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  Route Sixty-Six 

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

    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 website. 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.

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