Friday, February 20, 2009


Downtown Erick I’d seen a picture of the closed and possibly abandoned West Winds Motel. Since the picture was interesting, with an old truck sitting in the weeds out front, I pulled off the 40 for a quick look. The town of Erick itself is a lot more picturesque than I’d imagined. Signs alert the traveler to the Roger Miller museum, and provide directions there. If I’d known then that the museum celebrated the birthplace of the dude who wrote the classic “King of the Road”, I’d have stopped there. I have to admit that by this time I’m still in a kind of funky fog about the trip, and my plans.

My goals at this point:Windmill and interesting artifacts in yard
  • Get back to LA by Tuesday (Wednesday at the latest)
  • See the country – whatever that means
  • Do some reconnaissance for a future ‘Route 66 Family Vacation’

(Ever since Pixar’s ‘Cars’ came out, there’s been some interest in the family to travel Route 66. The plan is really just a vague idea that it would be fun for everyone to travel across country and see the sights, and the history of Route 66. I’m still skeptical that a trip like this would actually come together. There’s interest, for sure. There’s geography, history, and even some entertaining things to do. The problem is that my kids can’t seem to spend more than 15 minutes in the car before the fighting starts, and within half an hour it is usually intolerable. Half the time, in fact, the fights begin in the driveway or during the packing and preparation stage.)

West Winds Motel and old delivery vanThe first thing I notice as I cruise down the road in Erick, is an old truck on the corner lot. To the right, past the truck is a yard full of cool old stuff. There’s a yellow plane and other artfully arranged junk in the yard of a house.

Barking dogs reminded me that there may be residents here who don’t want a road-tripping tourist lurking around taking photos.
West Winds Sign
The West Winds Motel is here. This is a great spot for taking pictures, even if the ‘keep out’ and ‘No trespassing’ signs are a bit threatening. This motor court style motel is a perfect example of those rapidly disappearing symbols of the Mother Road.
Posted by Picasa


  1. Great blog: definitely one of the most interesting I've seen recently. I'm a big nostalgia buff so I love this sort of thing. Have you seen the Canadian Ghost Town site? That might interest you too.

  2. I haven't, but send me a link. I'd love to check it out.

  3. I'd suggest a short trip along 66 in LA to see how it goes. You can easily spend a day on 66 from it's westernmost terminus in Santa Monica, follow all the way through the San Gabriel Valley to the Inland Empire and San Bernardino, and head up to Victorville to end your Route 66 tour at the California Route 66 Museum. If that goes well, then start exploring the rest of the highway, possibly in chunks.

  4. Great idea. Since I live near the route, I have ample opportunity to do theses types of day trips. One of the things that I keep thinking about is how to weave this into a compelling story. Much of what I see and read about Route 66 ignores the last 'day' of the trip west. When one things of Historic Route 66, Foothill Blvd., Colorado Blvd., and Santa Monica Blvd. are not what comes to mind.


Creative Commons License
All content by E. Russell McGregor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.