Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Red Bluff to Big Bear Lake

Red Bluff to Bakersfield via Hwy 99 - Leaving Red Bluff after our night of big game spider hunting we spotted this fantastic looking theater up the road. Not sure if it's still being used but it has a fantastic profile.

The drive down Hwy 99 was much busier than we thought it would be. Hwy 99 is still fairly sleepy through most of Oregon. There were still remnants of the glory days of Hwy 99, but it would appear development is rapidly removing many of the places from the past decades. It's too bad we hadn't made it in time for an "Alaska-sized" burger at the Mammoth Orange in Chowchilla before road construction closed it down. Just one more reason to support your local mom and pop establishments.

Bakersfield to Barstow via Hwy 58 - Hello emptiness! An interesting change of scenery out this direction. I believe the temperature was about 183 degrees as we passed through. The drive over the hill at Tehachapi provided great scenery, and besides, it's just a fun name to say. Passing through Borax we were disappointed to see a faded out sign that at one time advertised the Borax museum. We would have loved to have stopped there and saw just what it takes to make a cleanser "20 mule team strong". I can still picture the can sitting on the edge of the sink. The joshua trees were also nice to look at through this area.

Barstow to Lucerne Valley via Hwy 247 - If you thought you had the road to yourself along Hwy 58 here's a stretch that makes you wonder if the rest of the world has been abducted by aliens. There was one straight stretch of the road that was probably 10 miles long. It seems as if this stretch of lonely highway was the inspiration for every David Lynch movie.

Lucerne Valley to Big Bear Lake via Hwy 18 - Remember that straight stretch along Hwy 247? Well, the longest straight stretch on this road over the mountains is about 8.4 inches. The rest is a 4 foot wide, winding goat path up and over the mountain! We agreed it worked out well that we went over it in the dark and couldn't really see down over the side. It was very pretty out that way and it was great to feel the temperature drop as we climbed the mountain.

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