Saturday May 26th - Camarillo to San Bernardino
Usually before a Monday holiday my work gives me a half-day off, so I left work around 1 on Friday assuming I could get all my packing done so we could leave early in the morning. Our different styles came into play here - Pillowz will make a list and check it twice (at least), hatz will throw everything he sees that he thinks he might need on a trip into a bag and assumes anything else can be bought on the road. The good news is I didn't really miss anything, but the bad news is throwing everything together last minute is not the most efficient way to get an early start. So, we intended to leave early in the morning, but it didn't really work out that way. We did
manage to get out before noon, which, considering we had the least amount of miles to cover of any day on our trip, was good enough. We gave Roscoe big hugs from each of us (we had a neighbor looking in on him) and were on our way.
Because much of Route 66 in LA is in places we'd been a million times, we didn't start at the beginning, but got off the 210 in Pasadena and started following it through the northeast end of the city. Even still within the LA City limits, we started to see roadside diners with ancient neon signs and motels that look to be stuck in time.
First stop was Claremont, CA, cute little college town not literally on 66 except at the outskirts, but we were hungry and we knew that was our best lunch option for a while. We had a nice bagel sandwich at a local cafe, and of course stopped at the last remaining Rhino Records store in Southern California
(I thought it might be the last one in the world
, but apparently there's one in upstate New York that's still open as well.) We also stopped at our favorite little folk music store
, still owned by Ben Harper's mom, where we played around with xylophones and acoustic basses (and a percussion instrument shaped like a frog) for a bit.
Now as everybody who knows me knows, any trip I go on must have a baseball element in it somewhere, so in this case, the Dodgers' single-A team was playing the San Bernardino 66ers, so we took in a game (see above) that started at 6 p.m. As anyone who's ever been to one also knows, minor league games are great. The best seat in the house doesn't cost much more than a movie, you're really up close to the action no matter where you're sitting, and the atmosphere surrounding it is usually a lot more casual - the players on the field can actually hear individual fans cheering rather than a collective din.
The home team won, but Dodger prospect Gavin Lux (our first round draft pick a year ago) looked good. Catching prospect Connor Wong did not
look as good, going 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts, and making two costly errors in the same inning to contribute to the loss.
As also mentioned above, we stayed here
, which used to be a landmark in several locations, mostly on route 66. Now only two remain, this one and the one in Holbrook, AZ (more about which later). This one is well-cared for, and the staff was friendly and welcoming (informing us that many visitors were staying there after seeing Lynyrd Skynyrd in concert 8-10 miles away in Glen Helen (where I saw Tom Petty many years ago). The rooms were comfortable, but disappointing in that they're really
small on the inside (they have low ceilings - disappointingly the room does not continue to the top of the teepee), and the southwestern theme is not really maintained inside the rooms. But we had a relaxing sleep in readiness for our next day, which was going to be a full one.