I'm sitting in a Motel 6 in Barstow, hopefully the last motel I will have to stay in for a long time. The office clerks offered me bottled water as Barstow is on a water advisory. They reminded me to brush my teeth with it as well. I have a half bottle of Evian remaining that I picked up at a fuel stop, but I may have to go to the office for more. I filled Lady's water bowl with the bottle they gave me and she drank it without stopping. That poor thing has been so cooped up today and I'll be glad that she won't have to go through that again. Luckily, nothing fell on her, and boxes and bags are stacked all around her.
I woke up at 6:00 am, and would you believe the guy upstairs was still awake and making noise. I used the ear plugs last night, but took them out whenever I woke up and he was still at it, so I had to leave them in all night long. I got dressed and took the remaining items out to the truck, trash to the dumpster, etc., and we were on the road at 6:45. I am really getting slow - it used to take me just a few minutes from when I woke up to be on the way. But it's just as well because daybreak was just about there when I got going.
It wasn't raining all day, although now and then I'd drive through enough sprinkles to turn on the windshield wipers. Mostly it was sunny and then overcast, so my sunglasses were on and off and on again for the day. The traffic was decent and I enjoyed the drive until I got to Bakersfield. The drivers there are unique and I'm glad I don't have to go through there very often, but I will be driving through on my way back. The alternative is Los Angeles and the horrible Grapevine, and I'll take Bakersfield. Also, I've never found Tehachapi Pass difficult to drive in either direction, but the Grapevine nearly did me in a couple of years ago. I don't think the ascent was overly bad, but the traffic was horrendous.
I stopped at about 2:30 and considered driving on to Needles, but figured I'd had enough for one day - about 397 miles. That will leave me with less than 300 tomorrow, I hope. Still haven't decided the exact route to take.
Speaking of routes, the Garmin did ok once she figured out who is the boss. The first 30 miles were taken up trying to get me over to Freeway 99, whereas I had decided to take I-5 down to where I cut back east near Bakersfield. Steve reminded me that the lanes are much wider on I-5, which would have really made a difference had it been raining steadily. As it was, I'm glad I took I-5 because there are way fewer exits, and 99 has one exit after another to little towns along the way.
I had considered driving over the Sierras and driving south on 395. On my way out of Sacramento I was passed by a vehicle that had lots of snow on its roof, and he must have been skiing or snowboarding this weekend. The short time I had the radio on I heard that the snow levels were high even at the lower elevations.
I took some pictures while driving, and I'm not very good at that. The first two are ascending to Tehachapi Pass (going southbound) and the second two are after the descent. You can see there is much more snow on the south side of the Pass, which surprised me. Clicking on a picture enlarges it, and then clicking again enlarges it and you can see even greater detail.
I grumbled when I had to pay $3.35 for diesel in Sacramento. I stopped for fuel some 250 miles south, and it cost $3.50. I hope it is cheaper in Arizona!
OLD IS NEW AGAIN
12 hours ago