California Road Trip Part I: Amboy and the End Of The World

April 24, 2024

In spring of 2023 I went on a trip to Los Angeles, California.

A billboard promoting The Kid Laroi at Coachella, seen while driving towards Joshua Tree (iPhone 15 Pro).

 

It was so good to catch up with friends there after several years away.

I had a great time in LA, but a real highlight was my visit Joshua Tree and the surrounding area.

A side road near the town of Joshua Tree (iPhone 15 Pro).

 

An early morning over the desert landscape.

 

I will cover this journey in two parts.

In this post, Part 1, I will cover:

- A Visit to Amboy (very cool spot!)

- The End of the World (don't worry!)

 

Part 2 - my next post - will cover:

- Joshua Tree National Park (so beautiful!)

- 29 Palms (loved this place!)

 

I will share both film and digital images.

Unless indicated otherwise, all photos were captured with a Nikon Z6 II.

 

- Amboy

Amboy is a historic town about an hour's drive northeast of Joshua Tree.

I recommend a quick read of Wikipedia for more details about Amboy.

The drive there was quite interesting all on its own...

 

Amboy is a roadside attraction along the infamous Route 66.

iPhone 15 Pro

 

The major destination of Amboy is Roy's Motel Cafe. A number of movies have been filmed at or around here.

Kodak Gold 200

 

Kodak Gold 200

Here's another worthy read - about the late Albert Okura, the founder of Juan Pollo Restaurants, who purchased and helped to restore the town of Amboy in 2005.

Kodak Gold 200

The motel (seen in the background of the below image) is no longer active, but remains on site for historical/tourism purposes.

Kodak Gold 200

 

The motel's front desk has been very well preserved.

 

A decent flow of people arrived while we were there, including the owners of two classic Mustangs...

The drivers were on their way back from a large gathering of fellow Mustang owners in another town.

iPhone 15 Pro

 

iPhone 15 Pro

 

Driving onwards, away from Amboy.

 

2. The End of the World

In an area known as Wonder Valley - an area known for being popular with artists - we visited this curious sign...

Kodak Gold 200

 

The sign was created in 2022 by an artist named Jack Pierson.

He has been quoted as saying that Wonder Valley is "a place known for those who drop off the edge of civilization."

"...as we know it, and I Feel Fine"

 

Traditional media is certainly coming to an end...

The End of TV

(A double exposure of part of the sign and a TV left abandoned nearby.)

 

It was fascinating to see nice sports cars driving through such a desert conditions. (Apparently some use local roads to drive from LA to Las Vegas.)

Cyclists also manage in such dry and dusty conditions.

 

I'll end this post with the above image - as I do love bikes, wherever I can find them!

Stay tuned though for Part II, where I cover Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree National Park, and 29 Palms!

This whole area left a strong impression on me and I hope to return.

Until then, please feel free to check out my other blog posts, or just my travel blog posts, follow me on Instagram or view my photo art products.

Thanks for looking!


Culture Snap Photography features the work of Toronto-based photographer Henry VanderSpek. Henry specializes in documenting the work of local and international non-profit organizations, special events, live music, street and art photography. To hire Henry for an assignment, please click here to get in touch.
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