Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday - Paso Robles to Barstow (still in CA)

Finally I've left the left coast & headed inland toward my planned route home. The early part of my route was through more wine country - in the clouds! They were so low in the morning, and the vineyards were striking! They're so lovely! (and delightfully small - someday I'll come back & taste wine at every one of them.) Then I was in almond country again, and back on "the 5" (by the way, I think 98% of the Priuses sold in the US are here in California!!)

Driving through all these mountains, I'm struck by the courage of the pioneers to have faced mountain after mountain, conquer it, and keep on going. What daring persons they were! At least I knew there was a road on the other side! The pioneers had no idea what would be over the next peak. Such bravery!

There simply is no way to describe driving thru Tehachapi. If you are ever in that part of California, make the drive (US58) through this lovely place. It's like driving through a post card. Or maybe a fantasy. (Harry Potter fans: think "Hogwarts" grounds) I had driven west through there on the way out, so was excited to see my route would take me back through heading east. I was totally unprepared for the change! It had snowed the night before. Tehachapi is in the midst of rolling green mountains, so ground level had no snow, but the mountains were capped, then dusted further down .... it was breathtaking! Every curve had a new view that seemed too beautiful to be real. Three different times I had tears spring to my eyes just from the sheer magnificence rolling out in front of me. It was amazing!!!! (But I had to hurry to clear my eyeballs so I could see to drive!! :-) No camera could ever convey the beauty.

When leaving Tehachapi, there's the windmill farm again but this time the windmills had their feet in snow. It was quite a site! Then up over the mountain, down the hill and .... awaaaaaaaaay we go! Joshua trees abound and I'm in the Mojave - just like that!

I stayed overnight in Barstow in a hotel on Route 66. There's a great museum (Route 66) in that little town - and it's free. The road itself ... well ... the old girl is in a sad state of disrepair! The speed limit is 40 but I wouldn't go more than about 30. Much too bumpy and old! Still, nostalgia overtakes you as you see some of the places that have been around for 50+ years. I ate at a recommended place - Bun Boy - that's been around since 1949. The booths are all covered in Route 66 fabric, and the waitress was so cute! She was young - maybe 25 - with her hair all done up on 50's style and wearing a Route 66 apron. She made the experience fun! (The food was passable, but wouldn't get my recommendation!!)

My plan was to head only to Kingman AZ in the morning - only about 2.5 hours from Barstow - and wait out the storm, but .... the weather didn't cooperate. Check the next post for where I ended up on Sunday night.

Thanks for stopping by!

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