Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 21 Sunday May 25: Las Vegas – Oakhurst CA

Question: What do Aliens, Peggy Sue, Twenty Mule Team and the Mojave Desert have in common? Answer: Saturday May 25, 2013 and us.

Yes, on what was to have been a very long, 440+ mile drive, we were pleasantly diverted by all these amazing things! Upon traveling west on I-15 you leave behind the bright lights and high-tech architecture of Las Vegas, you are presented with the stark reality of the Mojave Desert.

This is the land of grey sand rock, stark mountain ranges, sand wadis (desert dry creek beds), US military training areas and weapon test ranges.

We also passed a sign for Twenty Mule Team Road: remember the western TV show sponsored by Borax laundry soap?

Oh, and did I mention aliens? Starting right after you leave the Las Vegas, massive billboards appear touting “Alien Fresh Jerky” in Baker CA. There must have been 20-30 of them. This was better than the old Stuckey candy store ads; remember them? If you were a kid traveling in the 1950’s and 60’s, there was no better place to go and you hounded your parents for miles until they relented and you got those pecan log rolls!

Then, after miles and miles, you get there:

Aliens everywhere!!

On the roof:

In their car:

Space Ships:

Crashed Space Ships:

Aliens looking at you!!

Talk about marketing genius, capitalizing on Area 51; we had never heard of them and spent over $60!

At least I didn't put a dollar in the launch pad control slot:

I kind of wish I would have, though: probably have been worth the money. If you are ever near Baker CA, stop in and launch one for me: let me know how it works!!

If that wasn’t enough, a few hours down the road, we started seeing signs for Peggy Sues 1950’s diner!

How could we not stop here for pie?

It was so good I almost ate it all before I took the photo: we even got 2 pieces to go!!

The décor was great with waitresses in pink and aqua (what else!):

Elizabeth even got to meet Elvis:

Waddling out of Peggy Sue’s, we resumed our journey with still some 200 miles to go. Our route sent us from the stark, rocky terrain into the San Joaquin Valley. To keep us entertained, I checked out Wikipedia and learned that the Bakersfield area of Kern County is the most productive oil producing county in the US and the fourth most productive by value in agriculture. Major crops include grapes, citrus, almonds, carrots, alfalfa, cotton and roses.

Here are some of the oil wells, shipping facilities and orchards we passed:


The sun was lovely on the golden grass landscape as we approached the southern end of Yosemite National Park:

We arrived at the High Sierra RV park almost at dark to find it had a very crowded with a very narrow access. Thomas did a superb job getting us parked and we called it a night!

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