Friday, September 23, 2005

All day I faced the burning waste...*

*You kids might not get that song reference either.

Tonight I am at the Desert Villa Inn (our room's right under the sign) in Barstow. All right, those of you who have been there knock off the maniacal laughter! Why Barstow? You may well ask. Because it's on the way home, and if you want to change direction in the western Mojave Desert, this is the place to do it. As a matter of fact, every freight train in the country changes from east-west to north-south right across the street. I-40 runs along the south side of this joint as well, to tee into I-15 a couple blocks away. The motel knows all this, and is insulated well enough that I'm not hearin' any of it except when I go out to smoke. Nice enough place. The air conditioner works, which is good because it's 10 at night and about 90 degF outside.

Why Barstow? Reason No. 2: In a lifetime of runnin' around out in the Mojave, I've never had to stay in Barstow. Today, my luck ran out.

Yesterday, we went and saw Canyon de Chelly, just east of Chinle AZ and smack dab in the middle of Injun Country. More on that when I get home. I'm ten times as fast on my home set. For now, suffice it to say that it's a wonder and well worth seeing.

Today we dropped seven thousand feet, from the Arizona Divide (7335'), west of Flagstaff AZ, to a few hundred feet above sea level at the Colorado River in a coupla hundred miles, and then climbed back up 3000' feet in the next 40 miles at temperatures over 100 degF. Thank God for modern air conditioning! And modern automotive cooling systems as well.

Tomorrow we turn north on US 395 and go home on the prettiest drive in California, bar none. A big highlight is this place, where we provision up every time we go past. Yum. Mrs. G and myself are but simple hill folk, you must remember!

This has been a nice break from blogging, but I'll be back down in the mud with y'all soon. I've got a lot of thoughts, stories, lies, etc. to share with you about my trip. There's politics in everything, whether to the good or bad.


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