Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Meteor Crater to 'HOT' Needles to Bakersfield

Ok, I will include the pictures to Needles (yesterday) and then to Bakersfield (today's trip).  Above is a look at the San Francisco Mountains, or San Francisco Peaks (depends upon who you talk to) which sit just north of Flagstaff.  I think our highest elevation was around 7,300 feet, and on the other side of Flagstaff it drops considerably.

For some reason (talking with Marcia about who can remember what) I did not take pictures of the Williams area.  This drive along I-40 is one we have driven many times, so you could just use our search box in the far right column and search for Williams.

As we get closer to Kingman, the trees get very short, more like bushes, but there are some nice mountains to see through the drive to Kingman.  A few years ago a 'con-man' tried to tell us that we had a major oil leak under our motorhome.  (See Scam Alert, Kingman Az)  I joked with Marcia telling her I was going to pull off and try and find him and let him know our motorhome has been fine with the "leak".

One thing I did not know about Kingman is that the airport is a mini-graveyard for some older planes, especially DHL freight and Delta Airlines.  After WW2 it was one of many scrap locations for airplanes, but they all hit the scrap iron heap ages ago.

In some of the above pictures you can see how nice the roads were...unfortunately as we got closer and closer to California the roads were real bumpy bad.  Nice way to remember a state that you just drove 350 miles through.

The Colorado River, yes, the same river that runs through the Grand Canyon, is the border between Arizona and California in this area.  Here is a shot out my window, and the river is just visible above the guard rail.

Here is the bridge crossing over the river on I-40.

And we would give you a better look of the river except this bridge out Marcia's window obstructs the view...and out my window is no better.

We got through California Customs, I mean Fresh Vegetable Check Point and they allowed us to carry in our 1/3 head of lettuce and a few Cherry Tomatoes that we promised was our dinner for the night.  Here is a picture of our camp at Fender's RV Resort in Needles.

If ONLY a picture can show you how hot it was.  At this point we were the only ones in the front area...and it was about 106 degrees.  Later a 5th Wheel came to our left, it took them a good 20 minutes to pull in, 30 minutes to set up which included them turning off our 30 amp breaker because "They thought it would make their 50 amp go stronger".  I wish I could say they were new at this...but they were not.  As Marcia says, "You Can't Fix Stupid"  It hit 111 degrees right about the time they turned our breaker off.  I will stop talking about it or mom will wash my mouth out with soap when she sees me tomorrow...

Our motorhome is parked just out of the picture to the right.  Past that community building, there are some camping sites for those who are staying longer than just a night or two...they overlook the Colorado River.  Needles is only around 500 feet in elevation, a big change from the 6,000 plus just the night before.  Along with it, you get LOT MORE HEAT!

We got up at 4:30, and hit the road by 5 am.  That is NOT our norm, but HOT TIMES require abnormal behavior.  A few miles down the road, and about 1,000 feet higher, the temps are down to low 70's from the 80's we woke up to in Needles. 

I take this picture out my window of the my mirror just to show Marcia the sunrise, and ...

...she HANGS out her window, gets this picture.  Unfortunately, I hit a very large bump, and she fell out...but I just left here there along the side of the road.  WELL, she really wasn't hanging out, but she did take a good enough picture that all I had to do was rotate the image just a bit...it really turned out better than I expected.

Just like with a sunset, if you turn the opposite of where the sun is setting you sometimes get a nice picture of the last rays of sun hitting a mountain, clouds, whatever.  Here, we are headed opposite of where the sun is rising, so it is a great view which lasts for nearly 30 minutes.

To some the Mojave Desert in California is just plain ugly.  To me, it depends.  Depends upon the time of day, where you are at, and if you are in the mood to see the amazing beauty that lies right in front (or in this case, off to my left) of you.

Here is another example off to my right that Marcia took.

And sometimes it just seems to go on and on and on, seems to last for ever.

In April 2012 we stayed in this rest area, 60 miles east of Barstow, for the night. 

Got this picture of Bubba (left) and Skruffy (right) looking out at the vast wasteland, wondering if they will ever see grass again.

Today I pulled up right where we had stayed eight years ago...

Here is Skruffy just last year, looking out at the vast wasteland for her last time...

"Hey Dad," she says, "I found some GRASS!"  I am sure she has lots and lots of grass where she is now...oh, how the memories still hurt so very deep, and yet bring joy at the same time.

We got to the Orange Grove RV Park in east Bakersfiled by 11:30.  It is HOT, but only 101, although it was suppose to be 103...I never saw it make it that high.  It is 6:15 and it is still 101, but I am confident that it will start to fall real soon.  It is suppose to drop to 76 this evening, cool enough, with this low humidity, to open windows and vents and circulate outside air...but that will come when I get up in the middle of the night.  Tomorrow, we will be under that big tree in Sandy and Arny's backyard!


  1. LOL I'm pretty sure Marcia was hanging on like crazy. The last time I drive 40, it was getting VERY rough. I can't imagine how bad it is now. I also can't imagine why in the world that guy would turn YOUR breaker off. Why did he not see you plugged in??? It's going to be even hotter today ... glad you will make it to Arnys where there is shade. I'm waving .......

    1. To be fair, our plug in was a small electric receptacle at the back of ours, which runs off the large electric receptacle that they plug into. But when you turn something OFF and hear an A/C turn off at the exact same time, wouldn't you think, "Hey, I might have just did that..."??? Then they call the manager out who explains to them, "Yes, that is them, this is you...you have a 30amp and a 50amp to choose from..." Then he says, "Perhaps I should turn our 30 amp on too, maybe it will give us more juice..." This is AFTER I asked if his AC had blown a breaker, which it had not. You know, you just can't fix stupid.

  2. Nobody in their right mind would turn their neighbour's power off in that kind of heat. Maybe the heat already got to him.
    Be Safe and Enjoy Arny's Shade Tree.

    It's about time.

    1. Read what I replied to Nancy above. We did make it ok, thanks.

  3. When I was young and in college in California, I drove my first used car (Ford Falcon white sedan, four door with red leather interior, radio & a/c) I purchased for $500 from a little old couple who advised 'easy on the brakes' to Phoenix, AZ. What did I know about driving through the desert in late June and about cars? Absolutely nothing. I packed up after finals and car overheated near Palm Springs. I pulled over to garage and gas station and they tell me I have a cracked radiator that needs to be welded. I wait as I watch car load after car load of students heading out to who knows where. About the time my car was ready, I see a car with four male college students looking like gypsies with luggage strapped on top and back. They wave and I wave back and hit the road. They must have talked to repairmen at garage because they (the boys) proceeded to follow me keeping pace into night fall. At Blythe, I pull into drive-in burger shop and they pull in on the opposite side. As I pull out, they follow and I'm skittish and tell myself 'whatever happens, do not open your door or window.' By midnight I pull into Buckeye, AZ (at that time there was no I-10 freeway into Phoenix) to get gas and they pull in next pump. The guys say 'hello, we made it!' Huh? They say they followed me in case I had trouble with the car again crossing the desert. I was so relieved!! We chatted. They coming from northern California from college driving to Tucson, AZ. I was one happy camper when I pulled into my sister's driveway at 1 a.m. in morning. I didn't want to wake household so I slept in the car in the heat.

    1. Yes, people don't think about how hard it is on a car driving in temps of over 100, and up to 120 or more. I kept an eye on thermostat, and also on the Tire Pressure Monitoring System, which shows not only tire pressure, but temps of the sensor.

      Back in 1993 (give or take a year) I blew a tire just outside of Barstow headed to Sacramento in a Ford Wagon full of three kids and first wife and loads of suitcases, etc. When we got to Sac, I bought four new tires...lesson learned.


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