The organizer of several cleanup weekends at the closed Road Runner’s Retreat site near Chambless, California, has launched a fundraiser of T-shirt and pin sales to help finance the fourth stage of its eventual resurrection.
The fundraiser via GoFundMe.com has a goal of $5,000, with incentives that include a Road Runner’s Retreat T-shirt that states, “We Will Rebuild”
The next cleanup weekend at the site is Oct. 16-17.
Beth Murray, who has organized cleanup weekends in the past and is organizing this fundraiser, stated this in an email:
This years campaign is primarily to run electric conduit and water pipes to the gas station and to the sign. We need electricity to the sign so we can restore the neon and light the sign once more. […]
Ryan Anderson has a six year plan to bring the RRR back to a viable stop with a visitor/gift shop a diner and the neon on the sign restored and lighted we hope to have camping too. It is ambitious but we are making progress each year. We are in year two of that plan with completion by the 100th anniversary.
Anderson is the grandson of the Road Runner’s Retreat’s previous owner.
Checking the sign’s electrical system, volunteers wound up doing a partial relighting of the sign for a short time in late 2019.
Roy and Helen Tull built Road Runner’s Retreat gas station and diner along Route 66 near Chambless in the early 1960s. The business closed in the mid-1970s after Interstate 40 bypassed the area, choking off traffic.
Bill Ross Murphy purchased the property after it had been closed for some time, with the intent of never reopening but maintaining it as much as possible due to its Route 66 significance.
(Image of the Road Runner’s Retreat sign near Chambless, California, courtesy of Beth Murray)