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I've found that some of the most interesting things on Route 66 are the ones that most people don't know about, or don't take the time to seek out. 

Most of us (who like route 66) have stopped at Roy's Cafe in Amboy, or at least taken a photo while breezing by through the desert. I wonder how many people have seen this in Amboy?



These hand prints in once fresh cement belonged to students of the long closed Amboy School.

This thing just filled me with questions and melancholy. 


Just as interesting is this isolated spot between Goldroad and Cool Springs, on route 66 out of Oatman, Arizona. 

It's called the Shaffer Fish Bowl. It's in one of the most isolated spots of Route 66 through the Arizona desert.  People don't know about it. 

If they do know about it, it's too steep a hike for many of them to see it. It's RIGHT off road.  I couldn't get the video to post here,

so you'll have to follow the link to my blog to see it. (I'm really NOT using this to pimp my blog). If you do follow the link, please watch my little video while you are there.



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Something new in the works for Cadiz on Route 66...



The Cadiz Company, located near Amboy, east of Twentynine Palms, announced it has entered into an agreement with the Arizona & California Railroad Company to develop steam train excursions through the Mojave Desert between Cadiz and Parker, Arizona. The attraction, using historic steam locomotives and vintage passenger railcars, would be would be one of the longest steam train excursion routes in the United States. The proposed new steam train operation, named the Cadiz Southeastern Railway, will operate on 85 miles of existing tracks with water stops in desert locales of Milligan, Chubbuck, Rice and Vidal. A Cadiz spokesman said this Mojave Desert Route, which is located just off historic Route-66, will provide sweeping views of the vast desert wilderness, mountainous terrain and the Colorado River. The museum and cultural center planned for Cadiz will serve as the operation's educational hub.



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I checked with a friend that lives in that part of the desert and they said that the train deal may be more complicated that it appears.  Here are a couple links from Cadiz Inc. on their train proposal…






And here is an issue with the water dealings of Cadiz Inc...



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Another article in the news today out of Joshua Tree.  Oh well, it sounded good at first...



The plan by Cadiz, inc. to put in a steam train from Cadiz to Parker, Arizona, as a tourist attraction called "Cadiz Southeastern Railway," announced by Z107.7 News Friday, is being called a superficial ruse by environmentalists. The National Parks Conservation Association said, "It is the latest in a series of attempts by Cadiz to avoid federal review of its proposed water mining project. They say the proposal is the latest attempt by the company to meet one of the criteria stated by the Department of Interior, that the company's proposed 43-mile pipeline along the railroad right-of-way must have a direct impact to the rail system, in order to avoid a comprehensive federal review and involvement of the United States Geological Survey." Both Senator Feinstein and Representative Cook, along with a host of local businesses, ranchers, and elected officials, have expressed concerns about the project's anticipated impacts on the Mojave National Preserve and its aquifer, and have called for federal review. The Desert Senior Representative for the National Parks Conservation Association, Seth Shteir, said, "The announcement by Cadiz Inc. to create the Cadiz Southeastern Railway is as big of a mirage as the company's use of the word 'sustainable' in its plans to drain 16 billion gallons of water per year from the Mojave desert to send to southern Orange County." "Cadiz Inc. states its steam train excursions would provide views of Mojave National Preserve and desert wilderness areas; yet, the Cadiz Water Project stands to forever damage these very landscapes. What's more, the town of Cadiz itself it located more than two hours away from Palm Springs or other desert destinations; essentially requiring travelers to drive out of their way, to take a ride on a train to nowhere."




Sounds like another one of those “Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting” stories.

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That's crazy. Cadiz is a long way out of everybody's way. At least Parker is on the rio. They would need to run that train into Barfstow or beyond to get people to ride in masses. It would be nice for me though, I would leave a car at either end and then pick it up afterwords. Too bad, I would probably have the whole train to myself.

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Here is a video we made at Amboy of the inside of the school, church, and other buildings. I don't think many people get a chance to see the inside of the old school. 


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