Before leaving town, I ran the car through the Wash Me Car Wash to remove accumulated bugs and dust. We had decided to just go to Barstow the first day. Rather than go there directly on I-40, we first went to Bullhead City and then tracked north of 40.
In Bullhead City, we fueled up and Sandy got her smoothie at McDonald's. The temperature was 91 F at 9:40 AM as we crossed into Nevada, heading west on Nevada 163 to US 95.
US 95 North was under heavy construction all the way to Searchlight. Lines of orange barrels and only one lane each way. In Searchlight, we pulled off at the casino/McDonald's. While Sherm used the facilities, I tried to use the Wyndham app to book a room at the Super 8 in Barstow. It seems the app will do everything except actually book the room when using data so I phoned Platinum Customer Service and they made the reservation for me. They also requested early check-in on our behalf.
Getting back on the road, we left US 95 for Nevada 164. The GPS called it the Joshua Tree Highway and it was easy to see why.
Approaching the tiny village of Nipton, we saw several things. First, there were the three bright towers of the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. This lay near I-15 just south of the Nevada state line but its address was Nipton. We commented on it on a previous trip and spoke of how mirrors focused the sun's rays on the three towers, generating enough heat to run the turbines using molten.
We also saw tipi's adjacent to the town site. Apparently these, along with some eco-lodges, were for rent to the green tourists who wanted to experience the desert more closely. The town itself was just a few buildings and was reportedly bought last year by a company who wanted to grow marijuana there. Those plans appeared to be up in the air.
We stopped in Baker at the bottom of the hill. It was very busy, but we managed to get a photo of the world's tallest thermometer. This structure, built in 1991, commemorated the 134 degree temperature recorded in Death Valley in 1913.
Stopping at an AM/PM convenience store attached to an ARCO gas station in Baker, we were lucky we didn't need gas because the price was $4.15 for regular. We bought a few snack items and found that they requires a minimum $25.00 purchase to use a credit card. I guess they had a captive audience and could make their own rules.
With our cash snacks in hand, we continued south on I-15.
The lady at the California agricultural inspection station waved Sherm through and stopped us because she thought we had British Columbia plates. She laughed when I corrected her and asked if we had any fruits or vegetables. We replied in the negative and she waved us through. We were glad to see how fast the traffic moved because, as we headed by in the other direction several times, we had seen southbound lines that extended for several miles.
Approaching Barstow, we saw signs for Peggy Sue's Diner. We stopped there last time so we gave it a miss this time around. In Barstow, we went down to the Tanger Outlet Malls where we learned that the Skecher's Outlet Store will be stocking golf and other sporting shoes starting July 4th.
Sadder but wiser, we fueled at the Flying J for $3.45 per gallon (much better than the $4.15 in Baker). I took 8.3 gallons while Sherm only took 4.1, putting his mileage in the mid-40's. That will be something to consider when we replace the Equinox before March, 2019.
We arrived at the same Super 8 in Barstow that we stayed at last year. The same miserable desk clerk again refused to split our charge between two credit cards, saying it was too much work for him. But he did let us check in early. It was nice not to have to find somewhere to park the trailers.
We worked on our various chores and enjoyed the A/C until about 5:30, when we walked over to IHOP and were seated at the same table as last year. The meal was OK, but we didn't photograph it. Sherm stuck to his diet with a Cobb salad while I cheated and had a bun with my burger. And fries. Sandy had chicken strips with corn and mashed potatoes.
After supper, we returned to the hotel where we watched the Korean Summit and sorted photos. I made a reservation tomorrow for a hotel room in Lee Vining, but found out that it was actually a Travelodge a little bit south of there in Mammoth Lakes. Then it was early to bed because we all needed our beauty sleep (except Sandy).
Today's Route (229 Equinox miles):