Vanishing Point, Bonneville, GG West Coast Nationals, Route 66, Two Lane Blacktop & Easy Rider

I’m headed back to Northern California again.
This time to host the Goodguys West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton.
As I was driving on I-70 I remembered a scene from Vanishing Point where Kowalski gets off the highway at the No Name exit just east of Glenwood Springs so I got out the camera and took a little video.
I’ll put a link to the movie locations video at the end of the post.
I boogied through Utah, took exit 204 and got on highway 128 to Cisco and Moab.
Cisco, Utah is where the beginning and end of Vanishing Point was filmed.

I drove back to I-70 and headed towards Green River, where I refueled The 55.
Before I stopped in Ray’s Tavern I got some pictures of the old gas station across the street.

That’s when I noticed a few police cruisers outside of Ray’s Tavern and a bunch of people milling about.
Then I see a guy walking across the street towards me.
He tells me he’s the director of this thing and he knows someone who has a project my car is perfect for.
Great – I give him my card and he proceeds to tell me that Ray’s is closed today because of their shoot.
So I got back on the Interstate and started driving.
I took highway 191 / 6 through Price and Helper – it’s a wonderful twisty canyon drive up to Salt Lake City.
Just outside of SLC I stopped in and saw my buddy Randy Weaver at Weaver’s Customs.
My next stop was The Salt – The Bonneville Salt Flats
I had been to the east bound Bonneville rest area, but I’d never been to the west bound rest area.
They’re both worth a stop because of their beautiful swept wing design.
But the west bound rest area has direct access to The Salt.
That’s right – you can drive out onto the The Bonneville Salt Flats from the rest stop!!
So I did.

They had just cancelled Speed Week a couple of weeks before because they had monsoon rains and there was 1 to 3 feet of water on the part of The Salt they use for Speed Week.
Check out the video I shot of Lake Bonneville –
After getting my Continental tires some salt, I got back on Interstate 80 and continued west.
I decided to stop for the night in Elko, Nevada.
When I got up the next morning I checked my Google Map application and saw there were a few places I missed on my way out to the Hot Rod Power Tour.
I got the old Denny’s “Boomerang” Diner from the 60’s that’s now being used as a Chinese restaurant.

…the Traveler’s Motel

I couldn’t resist getting the Thunderbird Motel all to myself.
And those clouds!!

Would you look at that mid-century beauty?!?
I love it!!
I had to make a lap to get the Manor Motor Lodge picture.

But I got it.
We made it to the Goodguys West Coast Nationals where the hotel parking lot is a car show in and of itself.

I love my Corvette grill.
We had good Autocross action all weekend.
If you haven’t seen the Goodguys AutoCross, you should check it out –

I left on Monday morning with the plan of driving down the Pacific Coast Highway.
But that was going to add 6-hours to my trip down to LA and I wanted to get to my storage unit before it closed that night so I just bombed down Interstate-5 all the way to LA.
I picked up some stuff and when out to see my buddy Aaron at Orange County Hot Rods.
I met Aaron when we were both working on the CPP “Week to Wicked” 55 Chevy and we became fast friends.
Aaron makes a killer Old Fashioned!!
He’s not bad on the grill either and proved it by serving up some delicious rib-eyes.
The next morning I took the 90 east, picked up the 10 and took exit 117 towards Joshua Tree National Park.
At Twentynine Palms I got on Amboy Road and took it all the way into Amboy.
It was 9am and it was already 100 degrees outside.
Here’s the video of my visit to Roy’s on old Route 66 in the Mojave Desert.
From Roy’s I took Kelbaker road up to Interstate 40 and headed towards Needles.
Usually I’d take Route 66 to Needles but it had recently been washed out again by another Mojave monsoon.
There’s been a lot of rain in the desert this year!!
After doing some research I did a little video on my drive through Needles, CA –
This is Cartry’s Camp in Needles, CA.

It was originally built as a service station but then grew into a motel to serve weary travelers on the Old Trails Road – the precursor to Route 66.
I had planned on doing videos in Kingman, Seligman and Williams but it was just too hot and I was exhausted.
I did stop in Ash Fork, AZ to check out the Oasis Lounge –

The exterior is made from local flagstone which makes sense because Ash Fork is the Flagstone Capital of the World.
Another small town and another US Post Office.

It’s covered in local flagstone too.
From Ash Fork I drove the Pine Breeze Inn from the movie Easy Rider.

This is where Wyatt & Billy get turned away and the “NO VACANCY” sign gets turned on.
I continued on to Flagstaff and Mary’s Cafe.
I know Mary’s Cafe from the movie “Two Lane Blacktop.”
I had driven past it many times but I had never stopped in…
Until now.

Here’s my shot.

My waitress Emma was kind enough to show me the booth they sat in in the movie.
Here’s the video:
From Mary’s Cafe I headed north on highway 89 and onto another Easy Rider location.
The Sacred Mountain gas station is where they fueled up their machines.

So cool!!
I continued on and spent the night in Tuba City.
The next morning I made my way into Utah.

I always take the opportunity to drive on Utah’s highway 163 through monument Valley.
It is spectacular!!
But it’s gotten a lot busier over the years.
There used to be no one out there.
But all that has changed.
Now there’s a sign for “Forrest Gump Point” – the place Forrest Gump stopped running in the movie.

Look at all those cars and all those people in the road.
There used to be no one out here…
Check out the video of my drive through Monument Valley:
I continued on into Colorado and stopped in Cortez to see my friends Dick & Karyn.
I also stopped in Cork ‘n Bottle Liquor for some ice but they said they were all out…

At least I got a picture with their cool sign.
I left Cortez and drove east to Durango.
I had driven the San Juan Skyway before, but not this year, so I took a drive on the Million Dollar Highway.
Here’s my video of the San Juan Skyway – it’s a Nationally designated Scenic Byway and an All-American Road:
The San Juan Skyway is one of Colorado’s two All-American Roads and it’s spectacular!!
You get to drive over a few 10,000 foot passes into the old mining towns of Silverton and Ouray.
It’s awesome!!
When I got to Montrose I made a right and got on Highway 50 heading east.
From mile markers 123 to 127 Highway 50 is under major construction.
It would’ve been nice if they had put up a sign or something about it in Montrose…
It’s a one-way dirt road and I got stopped sitting in traffic for over an hour.
Here’s a link to the road construction:
After traffic got moving – and I got back to pavement – it was smooth sailing all the way back to Evergreen.
How’s about that for a road-trip adventure?!?
Thanks for riding shotgun with me in The 55!!
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

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