Road Trip to Cali: Day Three

The homestretch!

Day three we woke up in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Our view from the hotel room was pretty spectacular – just ask the cats.

The cats enjoying the mountain view

The cats enjoying the mountain view

A more human-centric view of the mountains

A more human-centric view of the mountains

We packed ourselves back into the champion of the trip –

The heroic CR-V

The heroic CR-V

– and we were off again! The Salt Lake City area was really beautiful, with tons of mountains and little cities. It’s a place you’d want to live, until you find out about how the whole area is going to be torn apart by a giant earthquake any day now. Super glad we were just passing through. So look at the scenery (before it gets rent apart).

Danger Zone Mountain

Danger Zone Mountain

Kenny Loggins should write about this city.

Kenny Loggins should write about this city.

After we left the Salt Lake City area there was a whole lot of straight roads that went on forever. I started getting drowsy, so Darin and I stopped to fuel up and switch drivers. We found this gem of a gas station with everything you could ever want:

"Red hot deal's on Utah postcards"

“Red hot deal’s on Utah postcards”

And a bunch of asses.

And a bunch of asses.

Naturally, the asses were part of a petting zoo. In the middle of nowhere. At a gas station. So I had to check them out.

Bonus ass.

Bonus ass.

Couldn't stop laughing.

Couldn’t stop laughing.

Darin took us the rest of the way out of Utah. Here’s a little video he took that illustrates both the beauty of the scenery and the reason I was drowsy.

Realizing the unsafe boredom, we set up a point system for tumbleweeds. If you hit one, 1 point. If you could get one stuck in the grille of the CR-V, 5 points. They were pretty large and in charge of the road. Darin won hands-down with something like 6 points to my 2. None ended up stuck in our grille, though we saw others who had conquered them so mightily.

A point missed!

A point missed!

Things got to the point where we were jonesing for another stop, but then the wind picked up and we were engulfed in some kind of dust storm.

Like hell we were stopping in that.

Like hell we were stopping in that.

So we rode it out a little further and switched closer to the Arizona state line.

Which looks like this.

Which looks like this.

They celebrated Darin.

They love the D.

They love the D.

Arizona was pretty incredible for the whole two seconds we were in it, especially during the first bit. We ended up inside of some really huge mountains on a dangerous, under-construction road.

Construction is universal.

Construction is universal.

The scenery was hella distracting.
DSC_0736DSC_0739DSC_0756

Here’s a video to give some scale:

Then after that….Nevada!

Which looks like this.

Which looks like this.

Most of Nevada had nothing of interest, except Vegas, which we took zero photographs of. Darin has never been to Las Vegas, so I got caught up pointing at things and not taking photographs. As you may be aware, Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert, so there was nothing else to photograph. I’m serious.

That means that – YES – it’s the time we’ve all been waiting for! OMG CALIFORNIA!

Oh, those panels? Those are the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. Here’s a better look:

The facility consists of fields of heliostat mirrors focusing sunlight on receivers located on centralized solar power towers. The receivers generate steam to drive specially adapted steam turbines. For the first plant, the largest ever fully solar-powered steam turbine-generator set was ordered. The facility formally opened on February 13, 2014,[1] and the three units should be fully operational before the end of 2014.

The facility consists of fields of heliostat mirrors focusing sunlight on receivers located on centralized solar power towers. The receivers generate steam to drive specially adapted steam turbines. For the first plant, the largest ever fully solar-powered steam turbine-generator set was ordered. The facility formally opened on February 13, 2014,[1] and the three units should be fully operational before the end of 2014.


Way cool.

We were so excited! We didn’t know that we still had to cross a ton of the Mojave Desert, including DEATH VALLEY (so called because you will DIE of BOREDOM).

Death Valley

Death Valley

Once again it was super windy. Probably because we were in the DESERT with NOTHING around. We got low on gas, and ended up stopping at one of the super sad gas stations off the highway, surrounded by trailers and broken dreams. (Seriously, who would live out there?) It was so windy you’d almost lose the door of the car when you opened it.

The saddest, windiest gas station Superman ever visited

The saddest, windiest gas station Superman ever visited

We also switched drivers at that point because the hours of desert driving were getting to me so badly. Darin took the rest of the trip, including another hour of desert, during which we were forced to go through an Agricultural Inspection.

Seriously.

Seriously.


It looked like a toll-booth. Check the rear-view.

It looked like a toll-booth. Check the rear-view.

We made it through without incident, but the guy with the Uhaul next to us was getting questioned pretty intensely. Hope that guy made it. Really wonder what they’re trying to protect the desert from, since nothing could live out there.

After the desert came another slew of, yeah you could guess it by now, mountains. Only this time, California ones.

California mountain best mountain

California mountain best mountain

Then things got crazy, we ended up on the 101 instead of the 66 (ask Darin), and I had no time to take photos until we were jammed in traffic just when we hit downtown LA. The sun was setting, the palm trees were swaying and the traffic was stalling.

Looks like we made it.

Looks like we made it.

Another hour or so in traffic and we were in the new place. It was dark, we were tired, the cats were fed-up, but we finally arrived!

Scenery Rating: 8 (Points for even more mountains, the power plant, Vegas. Points detracted because OMG DESERT.)
Driveability Rating: 8 (Score reduced for even more wind, and the danger-zone mountain roads.)

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1 Comment

Filed under Author: Jack

One response to “Road Trip to Cali: Day Three

  1. cindy ducat

    I love how you guys describe everything and logged it all! You both are really great writers! I mean it really 🙂 Love you guys and talk to you soon, glad you made it alive with all that boredom!

    Like

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