Photoset: 2013 Acura ILX in the Arizona-California Desert Corridor
Odometer (ILX): 69,800
“We seem to have a problem. We’re running low on petrol.” These words were spoken to me yesterday in broken English from a French tourist who had honked the horn of his white rental car to get my attention. I’d been minding my own business getting some quality sunset shots of the ILX at an abandoned service station when my focus was interrupted with a horn honk that nearly sent me jumping sky-high.
Unfortunately for my fellow traveler, Interstate 10 is a lonely place when it comes to services. The station we were standing in front of had been shuttered for easily a few decades. The metal Chevron pumps out front looked like they belonged in a museum somewhere – weathered examples of a motoring era years in the past.
“Well, you’re 40 miles from Blythe to the east,” I told him, “and probably 20 miles from Chiriaco Summit to the west.” As the sun continued to dip lower on the horizon, I could sense the urgency in his voice as he debated his options. I encouraged him to continue toward Blythe. His Nissan Versa couldn’t possibly need more than a gallon and a half to go those 40 miles, right? I now wonder if he was able to make it.
Today I’ll share a few of the pictures from my drive toward California yesterday in the 2013 Acura ILX.
First up, how could I have passed by this roadside attraction so many times in the past and never stopped to appreciate it? A stagecoach stop that bears my own first name. Located in Quartzsite at the far western end of Interstate 10 in Arizona, Tyson’s Well dates back to the 1870s and provided traveler accommodations.
Just down the road, the Tyson Mobile Home & RV Park greeted me with a larger-than-life sign with my name on it.
I’m ready to move right on in.
And finally, that fated location where my French friend pulled off the interstate in hopes of finding his petrol. Well, he wasn’t going to find any at this 24-hour service station. In fact, I’m pretty sure this one was a “zero”-hour service station in Desert Center, California. The pumps were long gone.
Down the road, the Family Cafe lingered as a memory of days gone by. Miraculously, vandals have left the old fuel equipment alone and all the building’s windows remained intact.
Red, white, and blue. These must have looked nice when they were fresh & new.
I could sure have gone for a gourmet meal, but I think the kitchen’s closed.
I suppose you could take a picnic lunch, though, since this old wooden table out front appeared serviceable.
Think they sold 91 octane here?
A bit further west down the old frontage road (which pre-dated I-10 by a long shot), I found a third abandoned station. A skeleton of what was once the sign out front doesn’t give us any clues about the brand of fuel that was sold here.
I stepped inside for a look at the amenities.
Windows were broken out, but by golly, the view was stunning. Better than the view from my office, in fact. Maybe I could telecommute from Desert Center?
The old wooden guard rails on this bridge could use a new coat of paint.
Nighttime took over as I continued westbound.
Come back tomorrow for a detailed look at one of the most eclectic car collections I’ve ever visited, in Palm Springs, California. You’re going to want to see this!