Road Trip – This time we leave our San Francisco budget inn for the wide open spaces via Modesto, Fresno, Bakersfield with good intentions of staying in Barstow for the night as it is about half way to Las Vegas.
We cruise through rural California only to stop for petrol, food and drinks and of course to stretch the legs and change drivers. Our lunch stop was at a road house / diner in a town called Gustine.
Some research on Gustine – it was established in the early 1900s as a station on the Southern Pacific Railroad and named after Sara Miller, nicknamed “Gussie”, the daughter of Henry Miller, the “Cattle King”, an early California land baron and Agricultural pioneer. Little Sara, always getting “gussied up” with fancy clothes, was killed when she was thrown from her horse when she was eight years old … poor Sara!
Also Gustine was the site of the first 9-1-1 system in California, installed in March 1970.
On the road again we head towards Bakersfield and on to Barstow however we decide to keep going and head to some random town we’ve never heard of, Mojave. We new it would be remote because it is right in the centre of the Mojave Desert but the wind takes your breath away. We pull into the Best Weastern Dessert Winds and it lives up to its name with the car door nearly being blown off the hinges when we got out of the car.
Dinner tonight is Maccas as there is fast food or fast food in this town and earplugs are needed to drown out the rattling freight trains and constan wind overnight. The hotel even supplies ear plugs.
Mojave is a pretty interesting town too. Established in 1876 as a construction camp on the Southern Pacific Railroad and was the western terminus of the 266 km twenty-mule team borax wagon route originating at Harmony Borax Works in Death Valley.
Also located near Edwards Air Force Base, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, and Palmdale Regional Airport it has a rich aerospace history as well as a general-use public airport, Mojave has three main areas of activity: flight testing, space industry development, and aircraft heavy maintenance and storage (the plane graveyard).