Friday, October 8, 2010

Utah Road Trip - Day 02

We left Bakersfield at 8:45 am and 59 degrees after a good night's rest. A very nice feature to our room was that we got to park about 10 feet from the door, making hauling Fannie and all our stuff in and out very convenient. We had a complimentary breakfast at the attached restaurant (eggs & bacon & OJ for John, oatmeal for Linda). As we drove out of Bakersfield we saw their motto: Bakersfield - where life is beautiful. So, as it turned out, Mother Nature played a trick on us. The passes are open after all and we could have left today instead of yesterday. But that's OK. Outside Bakersfield we passed a lot of citrus trees, probably lemons. but they looked more like citrus bushes - really thick rounded foliage going all the way to the ground.

After traveling on 178 for a while we came to Kern Canyon and a beautiful waterfall. It is a hydroelectric project of PG&E. There is also an extensive recreation area. Thus the sign near the waterfall that warns people to be careful. It says 251 lives lost since 1968. Then along the highway after that there were extensive signs warning people to wear life jackets. The Kern Canyon gorges were gorgeous. There were lots of cattle in the area and John found some cattle chutes to shoot (sorry for all the redundancy - how would you say it?). We also saw horses and llamas.

Between Onyx and Walker Pass we came across lots of Joshua trees. We pulled off to take some photos and found an abandoned school bus out in the desert among the joshua trees.

Got gas outside Pearsonville at $3.29 a gallon. Saw it later for less but better safe than sorry. The towns in that desert are sparse and not all even have gas stations. On highway 395 there suddenly appeared a large mass of black rocks. We soon figured out that it must be a lava flow. We stopped to investigate. It was very porous and lightweight - some grayish black and others reddish. Linda snagged a small sample of each to put in her rock garden.

For miles and miles we saw signs touting Gus' really good beef jerky. So when we arrived, outside Olancho, we couldn't resist stopping at the quirky place. It was plastered with hundreds, maybe thousands, of stickers of all shapes and descriptions. And the jerky WAS really good. So we got some. Gus also had honey and nuts. Soon after we headed up the road there was another cattle chute.
Outside Big Pine we came to a 3rd rest stop that was open. Maybe things in California are looking up. That's more rest stops than we ever found open in California on our last road trip.

We stopped at the Inyo National Forest Visitors center for a rest. We took Fannie Mae inside with us. One of the lady rangers just fell in love with her. She had lost her dog in June and was really taken with FM. Even gave her a doggie cookie.

Finally stopped for lunch in Bishop, CA around 2pm. We drove through McDonald's and then found a pleasant park around the corner. There were ducks and people and dogs to watch, but no dogs allowed in the park.

We soon drove past the border into Nevada at approximately 3:02p.m. and then arrived in Tonopah at 4:30p.m. Checking into our pet friendly room at the Ramada Inn Tonopah Station was a disappointment. It is part of a casino and there is no access to the rooms except through the lobby/casino and up the elevator to the 2nd floor. And then there are 3 short flights of stairs (five per flight) at random places on the way to our room. Not too handy for taking Fannie out for her potty breaks. Or for lugging our computers, camera gear, our clothes and the puppy supplies. Oh, well, such is life. Full of surprises. Our room didn't smell smokey, but the entire rest of the place did. We opted to not eat at the hotel as the restaurant also smells of smoke. We will tell you about our dinner in Tonopah with the next post. All in all, it's been a good day. The weather, scenery, roads and traffic were more than we could have hoped for.

Linda's teabag philosophy for today: The bird doesn't sing because it can. It sings because it has a song. (from the tag on a cup of Yogi chai tea).

For today's photo gallery, click here.

Here is John's Pot-Shot for the day, selected at random from 10,000 of them

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