amargosa is supposedly one of the 'most haunted' hotels in the Us, for what that's worth. I'm not sure how long it has been since the Hotel re-opened, but I hope the owners can make a success of it. They were nearly full the two nights we were there, with many foreign tourists. About half of the building has not been renovated, as the 18 rooms open all have private baths and the closed-off rooms do not. Our tour of the Opera House ($5 donation) was well worth it. It is amazing inside, and we were treated to a two-song piano concert by a concert pianist who happened to be visiting that day. He used to play for Marta there when she did her shows, which ended in 2012. I would love to revisit in the future.
  19. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Amargosa Hotel and Opera House, Death Valley Jct. CA

    MGA707, I looked through the archives and found these photos from 2007, 11 years ago. I put them into a panoramas where that helps. I remember reading about the woman who danced there, Marta Becket. I think there was one of her performances the day we passed by. A lost opportunity!!! She was a spry 82 in 2007, and passed away at 92 last year. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  20. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Amargosa Hotel and Opera House, Death Valley Jct. CA

    MGA707, Love it!!! And great photos, I recall stopping (not staying) there maybe 10-15 years ago. Maybe I have some images in the “archives.” I think the woman was still putting on her one woman shows. What a shame we didn’t stay, but maybe it was not even open. But the place is unmistakable. Are the peacocks still around? Dave
  21. Rick, I regret not reading your post sooner. Even we old guys can get busy!! What an absolute joy to hear from her. That is a very rare treasure we roadies get, perhaps just a few times in our lives. But it is the golden prize. I hope Becky picks up on this. It is truly brings history alive. Dave Hutchman, Terrific!! It is so good to see your great materiel. And I do remember the motel. Family limitations are keeping me home a lot more than I like so seeing the photos from you and Rick keep the juices flowing. Dave
  22. hutchman

    New touring vehicle

    Update on the Jeep..... It now rides on real Load Range E, 33" tires. It has a new front bumper, a new 9000# winch, a set of factory take off LED foglights, and factory Rubicon tock rails. It is becoming a fully functional backroads touring vehicle. My back is also better. Some images from recently in the hills around La Grande, Or. Can't see much in this one, but the trail goes over and through the rocks above. I missed the line slightly and hit the frame HARD! So I'm having some fun with the Jeep and when the back is healed, there are going to be ROAD TRIPS!. Planning on going to "The Henry Ford" next fall to feed my love of the automobile and interest in history!
  23. Dave knows this one....located in Durkee, I believe, OR along RT 30 and the Oregon Trail.
  24. Restored Shell Station in Mt. Olive IL on Rt 66....but I don't remember which alignment....one of the older alignments for certain. Someting tells me this ramp has been here a while! Old Motel/Restaurant sign that has been repurposed.....at least once! Located on one of the later alignments north of Litchfield, IL. And look what else we found...... I've been by this place for yEARS and never saw this. I have no idea when it was put there or for what reason, but it is just off I55 along 66 and hidden by the trees. Not a building, but an old brick road from an early RT 66 alignment south of Chatham, IL. And here is a very interesting tidbit....not about the highway, but rather something to see in Springfield, Il. Fleetwood Lindley rests here. Just who was Fleetwood Lindley? Fleetwood Lindley was born on April 4, 1887 and died on February 1, 1963. He was a florist by trade and led a mostly unremarkable life. He was also President of the Board of Directors for Oak Ridge Cemetary where both he and President Lincoln are buried. But, they have more in common than just being buried within a few hundred yards of each other…..Fleetwood Lindley, was the last man alive to have seen the face of Abraham Lincoln. A little explanation is in order methinks! Fleetwood’s Father, Joseph Perry Lindley, was a member of the Lincoln Guard of Honor. This group was formed following the attempted theft of Lincoln’s body from the original tomb in November of 1876. During the reconstruction of the tomb in 1900-1901, it was planned to bury Lincoln’s casket in a steel cage 10 feet underground and cover it with concrete to prevent any more attemps at stealing the body. The casket would be sealed away for eternity. On the morning of September 26, 1901, Fleetwood’s teacher gave him a note from his father stating he should get on his bicycle and ride out to the tomb as fast as he could to witness an historic event….and that he did. The Guard had decided to open the casket one last time to ensure that the body inside was indeed Lincoln. Fleetwood made it to the tomb in time to see the casket opened. I’ll let his works speak for him: “Yes, his face was chalky white. His clothes were mildewed. And I was allowed to hold one of the leather straps as we lowered the casket for the concrete to be poured. I was not scared at the time but I slept with Lincoln for the next six months.” “His face was chalky white….” As spooky as that sounds, it was apparently caused by attempts to lighten his face during the trip from Washington to Sprinfield. There was no doubt who it was however. It was the unmistakable face of Abraham Lincoln. Strangly, Fleetwood Lindley retold this story to Life magazine on January 29, 1963, but he would never see the article published. Fleetwood Lindley passed away on February 1, 1963…a mere three days after the interview. We visited both Abraham Lincoln and Fleewood Lindley during our time in Oak Ridge Cemetary. This was copied from my blog entry about the Lincoln Tomb and Fleetwood Lindley.
  25. Outstanding thread! I might have something to contribute.....Back in a minute.
  26. It definitely is! And from an old roads perspective, the drive south from DV Jct. to the 'big town' of Shoshone (pop. 31 per the town sign) is also interesting, as one has the abandoned railroad track bed on the left (east) side of CA 127 and and recurring bits of the old, narrower road alignment to the right. If lucky one might see wild mustangs!
  27. roadhound

    Amargosa Hotel and Opera House, Death Valley Jct. CA

    Thanks mga707. Of the half dozen or so times that I have been to Death Valley I have always approached from the west side and never made it as far east as Death Valley Junction. Looks like it is worth checking out. Rick
  28. Just returned from a week-long trip through four of California's iconic National Parks (Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, and Death Valley) and the Mojave National Preserve. One of the highlights of the week was spending two nights at the wonderful Amargosa Hotel and Opera House in the near-ghost town of Death Valley Junction, resident population 3 in winter, 1 in summer. Others commute from Amargosa Valley or Pahrump NV. The history of this town, which was originally a rail junction and is still a road junction (CA state routes 190 and 127), is too long to go into here but is fascinating, if one wishes to look it up. The name of dancer/actress/artist Marta Becket figures prominently in the town's history and why there is still a functioning opera house in a town that for all intents and purposes has ceased to exist. Highly recommend the hotel to anyone planning to visit the Death Valley area. Enjoy some photos of the hotel and surrounding structures: Former garage and gas station across the highway from the hotel. The hotel and opera house at sunrise.
  29. The Henning Motel in Newberry Springs Whenever I am exploring an abandoned piece of property I always wonder what life was like for the people that used to live there, like I am sure a lot of us do. Sometimes I leave with an impression based on something I've read or knowledge I might have but more often than not I leave with nothing more than a few photos of what a place looks like at the time. The rest is a mystery. The photo below was taken in November 2009 on a journey to the Mojave Desert. The Henning Motel was located in Newberry Springs which is roughly 20 miles east of Barstow along Route 66. It was a crisp November morning when we stopped, looked around, and took some photos before continuing east. When I got home I edited the photo and posted it on my website. On a trip along the same route a few years later I noticed that the building had been razed. This morning I got an email in my inbox that made me glad I took the photo when I did. Now I have a glimpse of what life was like when the Henning Motel was in its prime. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
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