Tag Archives: national trails highway

Route 66 Amboy: An unearthly magnet for the surreal

Amboy. There are many strange places along Route 66. Amboy is by wide margin the strangest.

Miles from anywhere, anything or anyone, Amboy is a giant sign rising alone from the desert; a sign that says both “Roy’s,” and you have gone too far, turn back. 

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Route 66 Bagdad Cafe: This strange diner is not where it should be

I arrive 10 minutes before closing. Three peculiarities greet me at the lonely Bagdad Cafe. The first is the cafe’s alpine roof jutting up from the middle of the snowless Mojave desert. The second is a realization, as I roll to a stop in the dusty dirt surrounding the diner, that the Bagdad Cafe is not, in fact, anywhere near Bagdad. The third anomaly is revealed as I walk through door, just as a pair of Germans exits the cafe: This strange alpine hut is a raging hotbed of international activity.

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