You Only Live Once, This Is How I'm Doing It!

Final stretch

Mountains and desert and ocean! Oh, and traffic. Lots and lots of traffic.

The Route 66 portion of Epic Road 2011 is finished and of course it was an epic day.

We started out bright and early on a winding mountain road. We weren’t quite early enough to catch the sunrise but the views were still incredible.

It was quite an adventure. Not something I’d attempt at night but during the day it was definitely worth braving.

The tiny little town of Oatman is home to a bunch of wild burros. They’re the offspring of burros left behind when the gold diggers moved on. They didn’t have any use for them anymore so they left them to fend for themselves. Apparently they’re doing pretty well. They came right up to the car to beg for food.

Once we got through the mountains and entered California we had a nice scenic drive through the Mojave desert. The views were beautiful and there we some fun quirky things along the route.

Graffiti! No we didn’t add our mark. Still never bought any spray paint.

Shoe tree! Apparently whenever a tree grows in the desert people like to throw shoes at it. I didn’t have any shoes I was willing to part with.

My favorite roadside attraction of the day was the bottle cactus ranch.

We had the pleasure of meeting the artist behind the ranch, Elmer Long. He was so friendly. He came out and when we complimented him on his work he said he was still working on it. He also nonchalantly mentioned how the “British TV” had just been out the previous week. Then he regaled us with stories of the cabin he just bought and how the insurance company was making him put a new roof on,¬†among¬†other various repairs.

We chatted for several minutes and I think he could have talked all day. He was just such a nice guy and seemed to love having visitors. The bottle cactus art was neat to see but his friendly chit-chat made it extra special.

It was a good thing we had that nice little break because the last stretch of our trip was spent sitting at red light after red light. Good old LA traffic. I know I’m not the first to bemoan the traffic in the greater LA area but seriously, it took us 4 1/2 hours to go the last 50 miles. Four and a half hours.

That meant that we finally got to the pier and the end of the route just after dark.

End of the trail! Yay!

Family photo on the pier.

A beautiful end to an incredible trip. I can’t believe it’s over. It was quite the adventure and I’m so glad we did it. I’ll write more of my final thoughts and some pointers in case you want to take your own trip down Route 66 in the future. Hint, I highly recommend it.


Oh so grand


I did not move to California


  1. TamingInsanity

    I secretly love driving through the desert. It's beautiful and relaxing….hope it was enjoyable for you too.

  2. This is what my 16 yr old son wants to do. I did it my freshman summer in college, but he wants to do it.

    I want to do it with him, too.

    So much coolness on this trip, isn't there? I kept feeling like I was in a movie.

    And that picture of you, sitting on the guard rail is adorable.

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