As you cross the Colorado River from Arizona you are headed west toward Needles, a welcome oasis. This area of California is arid Mojave Desert, with a bleak plateau furrowed by scores of untillable valleys. Founded as a way station after the Santa Fe tracks were laid in 1883, it was named for an isolated group of needle-like spires visible 15 miles southeastward in Arizona. Needles to Barstow is rather uneventful. Lots of wide open barren country.
Leaving Barstow you are headed for San Bernardino. This section of US 66 has more expanses of desert and crosses the San Bernardino Mountains.
San Bernardino is the county seat of San Bernardino County. The name San
Bernardino was given by a party of missionaries, soldiers, and Indians from the San Gabriel Mission under Padre Francisco Dumetz, who entered the valley on May 20, 1810. In 1851, Capt. Jefferson Hunt arrived in the valley with a party of Mormons. Today San Bernardino is a railroad and fruit-packing center, along with many other types of industry.
One claim to fame for San Bernardino is The McDonald's / Route 66 Museum is located on the historic site of the first McDonalds Restaurant in San Bernardino, California.
West of San Bernardino US 66 runs along the base of the Sierra Madre Mountains. An arigcultual area of orange groves often gives off a wonderful aroma. As you head for Santa Monica you can almost hear the waves crashing on the beach.
Santa Monica is the western terminus of Route 66 at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. A brass plaque marks the official end of Route 66, the "Main Street of America," a 2,448 mile long adventure Route 66