Friday, November 1, 2013

The Ghost of Roads Long Past

The Ghost of Roads Long Past

Today being All Hallow's Day and right before Dia De Los Muertos, I figured I would do a new spin on the reflection of the past before I get into a proper Dia De Los Muertos blog post tomorrow. Essentially today is All Saint's day, and I imagine if there was anyone more deserving of Sainthood, it's Huell Howser.

I also imagine that these road side attractions left long ago in the dust of the past would be somewhere he'd be haunting right now in pure amazement to what he found when he was exploring it for all eternity.

In any case, I came across these photos by Photographer Noel Kerns, who went around the Southern California hidden treasures of modern ghost towns and abandoned areas to bring us these amazing photos. He just published a book called "Nightwatch: Painting with Light," in which photos like these of abandoned buildings across the country could be found.

 A Joshua Tree sits next to an abandoned roadhouse / movie set out in the high desert of El Mirage, California

 Clouds move across the sky at an abandoned filling station in the town of Yermo, California, a sleepy little near-ghost town in the Mojave Desert

 The take-away window at an abandoned diner on the west side of Yermo, California, a little community out in the Mojave Desert that's as much ghost town as it is anything else

 The enormous Lockhart General Store sits gutted and abandoned in the virtual ghost town of Lockhart, California. Two stories high and with the roof missing, it looks more like a gymnasium or inner-city playground inside than a retail store

 Abandoned gas station across the CA-58 from Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert of Southern California
 If Roy's Motel in Amboy, California is only ONE of the most remote, desolate spots along Route 66, it's because 10 miles to the east, the Road Runner's Retreat is THE most remote, desolate spot on the old road
 Snow globes and plush toys long gone, all you find inside the souvenir shop at the abandoned Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark in the Mojave Desert of Southern California these days are a few toppled fixtures and walls covered in slotted pegboard.

 Roy's Motel & Cafe, perhaps the most ionic and isolated of all Route 66 roadside spots, in the tiny ghost town of Amboy, California. While the gas station and cafe were reopened on a limited basis in 2008, the motel remains closed, as restoration would present a fairly major challenge at this point, both physically and economically
 Inside the garage area of an abandoned gas station in Yermo, California

 Ludlow, California is a virtual ghost town in the Mojave Desert, and is home to a number of interesting abandonments, including this gas station on the north side of the old route, with Interstate 40 streaming past in the background.
 The Henning Motel sits abandoned along Route 66 in Newberry Springs, California, as the cause of her demise, Interstate 40, races past in the background

 Abandoned building at the Niland Marina, a forgotten recreational spot along the eastern shore of the Salton Sea in sunny Southern California

 A listing, decaying building sinks back into the mire at the post-apocalyptic-looking Niland Marina, Salton Sea, California

 Yermo is a small community in the Mojave Desert of Southern California. In Spanish, its name means "wilderness," an accurate depiction of what this area of the country is like, save for little towns like this one that dot the more remote areas of the Mojave

 The Mojave Tropico movie set, located near the western edge of the Mojave Desert in Southern California. Part of the massive Alta Wind Energy Center lies in the distance

 Abandoned gas station, Yermo, California.

 Abandoned shack along the main road on the eastern end of Yermo, California, a dying little desert community sustained only by the local Marine Corps Logistics Annex, seen here in the background of this shot

 The entrance to the abandoned Rock-A-Hoola WaterPark out in the Mojave Desert, northeast of Barstow, California

The abandoned Dixie Inn, a tiny diner wedged between the old and new CA-58 highways northwest of Barstow, California. That's the new divided highway streaming past in the background, with Barstow in the distance.

I find these images to be spookily beautiful and captures a piece of that modern exploration that happened in the 50's when people were moving west in far bigger and better cars. These once booming towns in Barstow, Yermo and the Salton Sea sort of represent a time long forgotten. They're, by all means, the most beautiful photos I have seen of the SoCal desert.

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