Stanley feels the heat
Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
109Trip End Dec 15, 2011
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Got up early so we could make an early starrt to avoid the heat. Poor Shelagh and Karl, they get up early every weekday and we spoil their weekends, too. After breakfast and goodbyes, we left at about 8.15. Set off down the road, stopping to fill up with petrol. Whereupon we got a call on our (new) mobile phone to say that Karl was chasing afetr us with the map book we had left behind!
The usual trouble filling up with petrol - using the debit card, but the cashier logged it as a credit card, worked fine but no pin number needed, no signature. But he only allowed for $50 which wasnt enough. So do it all again, this time as a debit card, which it was. Wont accept the pin. So he logged it as a credit card, and no proof that we were genuine. No wonder theres a banking crisis! Anyway, $100 later and with the map book safely in our hands, we set off.
The first part of the journey was back along the vfreeway towards LA, where we had come from. The roads arent a patch on the UK roads, the concrete was corrugated and gouged and in places the slabs of concrete had sunk a bit so as you go over the edge of one piece its like hitting a pothole. But at least they werent as deep as those we were used to ! How does concrete become corrugated?
Anyway we soon turned off the freeway at Ventura and took the 126 across over the top of LA. This entailed doing quite a bit of climbing, up to a max of 3400 ft, whereas we started at about sea level. On top of which, the temperature rose to about 36C, so poor Stanley had to work hard in the heat.
Because I wasnt watching the sat nav we missed a turning, so in sorting out where we were going we went into the outskirts of Victorville, where we stopped off on a golf course for lunch. Quite pleasant sittin in the shade of a tree to the side of the fairway. Saw a few golfers going by, and its a mixture of "now I know why I dont play the stupid game" and "If they can play that badly, I would be relativeely good!"
But through an inhospitable terrain we continued until we arrived at our destination, 236 miles from the start
Martin's Mexican moments:
The water temperature in the car got up to about 95F when we were climbing up to 4000 feet and in the heat of the day. We knew by looking at the forecast yesterday that the peak temperatures would be between 1 and 4 pm hence the decision to get going "early". 8.15 isn't exactly the crack of dawn and a 6 o'clock start would have allowed us to escape the back end of the day as we arrived in Barstow at about 3pm.But thankfully the car stood up fine to the extreme of temperature and we were less harassed than on similar days in the first part of the trip.We stopped for a drink and bought some filled rolls for lunch and later stopped to eat these on the edge of a inner town golf course.So a more leisurely approach to getting where we need to go.
I'm not sure we have actually entered fully fledged desert yet but its hot and arid enough and not for the first time I'm amazed how people are determined to eak out an existence in such inhospitable conditions.In the middle of nowhere you come across a little homestead or shack,sometimes a few gathered together
The Mexican thing? We've landed in a Quality Inn motel - pure chance as its one of a dozen in a line in the town - and the dining room is Mexican.I honestly feel as someone who cannot cook other than to save his life that mexican cuisine might just be the one I could master. Molten morass with bungled beans and firepeppers.
Oh and the great,great thing about America - nothing is strange and nobody is eccentric.You can get away looking like anything and behaving however you like provided nobody gets hurt.Its difficult not to like the place and as ever the people are just as helpful as you could want..