We got up early as we have a long drive today and want to get out of San Francisco and on our way. We have, with the help of Dad and Pauline a really good itinerary that will allow us to see something of the states of California, Nevada and Arizona but it does seem like we have planned too much. (As advised!) Still we’re happy enough to have one or two heavy days on the road, after all how bad can it be zipping along in our Mustang with the roof down and our music blasting out!
We leave around 9.30 and drive across the absolutely huge Bay Bridge, skipping Oakland and joining the 580 East towards Stockton. We stop for gas and food and then head inland slightly, driving south through the Central Valley of California. We drive for hours, the kids are so good and don’t complain about anything other than eventually the heat. We have to put the roof up on the car, it’s so so hot, a dry, crisping heat that seems to suck every bit of moisture from the air. I love it but its even way too hot for me and when we stop for lunch at Jack in a Box (More fast food) and I try to sit on the kerb outside, the ground literally burns my bum through my shorts. We have to have our aircon on full and even then the sun fries us through the windows.
After miles of flat, dry and brown land suddenly we reach the Tehachapi Mountains- wow! So beautiful and not even a well known American geological landmark (Not to us anyway), we drive straight through them before entering the Mojave Desert, a burning desolate area that I would love to stay and photograph. We have failed to make it to some (Relatively) close national parks including the famous Yosemite and Sequoia but as we have all fallen completely in love with America over the past few days we’re not too worried as we’ll definitely be back really soon.
We stop off at Walmart and buy some CD’s. We were divided and limited with our choice but eventually settled on James Brown, The Bee Gees, some 60′s compilation thing including The Monkees, The Drifters and Otis Redding and The Police Greatest Hits for good measure. We wanted to get some music to suit our drive and I love it. Especially the Bee Gees album. ( The sound of America I reckon !!!!)
423 miles and 9 hours later and we arrive at Barstow, it’s very close to the ghost town of Calico recommended by our friends Shirley and Ade and we plan to stop off there in the morning before driving the remaining 150 miles to Vegas. We book into a motel and me and the kids strip off and dive into the pool whilst Simon goes in search of a few beers. How fantastic! He returns with a few tinnies and a giant Corona! Yeh!
We make our way next door at 8pm and order some Chinese food. It makes a good change from the junk we have been eating since we arrived here and we wolf it down. We get back to our rooms and the kids go off to watch Mythbusters whilst we crash out. I’m feeling really excited about Vegas, everyone seems to love it and I reckon we’ll have the best time.
10pm just sat chatting together and I said its only 11 days until we go home. Usually it’s me complaining about having to return to the UK but Simon suddenly looks completely gutted. He mutters it feels like a sick joke- I know how he feels.