Beatty - Bakersfield

Trip Start Jan 22, 2006
1
23
156
Trip End Aug 16, 2006


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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, February 13, 2006

Having exhausted everything that there was to do in Beatty, we decided that we should get back on the road again. I must admit that I was feeling a bit rough today, whereas Lynne was feeling smug because she predicted I would get ill after my salt tasting experiment the day before. After raiding one of the many pills and potions from our first aid kit I was restored to full health.

En route to Bakersfield, we passed through a different section of Death Valley than yesterday, seeing several miles of sand dunes. We got out of the car and walked over to them, bravely climbing to the top of one of the shorter ones (let me tell you it is not easy climbing sand dunes). Off in the distance we could see some braver souls sledging down some of the really high dunes, however I was more than happy to just be a spectator to their activities.

It was Lynne's turn to not feel very well at this point, which was not very pleasant for her as we still had a four hour car journey in front of us. That's the problem with America, it's such a vast country that the smallest distance on the map can in fact involve a long car journey.

The way out of Death Valley was one of the more terrifying routes that we have faced so far, up and down a windy mountain road where they didn't believe in putting a crash barrier between your car and a drop of hundreds of feet. I think it was probably a good job that Lynne was asleep for a lot of the descent, as my driving tends to make her nervous at the best of times on a straight, wide road.

For about the final hour driving West to Bakersfield, the vegetation suddenly changed from the sand and rock we'd been used to for the last few weeks. It was all lush looking green grass and for a minute you could have easily thought you were driving in England.

Bakersfield looks to be another huge town that I'd never heard of before. Although it's Sunday today, there are no Sunday trading laws so all the shops were open as normal. The locals must consider themselves so lucky to be able to go to Walmart 24 hours a day, seven days a week, I know I did as we trudged around the place late on Sunday night.

Favourite quote of the day did actually come from Walmart though, one aisle down from where Lynne and I were, suddenly a woman bellowed "Why the f?*k do they make the aisles so narrow, so you can't f?*king fit the trolley down them?". It was certainly a valid and interesting question, but not one that I felt sufficiently qualified to answer.
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