Ides of March walk 2013

Update March 16, 2012

Occupy Walk USA team member, Jason Brock, reported today that they walked a walloping 18 miles today (yesterday 20 miles!)

They are camped out beside the road between the town of Cadiz and Essex. 

Lost Oasis in the Desert: Cadiz Summit, California

Cadiz Summit - 1940s Post Card

Cadiz Summit 2001

The ruins of  Cadiz Summit. Jack Rittenhouse describes this place as a desert oasis comprised of a gas station, cafe and some tourist cabins. Today there is nothing left but foundations to tell that once this was a Route 66 stop. It probably was an important stop too. Though there is not a noticeable grade as one travels westbound Route 66 to get to Summit, there is on the eastbound highway. Motorists traveling east on the old highway would have just climbed a deceptively steep grade coming from Chambless to get to Summit. During the summer months this would have meant it was time to stop and let the car cool down. What a great place for a gas station and cafe!




Free Water: Essex, California

Vintage Post Card of Essex in the 1940s
Essex in the early 1940s

Essex, California 2001

Essex Water Well

Ten miles down the road from Goffs on the old pre-1931 alignment of Route 66 the old road rejoins the National Old Trails Highway at Essex. Jack Rittenhouse, author of the 1946 Guidebook to Route 66, described Essex as a small Mojave Desert community that chiefly served the needs of the tourists. Essex once provided towing services, gas stations, markets and cafes to the Route 66 traveler. It also had a free drinking fountain in the desert. About a hundred feet from the old market you can find the water well off by the side of the road. It is a cute little stone well that has a shake shingle roof and looks a lot like a classic old wishing well. The water has long been turned off, and the plumbing stripped of its fixtures, but it still stands in silent testimony to the days when it was the source of free water in the desert. In those days gas stations charged 10 cents for a glass of drinking water or 10 cents for a gallon of radiator water. What would you have bought? Thanks to the Automobile Club of Southern California, who put the drinking fountain in, that wasn’t an issue anymore for the Route 66 traveler. This little well was a very popular place on those hot summer days so long ago.

Abandoned café and gas station at Essex

Abandoned café and gas station at Essex

Surprisingly, the phone booth here is still in operation!

They are hoping to make Fenner tomorrow. From then on there should be a lot more cellular service available…

Fenner, California


March 16, 2012 - Posted by | Walking Blog

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