Days Sixty-Nine and Seventy


Day Sixty-Nine

Because of its location at the eastern foot of the Tehachapi Mountains, Mojave is always a windy town, but today the winds were especially bad, around 40 mph. I joked that there were whitecaps in the Motel 6 swimming pool. This morning I called my  friend, Jerry,  who lives in Fresno and travels the entire western U.S. as a salesman. It just so happened that he was in Visalia this morning and headed for Barstow tomorrow, so he'd be going right through Mojave. What a coincidence!

I went back to the Primo Coffee Bar & Grill for breakfast despite my experience last night. I had a good ham & cheese omelette with especially memorable toast--big, thick, grainy slices of wheat, much better than the lightweight wheat that most restaurants serve.

I took advantage of the Motel 6's guest laundry to freshen up my clothes. I wanted to get more done on my web site, but I didn't accomplish much. I mostly just relaxed. After crossing the desert, I felt like I had earned it.

Jerry treated me  to dinner. Since the offerings in Mojave weren't especially appealing, we drove down to Palmdale. It was the first time I had been in a motor vehicle since Vicksburg, seven weeks ago. We went to the Olive Garden, a nice change of pace from burgers, pizza  and omelettes. The last time I sat with someone for a meal was when I talked to a truck driver in Hobbs, NM more than a month earlier.

Jerry also is a cyclist, so I asked him if he could suggest a route over the mountains  to the coast. Although he'd only driven it in a car and not on a bike, he recommended SR 46.

Day Seventy

It was windy again, and besides, I didn't feel like riding. I paid for another night at the Motel 6 and walked across the street to Primo's for French toast. Then I walked around Mojave taking pictures for an hour. There wasn't a lot to see, but there were a few old motel signs. My favorite photographic subject was the broad array of windmills spread out across the mountain range west of town.

As I took a picture of a sign in front of a liquor store, a woman in a beat-up pick-up truck eyed me suspiciously. Maybe she thought I was a private investigator or something. When I walked up the street, she drove  up alongside me slowly. What a screwball, I thought to myself as she sped up and pulled away.

There was a " 500 feet ahead" sign for the historical marker at the terminus  of the 20-Mule Team Trail, but I couldn't find the actual marker (here it is online). For dinner, I walked a couple blocks down the road to Graziano's. I ordered a chicken, bacon and pineapple calzone, but it was disappointingly bland. So far the best pizza I'd had in California was Domino's. The winds were gusting to 50 mph as I staggered back to the motel. There was supposed to be a break in the wind the next morning, so I planned to continue toward the coast.

  Click here to see Mojave photos.

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