Crossing the Mojave Desert
Trip Start May 11, 2012
23Trip End Jun 08, 2012
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So, the plan for today was to put in a lot of miles and get close to our ultimate destination, Paso Robles. And we accomplished that. We got onto the interstate and pointed the car west. When we left Flagstaff at 7:30 AM the temperature was 46 degrees and when we arrived in Bakersfield, CA at 3:30 PM it was 95 degrees
If you see spots in my photos or blurry foregrounds, it is because I took them all from inside the car, through the smashed bugs on the windshield, as we sped down the highway at 70 MPH. It just was not feasible to stop safely to take pictures.
We drove most of the day through the Mojave Desert. And the only constant was that it was arid and hot. But the landscape changed often. At first we were looking at sand and dirt with dead or dying scrub. Later it was like sand dunes on a beach, yellow in color with living plant life and some trees. Later it was golden sand dunes, with swirling patterns caused by the wind.
At 10:18 AM we crossed the Colorado River and into California. And even when we could not see the river, we knew where it was by the lush green groundcover. As we left the river, we found the trains, once again. And not only did we see the tracks, but we saw the trains…a lot of them, mostly moving west, with flatbeds loaded with semi trailers and containers
One interesting thing that we saw of note…the graveyard for planes in Mojave, Ca. I had seen this place on TV, and had no idea we would be passing it by today. It was clearly visible from the highway. And we saw an experimental solar farm, with hundreds of solar panels in rows and columns next to a power plant. And lastly, we saw was a huge wind farm…hundreds of windmills perched on top of mountain ridges on the mountain pass that took us out of the desert and into the valley on the other side. My research tells me that these windmills service 600,000 homes in Southern California.
The crossing through the mountains was beautiful, with flowing hills, rippled like the surface of a lake on a windy day, followed by smooth hills, lots of them, flowing smoothly together, in many shades of gold and yellow, with dark green trees splattered here and there…such a wonderful contrast of colors
And finally we were on the other side in a lush green valley with miles of citrus trees and grape vines. I think these are the eating kind of grape, for they were intermingled with the orange trees and there were no wineries to be seen…at least, not from our vantage point. And, in the fields with the grapes, cohabitating with nature, were oil well pumps, moving up and down, like hammers pounding nails.
And finally we reached our destination. We are now less than 2 hours from Paso Robles…so Rudy, does this mean you lost the pool???