5/2/13 - Hollywood Hills to Needles, CA
279 miles. I took it kind of easy, 70-80 when I was rolling... lots of people, including some of the big trucks that are supposed to be limited to 55, roll at this speed. Didn't see any CHP. I made a couple of long rest stops, sitting in the shade, catching up on some phone calls. Between Barstow and Needles there are only a couple of places to get fuel one is at Ludlow, where there are two stations, the Union 76 has a Dairy Queen, nice break from the desert, and one is near Goffs. I never noticed the one near Goffs before and I have driven this road many times... it might be recent because of the great tourist interest in Old Route 66 that has emerged. It is 144 miles from Barstow to Needles, gas is about .30 cents a gallon higher in Needles than it is in Ludlow or Kingman, AZ. Gas has always been a rip off in Needles, even back in the 60's when I first came through here. Years ago I had a radiator hose on my car blow when I was traveling to Grand Canyon with the wife and kids, they really stick it to you then. We did have an exciting moment when we were given a lift by a County Sheriff and he got a call that caused him to flip on the lights and get us back to town at over 100 mph... the kids thought that was cool. I stayed at a nice, clean, cheap Indian owned motel that I have stayed at several times now. The Desert Mirage Inn and Suites. Under 40 bucks including tax. A BBQ restaurant has opened up just across the parking lot at the Best Motel. I had a roast chicken there and it was delicious and really huge. There is a Pizza joint across the street. The Best Motel offers a $25 room Mon-Thurs... I don't recommend it. To get to these places if you are East bound get off at the Broadway West exit, turn left at the bottom of the ramp and follow the curve around towards town. There are a couple of big chain motels right when you get off the freeway but if you just want a comfortable bed and a good shower the Desert Mirage Inn is the place. The chains aren't worth the money. Needles is a pretty funky town with its share of burn outs, desert rats, and river rats who flock here to recreate on the Colorado River. If you want to go upscale there is Pirate's Cove just to the East of town off of the I-40, kind of on the river.
rockymountainoyster screwed with this post 05-03-2013 at 08:11 AM