Tuesday, July 11, 2006

On the road again (still)

Well, back to the Fresno trip. Eventually help arrived and we got the truck running. It’s a 1965 Dodge, and the gas tank seems to have quite a lot of junk at the bottom. I had been filling up at every big gas station (6 mpg towing that trailer, and two bottles of oil each time) but going through Bakersfield I thought I would try for a small town on the other side. Guess I waited too long. It was down to a quarter tank and must have sucked up some crud, the fuel filter became clogged up resulting in no gas to the engine. My son drove down from Fresno and changed it, we dumped in more gas to get above the crud level and drove a few miles to the next town and gas station. Then on to DIL’s mom’s in Fresno. I detached the Uhaul and attached a little white box trailer they were giving me, then a meal and off again south.

A lot easier hauling back, and it was up to a whole 15mpg or so. Heading back past Tehachapi is the high desert. A little different than the Vegas area, but not much. There are a lot more bushes.

On the hills in the distance are some mines, and a railroad track parallels the road a few miles to the south. You can see a train in the distance. If you are a train buff you should have heard about the famous Tehachipi Loop, which all trains from the east must take to work their way down to LA.

At about the halfway point is a little rest stop in the middle of nowhere. You can find these all over the California and Nevada area off the freeways. A little patch of green, some trees, rest rooms in the middle, and parking for trucks and cars. You’ll usually find the truck spots all filled with drivers taking naps, especially at night.

I pulled in for a short snooze myself, at least until it got too cold to sleep. So back on the road again, north on I-15 headed toward Vegas.

Look at all the trees and green! Coming down that last big hill from the mountain pass towards Primm (formerly Stateline).

You can see the big white spot that is the dry lake bed, filled to the brim with about a foot of water after heavy rains.
This is what Primm looks like

Just a casino on each side, the big roller coaster and a monorail that crosses the freeway between the two places, and an ‘outlet mall’. I stopped for gas and hit Starbucks for a medium caramel macchiato with an extra shot – my normal Star drink. Only another 50 miles to go!

Halfway to Vegas from Primm is the offramp labeled Jean.

Again, a casino on either side, but no outlet mall here. The casino on the west side is built to look like two Mississippi riverboats tied up at a dock – only a little larger than life. Over on the hillside to the east is the state prison. This is the one that Grissom sometimes goes to on CSI. It’s a little over to the right from the sign.

And on to home – just a 600 mile round trip, about $340 in gas and oil for the truck, and too many hours on the road. We’re due to go back to Fresno on Friday, for a wedding. Only we’ll take the Echo with the good air conditioner that gets 42mpg and doesn’t leak oil and has a radio that works and windows that close and is a LOT quieter.

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