Fired up my writer’s senses and drove south.  Saw tons of neat little things like a memorial built of rocks with a small flower in the center.  Saw lots of abandoned buildings.  Saw the Colorado river.  Noticed what the roads sounded like.  Found out what standing in the freaking heat was like (simple terms, just go into a hot car on a hot day and put on the heater full blast.  Longer description, it’s like being wrapped in a blanket of air.  It’s almost smothering.  Stand long enough and you get a little dizzy and your pulse starts to pound and wind does not help to cool you off.)

I think the most surprising thing was how green the desert actually was.  Plus, it was so vastly different from little region to region, sometimes the ground covered in dusty, tiny stones, other times larger black stones, sometimes full of plants, others with plants barely hanging on.

I saw pigeons hiding under a roof overhand for shade and protection, I saw smiley faces painted on broken concrete at an abandoned garage, tar drips down the side of a motel, rusted AC units still in use, wooden water towers baked grey in the sun, old mining equipment left to rust away, a shopping cart along a desert path going towards the mountains, a dead crow with its wings poking up in the air, scorched pavement where I can had probably caught on fire, piles of gravel beside the road waiting to be used or long abandoned, hardy, wood-line roots that anchor the desert plants into an unforgiving soil and so much more.

I learned you have to enter your zip code at the pump, tough for me since I don’t have a zip code and have to prepay.  I learned the drive from Ludlow to Barstow is bumpy from the damage to the roadway and your ears pop from needles to Ludlow due to the elevation change.  I learned that most of the rest areas are closed for repair and yet there is no sign of repair.  I learned that most of the traffic is actually truck traffic, more so than in Canada.  I learned the speed limit is 70 and enforced by radar (and, in some places, planes but no planes ever flew overhead.)

All good writing stuff.

Unfortunately, though, as I passed from Boulder City to Needles, the weather turned to overcast and then, as I came upon Ludlow, it actually rained.


It was too bad because I think I’ve become an abandoned building junkie and Ludlow had some great ones.  More for picture taking than story-telling, though.

So the rain put a damper on my picture taking.  But I will return tomorrow.  Never got to Amboy.  I’ll hit that tomorrow.

Spent about 8 hours on the road today but in that car, it felt like 2.  Oh so comfy.

Found lodging in Barstow, ate at Denny’s at about 9 and was too tired to do any more writing so just went back to the hotel and fell asleep.

Lots and lots to do tomorrow.

About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.
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