Thursday, 21 September 2017

Day 22: Tehachapi CA - Henderson NV

Ho! for Southern California where, as any fule kno, it never rains.  Over the Tehachapi Pass with its myriad wind turbines and down into the desert again, passing a couple of those places where old airliners go to die. Though I had to squint a bit at the second one to be certain the what was seeing was Boeing tailfins and not just a Joshua tree with a plastic bag caught up in it.
Somewhere over there is Edwards Air Force Base, but even a Junior Pocket Microscope (model 3a) will probably not find it.  Try installing Hollywood-OS™...
Heading south down US-395 and it was almost as if someone had put the cloud in place with a ruler, and with the mountains actually sticking their heads up above it too.

Natch I ran into this at the top of the Cajon Pass, so it promptly became bloody freezing and there's nowhere to stop because it's five lanes of loons intent on reaching San Bernardino without touching the brakes.  And the wipers were required.  After some mucking about I found myself climbing Mt Baldy, hard by Rancho Cucamonga (this is about as close to Los Angeles proper as I want to get), only to find that I have been cruelly mizzled, nay, hornswoggled!  The mountain itself may reach ten thousand of the BRITONS' feet but the road doesn't even reach 2000m before dead-ending in a spot full of these:
Nearly as common as cigarette butts.  Welcome to California!
It was nice to be above the weather, and the mountain is quite picturesque and on the way down I saw a coyote.  She was stood in the middle of a residential street with a 45 mph speed limit and looked thoroughly unhappy at this state of affairs.
Mountain, California, Wednesday
Somewhere behind that lot is Los Angeles,as well as The Arco Station From Heck (see below)
Back into the murk and embark on a search for motor-spirit.  It seems that I may have been a bit previous in praising USAnia for tutoring its "gas" pumps about the existence of other countries.  In the eleven states and four thousand miles leadin up to Battle Mountain, and indeed in that burg itself, I had been asked for my "ZIP Code" precisely once, and that was filling the ASBO at least once a day.  In California I've found one pump that didn't ask for it - my pals at the Shell station in Bishop - and the Arco place in Rancho Cucamonga wouldn't accept either of my cards at all.  So yarbles to you, California!  Bolshy great yarblockoes!

I-15 consists mainly of a long uphill drag to Primm, where there is a This:

which, I have just learned, is the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, which appears to be rather cool, unless you're a Desert Tortoise.  Primm itself I initially mistook for a cement works but eventually discerned that, lying as it does approximately six inches across the state line in Nevada, it is actually a miniature version of Las Vegas for Californians too anxious to lose their shirts to drive the extra distance.  But it has a rollercoaster that goes right round one of the hotel/casino/whatevers, which is probably a bit cool, if your name is Gil Grissom.

There is no mistaking Las Vegas for a cement works and, for the first time in at least four approaches, the sky was the colour of sky and not a brown cloud under which the city noisily coughs itself utterly to DETH.  Fortunately getting to Henderson does not require going right down to the bottom of the valley.  This may be accounted a Good Thing since it was 35 degrees and with a wind gusting 60/70 km/h and trying to steal my hat.  It seems that tomorrow I could visit a brand-new attraction which I seem unaccountably to have missed every time I've been in this neighbourhood:

Or I could go somewhere else...

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