Day 5:    Mission Impossible: Accomplished !!!

Main Page > 2006 Getting our Kicks on Route 66 !!!


It was a bright, wet, and sunny morning when the casualties of the Red Dog arose with banging headaches. Despite their pain, the Boys couldn't wait to get out of Needles as fast as they could and packed and boogied back on Route 66 !!


One wild ride on 66 !!

Once out of Needles, Route 66 is simply put, a very narrow, two lane ribbon of crumbling asphalt, winding through the Mohave Desert and away from the Interstate and pretty much everything else !!  Driving along the Boys had to be extra vigilant to watch the bad road signage, at one point the Boys had to back track after getting directions from a Truck Driver, who was quickly zipping up after questionable-looking activities with a young women in his cab !

Roads and Rivers = Bad Ride ! ! ! ! As the Boys toodled along wanting to get to Santa Monica by 3:00 PM in order to have time to head over to the USC Campus to see the Trojans vs. the Arizona State Sun-Devils, the impact of the previous nights storm was everywhere, where all the Boys saw was deep and wide muddy "torrents" running along the road beds, often on both sides.

The last of which was the worse, which was a 20-foot wide "river", about 4 feet deep, was simply raging across Route 66. Bone who was driving at the time, stopped, backed up, hit the gas to go as fast as they could go and steered into the wrong lane (the direction the stream was flowing from.) The Boys hit the water with a incredible splash, shooting water 10 feet in the air !!! The current caught the car and started to float the car off the road, fortunately for the Boys, the momentum carried the car across the "river" but now, back in the right lane. Stopping to check out the car, it was covered from hood to trunk in mud and rocks !!! It was a good thing that Boys car made it across since on the other side, the road their was a  gully and deep pool of water !!

Shaken, but not stirred the boys continued to drive over lesser bodies of water and debris into the old rail-road town of Goffs. As the Boys trucked over the Railroad crossing in Goffs and just as they started out of town they ran across, or more appropriately almost ran into a river ! A river that was a eight-of a mile wide,,,,,, running across Route 66 !!! Realizing that there was no way their rental car could traverse that body of water, the Boys were feeling quite trapped, with an insurmountable river in front of them, running through the rising water behind them was equally unatractive, plus it was now 10:30, and in order to see the USC game they needed to be in LA, no later than 3:00 PM!!!


The Good Guy of Goffs

In a near panic, the Boys had noticed a creepy looking place with oil pumps and bedraggled buildings. Walking into the facility a slim fellow in cowboy boots and hat walked up to the Boys asking what they wanted. Fortunately for the Boys, the "Cowboy" was a retired History Teacher from Indiana, that was helping with a Historical Recreation in Goffs as part of the Mohave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association !! He kindly told the Boys of a paved bypass to I-40, thereby saving the day (literally) for the Boys !! With much gratitude, the Boys re-started the trip with great vigor.


Fall's Fury Fallout

The Route 66 bypass was a slow gradual climb uphill which ensured that they would not have to deal with anymore "rivers". However, there still were the signs of the massive storm as evidenced by the 12 foot deep washout as shown above !!


Storming through the Mohave !

Once the Boys Hit I-40 they decided to stay on the freeway for a while since Route 66 tracked along the freeway and the weather was again threatening, since they wanted to hit LA by 3:00 and were really done with car surfing !!! They stopped briefly for a coffee and gas in Route 66 City of Fenner, where everything is 3-times as expensive as anywhere else because of the distance from "civilization."


Barrelling to Barstow

The skies cleared and the Boys made it to Barstow, where they stopped for quick breakfast at a non-Route 66 restaurant I-HOP, and for the final gas-up before Santa Monica !!!


"Through to San Bernandino  !!"

( Nat King Cole)

After Breakfast the Boys, made good time going through Oro Grande and Victorville, and on into San Bernardino where the Desert gave way to rolling rock hills and the San Bernardino Valley.


More Teepee for my Bunghole


Just outside San Bernandino, the Boys passed the sister motel to the more famous Kingman Arizona Teepee Motel.


Some Genuine California Route 66 Kitsch


"Orange you gonna stop to check it out ?!?"


Flying through the foothills !!


Entering LA County on Route 66 !!!


Racing through Santa Anita !!


Pressing the duck on Route 66 in LA's Chinatown


Scamming through the Slums of LA


Hurrying through Hollywood !!

After going through a slummy part of L.A., the Boys emerged into the eclectic, western part of Hollywood, where there are cool boutiques, bars, and fast food joints such as Fat Burger !!!


Breezing through Beverly Hills

From Hollywood the Boys passed (with their noses in the air !!) through toney Beverly Hills, where Bone once thought about becoming a cop !!! As they quickly passed through Beverly Hills they noticed that the name of the Street had changed to ..... Santa Monica Boulevard !!!


Racing to the Finish Line down Santa Monica Boulevard !!!

By 2:00 PM the Boys realized that they were on the final leg of the Trip. Steadily driving up the Boulevard, the Boys savoured the scenery, and the growing sense of anticipation and accomplishment as they neared the literal end of the Road at Pacific Coast Highway  !!!


2:30 PM PST, Mission Accomplished ! ! ! ! ! !

The Boys parked 1/2 a block from the end, jumped out and sprinted in true Mike and Bone fashion to the "Finish Line" !!!  They had done it !!!! 2,448 miles in less than 5 days !!! They had gotten their kicks on  Route 66 !!!


A verklempt Bone, Kissing the Finish Line !!!


Mike and Bone, Peering at the Santa Monica Pier !!

The Boys stopped to savour their victory for only a second, it was now pushing 3:00, and they did not know how long it was going to take to get to the Coliseum for the USC-Arizona State Game. So with a salute the Boys sprinted beck to their car and headed south and east to USC's Campus !


Parking by a USC Cathouse !!!

The boys made it to the campus in less than 40 minutes by dodging in and out of traffic, and winding their way to a campus parking lot next to a Cadillac Dealership. Jumping out of the car, the Boys again had one of their wonderful scams by find two tickets at face value, without having to stop and haggle, making the acquisition of game-day tickets a perfect 12 of 12 !!


Roamin' Coliseum


A little bit of Greece in the Coliseum !!!

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is a grand old stadium. USC has played football in the Coliseum ever since the stadium was built in 1923. In fact, the Trojans played in the first varsity football game ever held there (beating Pomona College, 23-7, on Oct. 6, 1923). That game was preceded that day by the USC freshman team's 30-0 win over Santa Ana High.   Mike and Bone both noticed that in the front of the Coliseum there is a block from the Greek Coliseum that was donated by Greece for the 1932 Olympic Games, It is indeed a very cool venue.


Viewing the Olympic Torch from the Boy's Seats

Once entering the Coliseum, the Boys knew they had scored great seats, since they were on the 10 yard line, straight across from the USC Marching Band !


Wolverines, disguised as Trojans on a Recon Trip !!!

Not wanting to stick out, the Boys "disguised" themselves as Trojans to ensure that someone would be willing to sell them tickets without scalping them too much !!!


The Spirit of Troy

One of the great USC traditions Bone wanted to see was the Trojan Marching Band, better known as “The Spirit of Troy”  which has been named among the 8 best marching bands in the country by USA Today.  Established in 1880, the band has played for seven Presidents and has appeared in numerous movies (including “Forrest Gump” and “The Naked Gun”), commercials and television shows (including twice at the Academy Awards and with OutKast’s Andre 3000 at the 2004 Grammy Awards, plus on “L.A. Law,” “Hollywood Squares” and MTV’s “Rock and Jock”). The band even earned platinum albums when it recorded the title track of the rock group Fleetwood Mac’s popular 1979 album, “Tusk,” and was on the group’s live 1996 reunion album, “The Dance.” And it has produced several albums of its own music (featuring the well-known “Conquest” and “Fight On”).

 Among the many famous musicians who have played in the band as students was Herb Alpert of the Tijuana Brass (he was in the cornet section). And among the various guest artists who have appeared with the band were John Phillip Souza (in 1924), Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones, Chuck Mangione, Leonard Bernstein, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, John Wayne, Kenny Rogers, Tower of Power, Bozo the Clown (Larry Harmon) and The Offspring’s Dexter Holland.

As with everything in life, the "Spirit of Troy has a strong Michigan connection. The Trojan Marching Band has tripled in size since Dr. Arthur C. Bartner became its director in 1969 (he is assisted by long-time arranger Tony Fox). A graduate of Michigan, Bartner brought with him a creative approach and the unique, contemporary “drive-it” style of marching, something that Michigan has always been known for !


Stealth Fighters, Buzzing the Coliseum !!

One of the cool things about the Pre-Game show was the very quiet buzzing of the stadium by two Stealth fighters, you could see them, but you couldn't hear them !!


Performing USC's Fight Song: "Conquest"

Another tradition is the famous USC song is the regal processional march, "Conquest," by Alfred Newman (also of Mad Magazine fame !)  It is usually played after every USC score and victory. This stirring battle cry, from Newman's score to the 1947 motion picture classic "Captain from Castile," has become synonymous with the championship tradition of USC since the Trojans adopted it in 1954 during a basketball game against Oregon State. Newman, a legendary composer of film music, was the musical director of Twentieth Century-Fox Studios. The Boys noticed that the Band seem to play it continuously.


Game Time !!!

USC came out of the gates strong, forcing Arizona State to go three-and-out on its first possession before going on an impressive nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 17-yard touchdown reception by Allen Bradford.  The Trojans' next drive stalled on their own 42-yard line, but Terry Richardson muffed the punt for the Sun Devils and USC recovered on the ball at the Arizona State 11-yard line.

After a pass interference call gave the Trojans a first down on the two-yard line, Gable scored on a sweep to give USC a 14-0 lead with 3:25 left in the opening quarter.

By half-time USC had  21-0 lead, and way too much confidence.

The Boys Gracious Hosts !!!

During Half-Time, the Boys spent some time chatting with their benefactors for the evening. The younger fellow sold the Boys their tickets at cost, is a USC Medical Student graduate and newly minted Dentist, His father, who is also a Dentist, is a fourth-generation BYU Graduate and rabid BYU fan. Both were very gracious and fun the hang out with during the game.


A USC Fourth Quarter Tradition:  Lighting the Olympic Torch

A famous and cool USC tradition is lighting the Olympic Torch at the beginning of the Fourth Quarter, which the Boys both thought was a tad bit classier than Miami's holding four fingers in the air !


Final Score:    Southern Cal 28, Arizona State 21

Too much confidence makes for sloppy play. USC's first possession of the second half, Dexter Davis sacked Booty and forced the Trojans' quarterback to fumble the ball. The Sun Devils recovered and quickly made USC pay for the turnover when Carpenter hooked up with Zach Miller for an eight-yard strike with 9:45 left in the third.  Then, after the teams traded punts, Keno Walter-White stepped in front of a Booty pass and ran it back 37 yards to tie the game at 21-21 with 3:18 left in the third. USC, though, answered with a Washington-led 14-play, 74-yard scoring march to regain the lead.

The Trojans were faced with a fourth and one on the Arizona State 36-yard line, but Booty ran for the first down on a QB sneak. Four straight Washington runs then gave USC a first down on the Sun Devils' 12-yard line. Three plays later, Washington crossed the goal line with 4:29 left to play to put the Trojans up 28-21. Washington, for his part, accounted for 64 yards on USC's game-winning drive.

 Arizona State's next drive stalled on their own 35-yard line and USC was able to run the clock out to survive the scare and preserve their victory.

After the very exciting game the Boys were pooped, but were driven to complete one final goal, eating yet more hot dogs at Pinks !!!!


Thinking Pink

Pink's is one of the most famous hot dog stands on the West Coast. Located near the corner of Melrose and La Brea, Pink's can be found by looking for a crowd of people and following the aroma of fresh meaty chili and soft hot dog buns. It is not unusual to see a Rolls Royce pull up to Pink's (the chili dog ordered will be for the occupant, not the chauffeur). Movie stars, well-known dignitaries, struggling musicians, businessmen, housewives, school children,, have all savoured Pink's Famous Chili Dogs.

Paul Pink started his hot dog stand in 1939. It was only a large-wheeled pushcart in those days. The Depression was on and money was scarce. Pink's Chili Dogs, complete with a large warm bun, oversized hot dog, mustard, onions, and thick chili sold for 10 cents each. His hot dog wagon was located in "the country" among the weeds, rolling hills, and open spaces.... that was the corner of La Brea and Melrose 67 years ago !!

In 1946 Paul Pink traded in his hot dog wagon for a small building (constructed in the same spot where the wagon had stood) where it is still considered a Hollywood landmark.


Mike and Bone, chowing on the Dogs !!

By the time Mike and Bone hit Pinks, it was late at night and they were beat from the whole week of driving and a night of USC Football. Mike and Bone both had a chili dog with mustard and onions, Mike also had a chili dog with Sauerkraut, where Bone had one with Bacon and cheese. Despite the hype, Pinks served a VERY ordinary chili dog. Or, as in other aspects of life, the notion of Pink, is not the same as getting Pink !!!


Trip, Postscript

Exhausted, but exhilarated from nearly drowning, completing the Route 66 Tour, watching Trojan Football, and eating yet more hot dogs, the Boys collapsed at a Holiday Inn by LAX around 2:00 AM PST, where in 3 hours Mike had to get up to fly back to Michigan, while Bone headed down to Anaheim, however they now knew that the world will remember that  . . . . . . . . .


In 2006 Mike and Bone motored west, they traveled their way, on the highway that’s the best.

Mike and Bone got their kicks, on Route 66!

They winded from Chicago to LA,

The Boys traveled more than two thousand miles all the way

They did it all, in only five days !

Mike and Bone got their kicks, on Route 66!

Now they went through Saint Looey

missed Joplin, Missouri,

and thought that Oklahoma City is mighty pretty.

They saw Amarillo,

Gallup, New Mexico,

Flagstaff, Arizona.

They didn't  forget Winona,



San Bernandino.

Mike and Bone got hip to the timeless tip: that when you make that California trip

Mike and Bone got their kicks, on Route 66 ! !

Mike and Bone got their kicks, on Route 66 ! ! ! !