Toledo’s traffic has nothing on California! 4 and 5 lanes each direction and bridges on top of bridges and off ramps going every which way! And at 6pm it was 90 degrees in San Diego/ Imperial Beach area. I saw National City, LaMesa, Lemon Grove and El Cajon go by as we were keeping up with traffic - heading east – outa town.
From crowded populated cities, to rolling scrub desert the terrain then turned to farmland with rows and rows of irrigated fields. Fields upon fields of lush green hay, some freshly mowed into identical parallel rows. Some already baled and turned into stacks and stacks of big rectangular blocks of sweet smelling hay. Stacked so high and wide that they looked like huge pole barns at the far side of the vast manicured fields. If there were more than one stack, they resembled one of the many trains that we’ve passed on our journey. We’ve passed thru miles and miles of windmill farms on the way out and now, on the way back there are solar fields of shiny panels all lined up like dominos in mid tilt. And, no matter which highway we’ve been on, there is the constant companion of a railroad track next to it. All the way west and now heading east, we’ve seen train after train being pulled or pushed by either 2 or 4 big yellow engines. Boxcars full of shiny new automobiles going west and empty boxcars coming back east to get more Jeeps!!
El Centro was our resting place for the night - finally. If you ever come this way in the future be sure to stop at the Vacation Inn. Reasonable prices, free hot breakfast and Harry got a FREE BEER!! I got one too but we know who drank it.
On Friday we woke early again and were greeted by temps hovering at 76 degrees. The day was sunny and clear – till we traveled down the road a bit. We passed thru a high pass and then began a long, long ride to the bottom of the barren rock mountains on each side. The semis were made to pull over and check their brakes before they attempted this downhill roller coaster ride. As we descended we passed sign after sign warning of high winds and blowing sand. Nothing like strong winds and blowing yellow sand to make a person thankful that you are not on the motorcycle – or pulling a trailer as big as a roadside billboard! Winds were blowing the sand sideways and in a frenzy in front of us. On the opposite side of the road we saw highway trucks pushing sand off the road like the snow plows up north!
Then the Wells Fargo Stagecoaches slowly rolled up the dusty road, pulled by pairs of matched draft horses. There was no mistaking the cadence of the steady clip clop of their hooves as they slowly plodded along, ready to give tourists a tour of the town. Most of the shops and “pay to see” venues were closed but we still enjoyed the feel of the town as we went from one end to the other, imagining what it was like when Doc Holiday and the Earps had the infamous fight at the OK Coral. If we would have stayed longer we could have paid to see it happen all over again, and again! The original town was started in 1878 and grew to over 15000 residents during the silver rush in Arizona. When the silver veins ran out – so did most of the folks who called the town home. And it was getting to be time that we ran out also!