We did not know what to expect driving across the Mojave Desert from Arizona to California, but we crisscrossed it several times on my recent book tour.
This week I am signing books at the Urban Sheep in Modesto California, so here we are again, on historic route 66 West. Along the way is an abandoned town called Hinckley, which was the site of a Uranium Mine.
Hand lettered signs warn of the Hinckley Uranium Contamination Fan Club and signs of contamination control are everywhere. Some buildings have been stripped of siding, doors and windows, while others are completely surrounded by chain link fence with warnings to keep out.
The grocery, gas station and other buildings that used to comprise the main thoroughfare are empty and overgrown with weeds. An abandoned camp ground advertises “Aliens!”
What happened to the people who once lived here during the Cold War, we wonder?