06 October 2012

2012 WILD WEST to Arizona 12 - Through Mojave

Mojave CA to Yuma AZ


Left Mojave by 9am. Garmin says about 5.5 hours and 326 miles to Yuma.


The wind died down quite a bit overnight as we departed Mojave, thank goodness. I would not have enjoyed being side-blasted through the "hills" and dales of the high desert. On the outer edges of Mojave saw the aircraft "graveyard," where old, abandoned aircraft bodies from the big commercial jets go to their final rest. This includes every size up to many 747s. Looks sorrowful after having been in the airline biz for so many years. Also, outside Mojave was the biggest concentration of wind turbines we have seen so far. Kind of off in the distance, so no good photo of that.

Next...miles and miles of beautiful high desert, mountains, big boulders, then flat desert, all mixed together on back roads with little traffic. Somewhere along the line we turned on to I-40. First sign said "Wilmington, NC - 2,554 miles (start to finish). Mike said I could go that far... Hooked up with two motorcyclists traveling from British Columbia Canada to Phoenix. Played "tag" with them up and down the road and at rest stops for a long while. Criss-crossed Route 66 a number of times. Biggest town along the way was Needles (home of Snoopy's long lost brother, Spike).

In Needles, things became much more deserty. One thing we notice was lots of broken glass and various kinds of plastic along the highway. No "cleaned courtesy of so-and-so" in this area. Finally seeing a lot of cacti and lava beds in the Mojave Desert National Preserve. Many people's names written with lava stones on sand along the highway. Must of had some rain recently as a lot of green scrub along the way, too. Our road followed along the Colorado River for a while, which looks pretty punky at this point. It is the dividing line between CA and AZ.

Seems like many more trains in the west. Counted several and there were more than 100 cars in each, 2-3 engines, but no cabooses anymore. Big crops alone the way were cotton and hay. Hay was in big squares instead of rolls like in ND and MT. Cotten in big rolls, maybe 8-10 feet in diameter.

Just before entering into AZ, we came to Felicity CA. It is a community referred to by some as the "Center of the World." Not sure how this was determined, but to enhance the situation residents built a tiny church and a pyramid shaped building. We did not stop by to see it, but there is also a "famous" sundial made with local materials.

Just before we got to Yuma proper, we saw a Yuma Century-Link sign. Century-Link is involved with our condo building downtown. They are not very sharing with their info or $, but after seeing this sign, we know they are a big-big company.

The Garmin connected us directly with Yuma Comfort Inn about 4:30pm. Getting from the hotel to our Aunt Joan and Uncle Kit's house (about 2 miles away) was the first time the Garmin let us down. Took us way out of our way and finally we called them to meet us at the hotel and followed them to their place. While we were waiting we heard our first Christmas music of 2012. It was a mobile ice cream truck, catching folks attention with Deck the Halls, etc. Ugh! Already?

A little Stoli and a little Corona managed to calm our nerves after the long drive today. We had a great "traditional" home-cooked dinner of salad, garlic bread, and Joan's special spinach lasagne made especially for Deb. The same as she made for us whenever they parked out front of our HMB digs with their fancy travel home in their migration between Yuma and Portland OR. All great, as usual!

Played with Sammy the cat a bit. He is a climber and easily gets on top of the bookcase for a good view of the happenings around him. He's definitely the king of the castle. Sammy got his name from Sam's Town in Las Vegas near where he was adopted by Kit and Joan.

Finally got the two chargers back from where I left them, plugged into the bedroom wall charging away in Chico. My new i-5 smart phone was not very smart over the last few days as it went dead and was VERY happy to see its charger Fed-Exed by Vidnics.

So we are very sorry for anyone that left messages/voicemails on Deb's i-5 phone over the last three days. I guess all worked out except for Brooke and Ben. Hopefully, you now know you were not ignored and we'll be in your area Monday.


We will head up from Yuma direct to Prescott Valley early Monday morning, the 8th. Per Rand McNally it takes about 4-5 hours to get from Yuma to P.V. Hope to lunch with my best-boss-ever and wife, Judy, as soon as we get in town. 

Brooke as you are working til after 6p, we will move on after lunch. As you stayed at our Kazoo place this spring for a few days, we will get a few more hours under our belt before dark towards getting home. Feeling a bit homesick. Love you and thanks for letting us off the hook this time around.

We left a phone message with Millers that we would not be able to get to PHX before their trip back east on Oct 6th or 7th. Glad we saw them a few weeks ago, at their Michigan wedding picnic party. But we would love to see your home someday soon.

Worst gas price we saw on the trip so far was $5.69 at a freeway exit in the S.F. Bay area, but lucked out and did not need gas at that time. Our next fill-up was today at $5.09 in Needles. In Arizona it was only $3.85.

Best mileage on one tank of gas ever was 528 miles between Lincoln CA and Needles CA. Refilled with 10.1 gallons.

Best wind farm is Tehachapi Pass to just south of Mojave. Thousands and thousands, no joke!! Makes us happy. Also reminds us Michigan could do better, much better, with the winds off Lake Michigan.

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If you have visited any of these places, we would love to hear your comments. Or send us recommendations of places we should not miss.