My first full hook-up site in over 4 months!

11 Mar, 2017; Bakersfield CA

Fay Wray is giving no quarter today!

She starts meowing as soon as she gets into the car - and continues to alternate napping with howling every 15-20 minutes for the entire 2.5 hours that it takes to drive to my next stop, Desert Palms RV Park in Bakersfield, Ca.  It's only about 130 miles - but FW is apparently on strike.

I thought I would stay 2 days to give her a rest - but after cresting a hill and being horrified at the valley full of thick smog - I'll be moving on asap!  

All the light brown and then the dark, dark color is SMOG.  

I could hardly believe how thick a layer of smog lay over the hills and valley!  Visibility on the highway was reduced!!  Whole mountains were blocked out and it was hard sometimes to see nearby hills.  After about 30 minutes, my eyes started to sting.

When checking into the RV Park, the clerk said that this is not a temporary temperature inversion - it's this way year round.  I remember this from my last drive through Southern California but assumed that it was just a winter phenomenon like I used to experience in Denver.   YUCK!  I'm trying not to breathe very much. . . . 

The lovely sound of the microwave turning on!

The RV Park has cable TV, full hook-ups, a laundromat, swimming pool and hot tubs.  So, I can turn on the AC this afternoon, do my laundry, take a LONG hot shower using their facilities and take a swim while I'm waiting for the clothes to dry.  Such luxury!!  And then, I can watch cable TV!

There is requisite train tracks next to the RV Park.  In fact, about 30 yards from my trailer.  So far, a train has been by about every hour!!

I was hoping to drive out of all this smog Sunday . . . .

The drive today was horrific!!  My eyes sting, my throat is raw, and visibility can't be more than 1/2 mile!!  All of Congress and especially Scott Pruitt, the new head of the EPA, should be forced to spend time here!!  This smog reminds of the photos from China before the Olympics - truly awful.

While I was willing to drive until dark, FW gave it up after about 150 miles.  So, tonight I'm in the Lakes Golf and RV Resort in Chowchilla CA.  Tiny little space (but full services), and a free round of golf thrown in - that might be an attractive idea if I was willing to breathe any more of this smog than absolutely necessary.

So. Cal. - "If you're going thru Hell, Keep on Moving . . . "

11 Mar, 2017;  Barstow, CA Peggy Sue's 50's Diner

"You may get through before the Devil even knows you're there"

Since this post will mostly be a rant, I'll include some photos from alongside the road - this area is near old Highway 66 and there are remnants of 50's style roadside attractions.

I couldn't help humming this CW song as I turned North towards home - I decided to go the direct route which takes me the length of California on either I5 or Hwy 99.  Now, I've done this before (once) and swore never, ever, ever to do it again.  But, apparently, after 4 years, memory had faded and I needed a reminder.

Dinosaurs outside; animated Dinos inside

First, there's the traffic - very heavy and quite intimidating after over 4 months of secondary roads, gravel roads and very few people.  Then, there's the speed limit - everyone else can go 70-75 mph (and drive much faster than that); but trailers of all kinds are limited to 55 mph.  Which means that I'm a slow-moving irritant amidst all this heavy traffic.

You can climb stairs up to a balcony on the other side of this guy.

Then there's the cat.  FW can tolerate about 2 hours of driving.  Then she starts to meow, first quietly, then loudly.  Even though I stop every 90 min to 2 hrs and give her a 30 minute break in the trailer, she doesn't reset.  Back in the car, she takes up complaining again.  Then comes the guttural "I'm getting ready to barf" meow, and then the barfing starts.

It would be great right about then to be able to pull off at a rest area and clean up the cat, her crate, and all the barf.  But, that brings me to the third really bad thing about So.Cal. - all the rest areas are closed!!!  I haven't seen a single one that's been open.

His expressions captures the day pretty well!

Finally, I get to my first travel stop - Peggy Sue's 1950's Diner

Peggy Sue's Diner is a Harvest Host partner.  Which means that I can stay in their large gravel parking lot overnight for free.  Apparently, this is not a big deal as I can see that long-haul truckers have been doing this for years. 

The diner is full of 1950's Hollywood memorabilia and signed photos from movie stars.  There is an attached gift shop with more Route 66, Hollywood stuff, and an old-fashioned ice cream, shake and soda bar.

Out back is a picnic area - that's where I had my ice cream and watched the sunning turtles.

See the pirate hovering over the dinosaur - strange combination!

back in civilization where people torture the cactus

These were the big guys; when I looked closely along the pond edges, I saw baby turtles about the size of a deck of cards.

Going to the bathroom at Peggy Sue's will give you a start!  I so wanted to grab a guy and have him tell me if there was something similar in the men's room!

I almost turned around and checked the sign on the door!

So, the day ends on a good note

Tummy full of very yummy home-made diner food and ice cream, I watch OTA TV for a couple of hours before going to bed.  FW has settled down and stopped glaring at me.

I may even spring for diner breakfast before heading back to the highway wars.