Mar 10 - Bakersfield 'til Morning

A very short update tonight. This morning we were up early... engine warmed, sh-lumped slowly through two rutted washes, hooked on the toad, and were rolling down the paved road by 8:10am. Good-bye Quartzsite for another year.

Our route took us up to Parker Arizona on AZ-95 where we topped off the diesel tank at 3.959/gallon (thanks to Gas Buddy), probably the cheapest dino-juice we'll see for a while. From there it was across the Colorado River into California on CA-62 to Vidal Junction where we picked up US-93 north towards Needles. Through this stretch high gusty winds prevented my mind from wandering too far from the task at hand.

At Needles we picked up I-40 west which we took to it's termination at Barstow. After a short stint on I-15 we grabbed onto CA-58 westbound and followed it all the way to Bakersfield, where we decided to drop anchor for the night. We're at an RV park just a block off the CA-58 freeway... "A Country RV Park" (yes, that's it's name... despite NOT being in the country.)

The most dramatic scenery of the day was during our crossing of the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and dropping into the southern end of California's large 450 mile long Central Valley, one of the most productive agricultural areas in the United States.

Off in the distance... California's Central Valley
As time is growing short to meet our plan of being in the Portland Oregon area by the 20th or so, we're planning to put in some longer days as we drive north. We've also got to watch the weather and sneak through some mountain passes on the way to Portland while it's not storming.

But first, we're going to spend a few days at the SKP Park of the Sierras to re-connect with Jimmy and Julianne. We're also going to run down to Fresno to visit a Sportsmobile facility to learn more about what they could offer us in our quest to downsize.

So, after today's long drive of 365 miles, we have a shorter drive tomorrow of only 140 miles or so. Unfortunately most of those miles will be on the dreaded and congested CA-99... which has been know to give even calm drivers a bad case of the Yips.


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