Armchair photo tours: Bob’s Hi-Way Service

Photos by Cheryl Landes

Old barns and other abandoned buildings are among my favorite photo subjects. The weathered walls, fading and flaking paint, rusty metal roofs, window reflections, and doors create interesting, captivating compositions.

While driving in the Antelope Valley to see the California poppies bloom in the spring of 2017, I spotted Bob’s Hi-Way Service, an old gas station, at the side of a road in Lancaster. The building, signs, and gas pumps appeared to be from the 1940s.

The dusty parking lot was well used, so I pulled in and looked for no trepassing signs. There weren’t any, so I grabbed my camera and made some pictures. The late afternoon lighting was perfect for capturing a scene from another era.

After I returned home, I searched for information about Bob’s Hi-Way Service. Turns out it was never a gas station. According to Kimberley Renee, the station was built in 1990 as a movie set for Eye of the Storm, starring Dennis Hopper. The set included the gas station, a diner, an auto parts store, and a hotel with a pool.

“After the movie’s shooting was complete, the crew felt that the classic Route 66 set was too good to tear down and so Club Ed was born and named after Ed who was the caretaker,” Kimberley wrote on Flickr. “I didn’t walk the property, as I was not sure if it was allowed and while I was there some filming was going on.”

She wrote a story about Bob’s Hi-Way Service and turned it into a slide show on Flickr.

Here are some of images from my impromptu stop.


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