So I drove down I15 and finally made it into California. It didn’t look much like the adverts. There was no Arnold Schwarzenegger for a start. In fact there was just a large amount of desert with some mountains. In fairness, some of the mountains were quite high driving up to 4000ft and then down to 2000ft. My ears were certainly popping.
I stopped for lunch in Barstow which was not much of a town. After that I turned off on the road to Bakersfield. The landscape changed – this time it was just desert and no mountains. I was ready to stop again and saw some enticing signs for Mary Sue’s diner. Then I saw the exit. It’s on Ghost Town Road I’m not falling for that one, I’ve seen too many horror films! So I stopped in Tehachapi (which means 4 seasons in some Indian language). I got to Bakersfield and tried to find a hotel. This was a lot harder than it seemed and I ended up driving around and around before ending up at the Padre in downtown. It was a really nice hotel and reasonably priced.
The next day i was going to go to San Francisco but I gave up on that idea as it was too far. So stayed a couple of nights instead of 1. I went for a wander and ended up at this place where you can make your own burger. I had a chicken , egg and onion burger which was quite nice. I thought about adding 1000 island dressing too but decided that would be too much. I have a family connection here so afterwards I went to look at the museum which was shut but they had a large garden which had all these old wooden buildings that they had put on a lorry and moved there from their original sites, which was a bit strange. I then tried to find somewhere that had internet but there don’t seem to be many internet cafes any more. I went to the library but didn’t have a card so couldn’t get on. In the evening, I first went swimming. It seemed quite cheap at $3 but I had a nasty surprise as I got changed and then ended up outside! Obviously they don’t see the need for indoor swimming pools in California. I then went ice skating next door before finally going to the cinema to see Tower heist which was good fun.
The next day I met a distant relative in the hotel, went to the cemetary and then headed on out to Pasadena. I made sure I had directions from the hotel this time so got ther ein one piece. The drive had less desert this time but still some pretty big mountains as I drove over the grapevine. California is definitely a lot more mountainous than you might think.