"...Get Your Kicks   
   On Route 66..."

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Day 4: Williams to Pasadena, California

It's the last day of my trip and once again, I'm up too damn early: The earliest day, in fact. I sigh, shower, and pack the car for the trip home.

Briefly, I consider taking that delayed side trip to the Grand Canyon - but finally decide that at this point, all I really want to do is just get home, so at 7:00 a.m. local time, I'm off and tooling west once more.

Passing Seligman, I'm now on the stretch of the 40 that ran far to the south of my Route 66 run on the way east, so this is kinda like new territory to me. It's nicely scenic, especially at this time of the morning, but it's pretty darn empty new territory. There isn't even a gas station for the next fifty miles!

I'm back in Kingman a little before nine, and after crossing over 66 twice, I'm once again going through "new" territory on the 40 as I head for the border - which I reach at ten. Once there, I go back on Pacific Time and suddenly, that "ten" becomes "nine" again, making me realize that I basically woke up at five in the bloody morning back in Williams. No wonder I'm so tired!

Now zooming through California, the "East Mojave National Scenic Area" on my right, I'm averaging an impressive speed. Soon, I pass Ludlow, then stop at a rest stop just on the edge of the Mt. Pisgah Crater - Amboy Crater's equally volcanic neighbor thirty miles to the west. It looks like broken asphalt too.

(though not broken desert asphalt. for some reason, much of the roadways through desert on my trip have been a reddish color - sometimes, quite brightly red! I don't know why that is)

The black of the lava creates an interesting effect as you are driving west. Because there's such a clean demarcation between it and the light soil of the desert, from a distance, it looks as if the volcano is shadowed by something. As I drove, I kept looking up in the sky for the supposed cloud that was between the sun and the landscape up ahead - but the sky was cloudless. Once you get within a couple of miles, though, the reality that it's a field of lava, rather than shaded dirt, breaks through.

Almost to Barstow, I pass the Solar Power Tower test site. Interestingly, the mirrors are aimed slightly to the left and right of the tower itself (I assume it was shut down or something), creating two glowing asterisks floating on either side of the top of the tower. Kinda neat.

It's gas again in Barstow, and I continue my quick trip home. Heading up to the Cajon Pass, I hit a wall of gray pouring out of it. Apparently, while it's been nice and sunny (mostly) my whole trip out there, back in the L.A. area it's basically been solidly overcast the entire time I've been gone. Driving into the gray, and helped by my tiredness, it feels like it is suddenly much later in the day than it really is and I get even tireder.

Be that as it may, soon I'm through the pass and back in my home territory and by an astonishing 12:30 in the afternoon, I'm pulling up my driveway, home again after three days and 1,750 miles...

Lot of nice kicks, though...


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all else Copyright 1997 by David William Johnson