Sometimes it’s the small or even invisible things that get our attention, as is the case for me every time I drive Route 66 between Amboy and Essex through the area called Cadiz Summit. The summit is relatively close to the halfway point of these two towns. Whenever I pass this area I slow down to look at the old crumbling buildings, stairs and walls. I look at the graffitti on every surface and wonder when this place was functional… How long has it taken for the desert to reclaim this victim? Most of all I wonder what it was like in its heyday. I imagined that at its most, it was just a small gas station but I was surprised by the truth.
Cadiz Summit was a desert oasis comprised of a gas station, cafe, ice house and some tourist cabins. By today’s standards it’s not much of a summit and the grade that leads to it is hardly noticeable, especially when you see large SUVs pulling boats and RVs whizzing by at 60+ miles per hour. In the 1940s and 1950s though, many cars reached the summit overheated and in need of repair. It was the perfect place to repair, rest or eat before heading into or out of California. Most people can drive by this spot dozens of times without giving it much thought, but the next time you drive by you just might stop your car and examine it. This is the spot that thousands of people used to stop at to quench their thirst, eat a meal, repair their car or even sleep overnight to get ready for the big day ahead.
Click on the following link to see a video that shows the drastic changes that happened between the years 1948 and 2010, over 62 years. After you watch the video you can click on each picture on this page to see it in more detail.
Take It Easy – Mojave