Saturday, July 12, 2008

We Reach the End of Route 66

Mary Welcomes Us to the Gamble House

Leaving Barstow we made for Pasadena, CA. On the way we followed Route 66 as much as we could through San Bernardino and Rialto which is the home of the tee pees of another Wig Wam Motel. We had a 2:00 pm tour of the Gamble House so we wanted to eat somewhere nearby. We were running late and hungry so we hopped onto the highway to get to Pasadena to eat lunch.

We ate lunch at Pie 'n Burger a classic Pasadena eatery which has been around since 1963. The place was pretty crowed but we got lucky and soon had a table. They have great burgers but the their pies and cakes are even better especially the strawberry cake. It was pink deliciousness.

We finished lunch in time to make our way across town to the Gamble House. The Gamble House is the epitome of Californian Craftsman, an American Arts and Crafts style architecture. The house and furnishings were designed by Charles and Henry Greene in 1908 for David and Mary Gamble of the Procter and Gamble Company. The house, a National Historic Landmark, is owned by the City of Pasadena and operated by the University of Southern California and is open for public tours. It is a beautiful home.

The Greenes intimately worked with the Gambles creating a home that reflected their personalities and tastes. They used elements from favorite pieces of art and the family crest to set themes for different rooms. The woodwork is simple and strong. No detail was overlooked. Even the garage which is now the bookstore was matched to the house.

The Front of the Gamble House from the Street

The Hall Toward the Front Door

The Living Room and Fireplace Inglenook

The Dining Room

The Rear of the Home

Another View of the Front

Leaving Pasadena we continued west on Route 66 toward the Pacific. Before we arrived in Santa Monica we stopped at the La Brea Tar Pits part of the Page Museum. The tar pits are asphalt seeps that for the past 40,000 years have been entrapping animals. Mammoths, sabertooth cats, dire wolves and many birds are just some of the animal skeletons found in the excavation of the pits. It was fascinating to see all of the different fossils on display. You can also view the laboratory where the remains are cleaned, examined and cataloged.

Mary Views a Wall of Dire Wolf Skulls

Trapped for Thousands of Years an Ancient Beast Still Struggles in the Asphalt Seep

As we left the tar pits we drove down Wilshire and onto Santa Monica Blvd. Soon we began to catch glimpses of the ocean and we knew that the Route 66 part of our adventure was nearing an end. We drove by the actual end of Route 66, the unassuming intersection at Olympic and Lincoln Blvds. The "Unofficial" end, the Will Rogers Hwy Marker, in Palisades Park at the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd and Ocean is much more satisfying.

As we walked along the palm lined bluffs looking out over the Pacific Ocean we reflected on the past few weeks. We covered a lot of the country and had some good times. We were also a bit sad since Mary was to leave us in the morning.

It was getting late so returned to the car and drove to our hotel in the San Fernando Valley. We had dinner at the Bear Pit BBQ which was just down the street from our hotel. It has great neon sign. As the sun went down over LA and the neon lit up we toasted our completion of Route 66 with barbecued lamb and pork.

Joe, Ned and an Amazed Joe at the Route's End

Joe and Ned Pose at the End of Our Route 66 Journey

The Bear Pit's Sign

Barstow, CA to Mission Hills, CA, 181 miles 5 hrs 13 min

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