Archive for Amboy California

RoadRunner’s Retreat

Posted in Route 66 with tags , , on April 28, 2009 by MrZip66

I’ve always been fascinated with Amboy California. Roy’s may very well be my favorite place on Route 66. I once met its owner Buster Burris, and he was nice enough to sit and talk to my wife and I and talk about route 66.

Just East of Amboy and before Chambless is Roadrunner Retreat. It’s a ruin of a place that begs questions of it’s story. It does to me.

The roadrunner retreat is as classic as Roy's

The roadrunner retreat is as classic as Roy's

I can’t find alot of information on the Roadrunner Retreat.   Today I found some clues.

Vintage 1950's Postcard of Roadrunner Retreat

Vintage 1960's Postcard of Roadrunner Retreat

This section of route  66 was bypassed in 1972, and not much later it began to dry up.   I’m sure RR could tell us some stories.   Do you have any?   I’d love to have pictures and info on this place.  there’s just not a lot on the internet.

Roadrunner Retreat 2008

Roadrunner Retreat 2008

Today I contacted the Northern Arizona University Library and they gave me a picture of  this awesome area:

Roadrunner Retreat in 1989

Roadrunner Retreat in 1989 - The Expressway Diner.

Roadrunner Retreat 2005

Roadrunner Retreat 2005

Amboy survived for years.   Even though Buster Burris bulldozed much of the town to avoid having to pay taxes on it after the 1-40 bypass,  Roy’s stayed open for almost 25 years.   Buster was tougher than boiled owl.

I don’t know how much longer Roadrunner Retreat lasted.   I’d love to know it’s story.  I’ve been here probably 8-10 times, and I don’t know anything about it.   If you know ANYTHING about this cool place, stories or history, please post or email me at .


I love route 66

Posted in Dunn Brothers, Route 66 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2008 by MrZip66


I had a great ride last weekend with pat.   sometimes it takes me a while to decompress it all when I ride with other people because I had alot going through my mind as we took the trip, and it was all good.

Getting Gas in Overton Nevada

Getting Gas in Overton Nevada

I got my act together by around noon on thursday, and by 1 I met up with my brother and we headed south to overton, which I knew would be our first gas stop on our way to kingman for the night.   Our rooms were booked, so our destination was set.

what kept going through my head as I rode was Qui Gon Jinn, talking to a young Obi Wan Kenobi.   “keep your mind on the here and now, don’t center on your anxieties”.   Its funny how you sometimes recall things.   That quote there, is another reason I like to ride.   The road forces the here and now most times, and the here and now forms your future.    Its mortar in the brick wall of why Riding is such a positive for me.

We hit Lees along the way, which has become a required stop, we talked a bit

Great Stop at Rosies Den

Great Stop at Rosies Den

and I knew this ride was going to be a great one right then and there.   Pat is going through a transition right now, and this ride was for him… showing him my most frequent and common path along route 66 to california, and quite honestly my favorite.   I was only hoping he liked it as much as I do, because some people I show this route to don’t get it:   Its varied, old and full of americana.   If you’re not into those sorts of things, its just sagebrush and old buildings.

we rounded the 60 miles behind lake mead, hit hoover dam and headed into kingman for the night.   It was a great ride.   40 miles before kingman we stopped and had a couple of beers and a place Ive visited a bunch but never stopped into.   Going there with pat first made it perfect.   Another point of view on a route I’d taken before.     That night, we had a round of scotch and rested up for what I was hoping was going to be a great weekend.


Oatman Road

Oatman Road

The next morning we stopped by the harley shop, and milked a bit of time to make the ride into oatman timely.   Oatman is one of my favorite stops.   Not only for the winding road, but for the town itself.    its a throwback, and ive seen it revive in the 20 years ive been hitting up route 66.   Its doing good.   we stopped into the oatman hotel for a couple beers and a long lunch, then headed out through golden shores, topock, past the colorado river and down through amboy.

Roys in amboy is doing well.   They sound like gas sales are going good, and within a week or so theyll have the reverse osmosis filtering they need to get the restaurant open.   From there, theyll start working on the hotel.   If that happens, Amboy will replace kingman as my friday night stop for weekend rides.   I try and support them as much as I can.   I love the fact that the town of amboy is starting to revive.    It says something about people to me.

from Amboy, we headed south and Pat pointed

Oatman Epitaph

Oatman Epitaph

out something I missed last time.   Just a few miles south of amboy, they process chloride from the natural drainage point of the valley.     We passed through and headed up to twentynine palms, through the town to get gas, and up over  Joshua tree national park.   The sun was in our eyes, so we missed alot, and the ride was winding down and we had 100 miles to go yet.

Just like last time, we took missed our turn and was 60 miles out of our way.  Just like last time, I didnt really care.   the weather was good, and aside from the initial traffic, I was enjoying the ride.  we rode down through the windmill farms and into palm springs for the night, got wasted at applebees and crashed for the night.  As always, I 100% enjoyed the company with my older brother.


Outside the Patton Museum

Outside the Patton Museum

We debated a few different routes, but decided to double back after going to our loose reason for taking this ride:  The patton museum in Chiriaco Summit.    I have been, and will always be a fan of George S. Patton.  Ive read a couple of biographies on him, as well as several other books about him including his war diaries.   He is a testament to recognizing what he was best at in life, as well as focus, which I believe makes anyone a “natural” born leader if he has the passion.   He did.   I really should invest in helping preserve this museum.   The land around here is what trained men to help us win world war 2.

We stayed for about an hear, then h

Oatman Hotel at Dark

Oatman Hotel at Dark

eaded back up through Joshua Tree and back up through Amboy, where we stopped and took some pictures of the chloride leeching trenches.   Then made time to get back to Kingman.    Oatman dies at dark.   We had dinner and headed back to kingman, hit up a local bar for a couple and then crashed for the night.


Sunday morning we were both in the mindset of getting breakfast at the hotel and hitting the road to home.   We had a 4 hour ride, plus pat had another 4 hours ride to get home.    At overton, we parted ways and pat made miles to get home.   I rode home slow, mozying back to be home by 1 to watch the Steeler game with Megan, something we’ve done for the last 4 years together.

The last thing pat said to me was “thanks, you saved my life this weekend”.   I knew what he meant.   He’s saved mine before.    He’s got some tough decisions to make, and letting those decisions come to him and having a good ride, versus sitting around and feeling the weight of his situation is what he meant.   I love my brother.

Something flipped for me this weekend.   Ive always rode by myself and preferred it that way, but I have a feeling if I did it that way now I know I’d wish he was there.    We work well together.

Here is a Link to my Picasa Gallery About this Route 66 Trip, which is sometimes easier to view

Finding General Patton

Posted in Rides with tags , , , , on March 30, 2007 by MrZip66
"A good plan, violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week" - George S. patton

"A good plan, violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week" - George S. patton

Everything in life is pretty rushed, and demands decisions and results. I think thats why motorcycling is such a relaxing thing, is when Im on the road, there are no time frames. Being home by monday is a loose goal, other than that, anything goes.

Ive always been a fan of George Patton. The first VCR movie my dad bought was Patton. I watched it so much I had it memorized. Ive read his war Journals, and 2 biographies on the rebel and pure leader that was George S. Patton. Before he went to Africa in 1943, he set up the desert training facilities for tank warfare in the california desrert, so I set out to see it.

Left Friday night and made it to Kingman. Holy crap, it was cold. from the time I left hoover dam to kingman, i froze my nuts off. I took a sleeping bag and had every intention of sleeping off the side of the road somewhere and watching a movie on my Ipod, but I was just too cold. I needed to get warm, so i stopped and stayed at the quality inn in kingman, I pulled in around 10 PM.

Amboy CaliforniaWoke up the next morning and headed out by 8. It was a bit brisk in the morning, but the weather was supposed to be warm for the rest of the weekend. Visited the route 66 museum in kingman, bought some videos, and headed out to Oatman, Needles, Goffs, and down to Amboy.

Amboy showed signs of life again. THere were people fixing up the gas station trying to get it selling gas again. Shouldnt be long. From Amboy, I headed south into twentynine palms, and up over joshua tree national park. Nice ride, I’d never been up through there. It got a bit cold up on top, but once I dropped off the mountain it was nice again.

I took a wrong turn though. I didnt notice, untill I dropped into yucca valley. 75 miles out of my way. No big deal. Just more stuff to see, right? I drove through alot of crappy traffic, and down into palm springs where i crashed for the night.

The next morning, I rode the 30 miles to Chiraco Summit and the Patton Museum. Great little museum, andThe tank that won WWII well put together. Watched some videos, geeked out on period memorabilia, and bought some T shirts for me and the kids. After about an hour or so, I headed back through the way I originally intended to go: back up through Joshua Tree and eventually back up through amboy.

After Amboy, I took old route 66 through newberry springs on a really old and unimproved section of the old road. Rattled the kidneys out of me, but I had to do it. I stopped and ate at the Baghdad Cafe. I loved the movie, and ate there before it was called baghdad cafe. Now I get it that these old bypassed route 66 businesses barely make any money, but there is no excuse for a place to be dirty. Baghdad cafe, while proud that it is a route 66 tourist destination, and was in a movie, is disgustingly dirty. I seriously expected to find a roach in my food, and if I wasnt so damn hungry and could eat anything, I wouldnt have. Ill never eat there again. Water is free, and you can clean up on a smoke break. Ive lived and been all over the world, but that was the grossest place Ive ever eaten. Hate to rag on a mom and pop store, but that place is sick. It’s an embarrassment to route 66.

From newberry, i took the fastest option to 1-15 and headed home. Made it home late that night.
Ride Totals:  4 states, 1005 miles, 3 days

Day 6: Route 66

Posted in Honda Magna Retro Logs, Route 66 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 1991 by MrZip66

Waking up in Kingman on Route 66We stayed at KOA in Kingman and headed out to my favorite stretch I’d been on yet. It wasn’t as deserty as the california stretch and the road was good. We stopped at Grand Canyon Caverns and at Seligman.

At Seligman I had the best burger I’ve ever had in my life at Juan Delgadillos Snow Cap. Juan is a nut. We took a walk down Seligman and found his brothers store, that had all sorts ofSnowball Palace, Grand Canyon Caverns route 66 stuff. We bought 2 T-shirts and a book, and talked for an hour or so. Seligman is a town that refuses to die, and it seems mostly due to the delgadillo brothers. Out of all the route 66 towns Amboy and Seligman seem to have the 66 spirit and wont let it die. The others don’t seem to care too much that I noticed, they were dealing with it.

Anyway, we took a few pictures and some info and left seligman. We passed the crooktown road exit and went into ash fork to get gas athe chevron station. Tried to find the road and bridge that was in the Rider magazine. We never found it. We crossed the railroad tracks, but I think we should’ve gone left instead of right. I was afraid of getting a hole in my tire, and wasnt all that sure it was, so we headed back through ash fork and said goodbye to route 66. On the way to williams, there was a really big abandoned stretch we noticed.Mummified Bobcat,  Grand Canyon Caverns

We went through Williams and the ride was great untill we got to the grand canyon. What a crowded tourist trap! We stayed just outside the park in Tusayan and it sucked. Windy, dirty and noisy. Helicopters constantly landing and taking off right next to the campground.