From the glorious beauty of the Central Coast, fog-enshrouded with blue skies, I drive inland through desert and the brown smog-filled Central Valley. Temperature climbs from a comfortable 70° to a high of 106°. Gas prices drop from a high of $3.57 to a wonderful “steal” of $2.75. My drive is HOT, dull, brown. There is little that is remarkable – perhaps the huge wind farm above Tehachapi. Nothing blasting off around Edwards AFB.
Nothing but scrub, sand and depressed scorpions as I drive north into the high desert of Mojave National Preserve. I pass the ever-interesting Zzyzx Road, not because it goes somewhere but that it is a unique road in nowhere.
Vegas is Vegas. Bumper to bumper traffic for miles, hot, some interesting architecture surrounded by what I view as my least favorite city in the world. After 513 miles I arrive in Mesquite, NV. I sleep over at the Virgin River Hotel and Casino, which hints at a river close-by. I bet it’s dry. The Arizona border is just down the street. Strolling thru the bowling alley and weaving past the slots and gaming tables, I arrive at the River Cafe for a $10 plate of steak and eggs and a $3 beer. Overall a good end to the day.