Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Carmel to Ridgecrest California

Blackwells Corner - the last place James Dean stopped before he crashed his car and died.

Kern Canyon, California along Highway 178

I am now back home and after a few days of feeling very tired I think I am recovering from all that driving. Altogether we drove 7600 kms. I will post the rest of the trip over the next few days or so. I will add the pictures from the lap top because the pictures are still there. I will be a bit of a complicated process.

We left Carmel and headed west. The goal was to get as close as we could to Death Valley so we could go stay the night somewhere and head into Death Valley early in the morning. We drove south down the 101 to Pasa Robles where we then headed east along the 46. The is a little town along highway 46 that we drove right past - Cholame - which is apparently where James Dean crashed his car and died. We stopped at a little gas station in Blackwells Corner to eat lunch in the shade and that is apparently the last place James Dean stopped into before he died. That is how we found out that the crashed his car at Cholame. There are pistachio and almond trees all along the road and the gas station in Blackwells Corner sold all kinds and flavours of these nuts. We bought 3 bags, had lunch and continues onwards.

After driving through Bakersfield we headed along highway 178 through the Kern Canyon and past Lake Isabella. A lovely little canyon set in the Sequoia National Forest. It was getting quite dry and hot compared to the cool foggy air around Carmel. We saw Joshua Trees as the countryside was getting quite desert like after Lake Isabella - which is a man made lake. We got into Ridgecrest around 4 p.m. or so. We stay the night at an Econo Lodge - okay place. We ate supper at a nice Mexican restaurant. The food was good. The air was hot and dry and there was a real hot wind in the evening. I really loved the wind. I stood out on the balcony of the motel late that night with the hot wind blowing. I couldn't help thinking about the book "The White Oleander" with the "Santa Ana Winds" Lots of different climate zones as we drove from west to east in California. From the cool ocean air to the hot desert.
The sunset from the hotel room in Ridgecrest. It was a lovely night.

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