Left Newport at 1030 departed Stillen for the last time and took the coast road to Santa Monica. After dropping off unneeded travel things at the Brennans we arrived at the Pier at 1400. Visited the ‘End of Trail’ booth, remember we’re doing this trip back to front... it should be Chicago to Santa Monica to re-live the ‘discovery’ of the west all those years ago. In front of the Georgian Hotel on the coast within site of the Pier is the Will Rogers memorial, the route named after him as the first road this humorous traveller and writer travelled which led him to the hearts and minds of all Americans. Further inland is the official end of R66 where Highway 1 and 2 meet... nothing to see! On to Beverley Hills and the big Hollywood sign strewn across the hills. Originally known as Hollywoodland, the sign was erected as a sales gimmick in a bid to sell new land to buyers years ago. A landslide took out the ‘land’ and the rest is history.
Pasadena was the next stop coinciding with the annual chalk festival which sees hundreds of artists scrawling all over the pavement. Some magnificent art that compliments a part of greater Los Angeles that is beautifully maintained and presented...afar cry from lots of the rest of this sprawling city.
In Monroviathe Aztec Hotel is a hangover from the old era, the Elephant bar still houses operational fans connected through a combination of belts throughout the entire establishment and driven from one central point.
The Azusa Foothill drive-in is no more...just the illuminated sign and overgrown parking areashows what its glorious past might once have been. With failing light we made past dozens of other landmarks bound for the famous Wigwam Hotel... but the Inn was full and we retreated back to the less salubrious El Rey Motel down the road. The proprietor’s father ran the join in 1972 and it was certainly still caught in a timewarp.