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Posted: October 8, 2023
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
by Ted Stimpfel
The Asphalt Ribbon.
Last Friday, I stopped at the Shell Station in Newberry
Springs to purchase some lottery tickets. While there, I had a conversation
with a bicyclist from Germany who was cycling Route 66 from Chicago. He told
me that the day before, he had cycled from Needles to Ludlow and that it was
a grueling uphill stretch leaving Needles.
He said that the day was especially difficult because
of the terrible heat, with the temperature in Needles reaching about 100 degrees
Fahrenheit. At least it was better than the 115+ in September.
I can understand why the cyclist didn't enjoy the stretch of
Route 66 between Needles and State Route 95. Climbing that long initial hill
can be hard for vehicles. By bike, I wouldn't want the crazy experience.
Visit California is the state's organization promoting
tourism. It is financed by the industry's major tourist sites, such as theme
parks and major hotels. Visit California has beautiful offices in Sacramento
on the mall. I was there 7 years ago providing a presentation to the entire
staff on promoting Route 66.
Visit California this past week featured Route 66 in an
e-mail linking to its
This gives a brief highlight description of the route between Santa Monica
and Needles. Understandably, Newberry Springs isn't noted.
Newberry Springs has potential, but it needs to do more
to attract tourists and businesses. Newberry Springs can become a thriving
point of interest for travelers but it needs to improve its infrastructure
and promote its unique attractions. The area has a rich history and culture,
and it is located in a beautiful setting.
Unfortunately, past improvement opportunities have been met
with resistance from some locals who are opposed to growth. But no growth is not
going to protect Newberry Springs from change. Especially, from incoming solar.
Newberry Springs needs new families. It needs students for
its schools. It needs to grow its population which has been declining.
Newberry has one of the most iconic roads in the world to
help it reach its potential.