Yucca Valley to Phoenix

Friday, December 9th

I originally had booked the room through Saturday morning, but since deciding that I was going to scooter home instead of sensibly spend a week in San Diego and fly back like a smart human, I had a lot of miles to cover.  As I left Yucca Valley Friday after work I hoped to make it to Phoenix and then spend two days driving and see how far I got by Sunday night.  It’s over 2,000 miles from Southern California to Ohio, so I wasn’t going to make it back this weekend, but I was hoping to get a big chunk of that done.  I also knew I was going to take interstate 10 across since the more direct 40 went through places like Flagstaff and Amarillo which were showing snow and ice.  My normal “avoid highways” plan wasn’t going to cut it; I was hoping to do this in two weekends with maybe taking one day between them.

A solid evening of driving would give me a good head start, so I packed up and headed out into the desert.

Highway 62 to the East of Twentynine Palms.

I did take a slightly slower route out, taking the extremely isolated Highway 62  east through Twentynine Palms and into Arizona.

More road than drivers.

It is a beautiful drive out.  The highway is smooth and empty.  Houses peter out just a few miles east of Twentynine Palms and you’re alone in the desert.

Scenic View

A perfect time to add a plot to https://www.plotourplaces.com!

I’m sure I’ve already used the LOTR quote for this.
A hundred miles from anything and need to dispose of an old pair of shoes?

A dozen or so miles into Vidal Junction people have written names and words in hills by placing rocks in the small hill that raises the railroad tracks and a few other, larger hills.  It’s strange because it goes on for so long yet there’s no other evidence of anyone around.  The junction itself is a small gas station and an agricultural inspection station and pretty much nothing else.  Signs of a village full of stone layers is strangely absent.

I entered Arizona as darkness fell.  It was cold enough that I had the electric gloves running and they added a little bit of heat, enough to keep the chill out as I drove a few more hours before eventually making it to Phoenix and checking into a hotel.  The weekend’s driving had begun, with aliens and Texans still to come.