In spite of what I may have written about deserts recently, there is one desert that simply has to be visited if one is within a day's
|Oh Noes! Mountains!|
|One of approximately one million of the morning's corners|
Eventually I ran out of mountains chiz and found myself back in the desert. Ridgecrest sold me "gas" at well over four dollars a gallon, the robbers, and also a USAnian plug, which has subsequently been fitted to my travel kettle, Proper Tea for the making of. Now I can have Proper Tea without using any of the four available BRITISH sockets at one end of the tangle of Anbaric String I have brought with me. And it works, or at least the motel has not yet burned down.
Through Trona, where I stopped for "gas" on my first visit to these parts back in 2003. Trona is a hub of the borax mining industry and as a result smells funny. And not in a good way either. Somewhere off to the east from the road in these parts is where Charles Manson was eventually run to earth, mass murderer fans.
I tried to find the back way into DETH Valley over Emigrant Pass but either it was the firmly closed road signposted "Wildrose" or I missed the turning altogether. Towne Pass made a reasonably acceptable substitute though once again the Idiots With Cameras were out in force. Lying down on the centreline of CA-190 while the Mudstang is approaching at seventy-five miles per hour is no way to ensure you live to a ripe old age, which is why I made rude gestures in your general direction.
DETH Valley is, among other things, used for hot-weather testing by motor vehicle manufacturers. These two trucks were lurking at Stovepipe Wells:
Given the three or four identical ones I saw on the road and the fact that Paccar is the parent company of truck marques Kenworth and Peterbilt, it may be assumed that they were Up To Something. Definitely Up To Something was this:
|SEEKRIT testing near Badwater Basin|
|Legs at top left are mostly German, FOREIGN leg-spotting fans...|
Retrace from Badwater back over Towne Pass into the Panamint Valley2, then over the next set of GBFO mountains into Owens Valley to Lone Pine. Lone Pine hav a very interesting history if you are interested in hist. which few boys are. Many pre-WW2 Westerns were shot here as it's nearer to Hollywood than Monument Valley, plus John Ford had already bagsied the latter. Apparently they're still using it today. Normally when in these parts I stay in Bishop but that's an extra sixty-odd miles up the road and I'd already done 420 when I got here. Mr Woolrich has stayed in Lone Pine, though. The other notable thing about Lone Pine is that this motel boasts a network connection so slow it's like going back to the genesis of the Automatic Diary in 2009.
On convertibles: I must have encountered thirty-odd convertibles (most of them Mustangs) this afternoon. Only one, apart from the Mudstang, had the roof down. Yes, it was hot (T > 49° C at Badwater) but I can't see the logic in paying extra for a folding roof, whether it's your car or a hired one, and then driving around with the top up, which is just like driving the hardtop version only harder to see out of because the rear window is the size of a fucking letterbox..
- This statement may contain traces of Lie...
- At Panamint Springs they were charging over six dollars for a gallon of "gas", the robbers...