June 7, 2018 (San Bernardino, CA – Kingman, AZ)
On Day 1, we explored Santa Monica Pier but bypassed several L.A. area sites. That night, we drove to San Bernardino, where we spent the night at the Wigwam Motel! There were original seven in this chain, but only three survive, two of which are on Historic Route 66. Since I first saw one of the others in the chain, in Holbrook, Arizona, in 2006, I have wanted to see what it was like to stay in one of these “Wigwam Villages!”
Inside the office (coffee is available at any time):
This motel is well-maintained and the rooms are all in wood & concrete “wigwams” (or teepees), 30 ft. tall, built in the late 1930s. Being the last built in the chain, the Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino is designated Wigwam Village #7. I recommend this motel for a unique lodging experience and plenty of kitsch! (Other than the wooden statue, I did not find anything offensive to Native Americans.)
The inside of the room had some funky touches, such as these lavish curtains and cactus bedside lamp; also notice that the room is not square, and there is a triangular mirror.
The bathroom had old fashioned fixtures, but everything worked just fine!
Although there was help-yourself coffee in the office, they didn’t serve breakfast, but the motel manager recommended Chris’s, which was right down the street and also had plenty of Route 66 memorabilia.
Chris’s Burgers has an extensive breakfast menu, and the food is decent.
The front of the restaurant makes it very clear that it is on Historic Route 66 or at least capitalizing on the route’s popularity!
The décor inside Chris’s is a 50s style diner.
We continued on I-15 (which parallels Route 66) until we got to Victorville. To get to our next destination, we took Exit 153. Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch is about 12 1/2 miles north of Victorville on Route 66 (SR 66). Its official address (for those using GPS) is:
24266 National Trails Hwy, Oro Grande, CA 92368. To watch a video of the creator, Elmer Long, tell the history of the bottle ranch, click on the blog California Through My Lens. The blogger describes this place as literally a forest of bottle trees (large metal pipes with bottles hanging from them), located along the Mother Road, Route 66, right in the heart of the California desert. I found this place fascinating and took many pictures. Dale, however, got bored with it after awhile. Personally, I love public folk art and this is the perfect example of a folk art creation. I will let the photographs describe our visit and hopefully inspire others to visit as well!