US-50 West 2022:
Day 13 - Picacho Peak State Park [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

US-50 West 2022: [Day 1 - Owensville] [Day 2 - Dodge City] [Day 3 - Cañon City] [Day 4 - Colorado NM] [Day 5 - Great Basin NP] [Day 6 - Folsom Lake SRA] [Day 7 - Lassen Volcanic NP] [Day 8 - Humboldt Redwoods SP] [Day 9 - Portola Valley] [Day 10 - Pinnacles NP] [Day 11 - Yosemite] [Day 12 - Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP] [Day 13 - Picacho Peak SP] [Day 14 - Flagstaff] [Day 15 - El Reno] [Day 16 - Heading Home]

Thursday, October 13, 2022: We were up before sunrise and heading west toward the town of Porterville, ...
... when we saw this entire field full of sheep grazing in the early morning sun.
More lemon trees, ...
... and it looked like there was rain falling in the distance. 
There was an entire line of oil drilling rigs along the side of the road.
Good morning, sweet, sweet Del Taco.
We admired their enthusiasm on their combo meal sign which declared their food to be salsi-er, guaci-er, grilled-er, and real-er.
We headed south to Bakersfield, and with Debbie navigating while looking things up on Roadside America, ...
... we passed the best intersection ever, ...
... while looking for this shiny Pegasus statue.
Bonus! This very patriotic horse was right across the street.
We drove down Buck Owens Boulevard to see the Bakersfield Neon Arch. This sign was rebuilt in 1999 using the letters from the original sign and moved to its current location next to the Buck Owens Crystal Palace because he's the one who paid for the sign's renovation.
Since California is the land of giant donuts on signs, it's only fitting that the Dunkin' Donuts sign also has a giant donut on it.
Our next stop was the F.W. Woolworth Diner, the last such lunch counter still operating. Well, it was still operating until January 2022, when the current owners closed down and sold the diner.
The iconic red background and gold letters still looked good, but many of the windows were boarded up.
Do you see that street sign on the other side of the tracks?
Let's zoom in. It says "Korn Row", in the font used by the band, which is originally from Bakersfield.
Next up was Big Shoe Shoe Repair, ...
... which operates its business in a building shaped like a shoe.
We didn't intend to go by this donut shop, but you know what that triangular sign means: it used to be a Winchell's Donut House.
As we drove south on California Highway 99, also known as the Golden State Highway, it started to rain. Very briefly, and very lightly, but it was actual rain, the only rain we had had since the night in Cañon City, Colorado.
Check out the huge white irrigation pipes running up the hillside.
Maersk! Shortly after merging onto I-5 southbound, we stopped at a rest area in Lebec.
Shortly after we left the rest area, there was a sign indicating that we were in Angeles National Forest. Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of the sign, but we got this great photo of Pyramid Lake, instead.
Check out the cool rock formations on these hills.
Fog was visible in the valley ahead.
We left the Angeles National Forest ...
... and soon we saw roller coasters and amusement park rides.
It was Six Flags California, formerly known as Six Flags Magic Mountain.
When we reached San Fernando, we got off the highway for a very quick detour to an actual Winchell's Donut House.
We parked and dashed inside.
Hello, gorgeous. We're sorry we've seen other donuts, but we're here now.
Debbie was thrilled that they had French crullers. The tray underneath the crullers was full of buttermilk bars, which we've only seen at Winchell's and former Winchell's.
Back in the van, we opened the Winchell's donut box, ...
... to choose our first offering of donut-y goodness. Debbie realized that she made a HUGE mistake to not buy a dozen of the chocolate cruller, which was the most delicious cruller she has ever eaten in her entire life.
We were near the Hollywood Burbank Airport, so naturally all of the store signs had airplanes on them. Sure. That makes sense.
This cool building was a terminal for the Metrolink light rail.
We took another quick detour and exited the highway on Los Feliz Boulevard, passing the Bigfoot Lodge with its scary sign, ...
... and the Tam O'Shanter, which is celebrating 100 years in operation, ...
... before arriving at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
While we both really, really, really want to tour the cemetery, that would take days and days and we didn't have time for that. Instead, we made our way to the pond that is right by the entrance, ...
... to the Little Mermaid statue given by Greer Garson in memory of her mother.
There are so many things to see here. We promise we will come back some day.
We got back on the highway and drove past the Los Angeles Transportation Center, which is a huge Union Pacific railroad yard.
As we got onto I-10 headed east, we were just driving through LA.
It was too late to get off the interstate by the time we saw the part of the In-N-Out Burger sign that said it was the company store. That didn't stop Debbie from complaining about not getting to shop there.
This was probably a graphical representation of the various fault lines that run through California, but we just thought it was cool artwork.
Just after 11 AM, we arrived at our next stop: Ontario Mills Fashion District. You know what that means!
LEGO Store! Yay!
Oooh. Check out the giant R2-D2 in the front window. There was even a tiny R2 next to the sign.
It was only October, but there were already Christmas-themed LEGO models in the display cabinet.
We always say "Money" when we see this giant minifig.
This store had the most engaging manager ever. Her name was Dolores, and she was very eager to help us, and anyone else in the store, with whatever they needed.
This was only the second store where we have seen the Build-A-Minifig station with the parts sorted into different bins.
Some of those heads look like they've been swept off the floor a few times.
When we were checking out, Debbie asked if they had a stamp for her LEGO passport, and Delores got out every stamp that they had in the store. Debbie added many stamps to her passport, including an Emmet stamp and a gift box stamp, in addition to the store-specific one, of course.
Debbie had selected another Dots bracelet, black this time.
Hey! It's Shakey's Pizza! Did we accidentally drive through the 70s?
At one point, Tom looked out his window and said, "Holy sh*t! There's a mountain out there!" while looking north. You could barely make it out in the haze.
Fifteen minutes later, we could see the mountains clearly.
As we approached Palm Springs, there was a wind farm off to the south. The bases of these windmills were different than we were used to seeing. They were more steel lattice rather than a single white cylindrical post.
We stopped for lunch at Del Taco in Palm Springs, ...
... getting two burritos and more importantly, an order of Mexican donut bites.
We wondered what the cages were protecting the utilities from. We learned when we got home that these are designed to preven theft of the copper and other metal fittings.
Back on the highway, we admired the cool artwork and sculptures on the bridges.
Buh, bye, Palm Springs! We had spent some time there last year so we didn't need to see it again.
Stealth Maersk! It does have Maersk on the side, but it is the rarely-seen tiny wording.
What a great place to put an enormous solar farm.
Hello, gorgeous! We crossed over our beloved Colorado River, ...
... into Arizona.
A short time later, we were seeing saguaro cacti, ...
... and gorgeous mountains.
As we drove, Debbie streamed a Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation conference featuring the people instrumental in starting the foundation, including Dr. Katy Phelan, one of the two namesakes for Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, which is what our daughter, Claire, has.
Just before 5 PM, we were heading south from Phoenix, ...
... when we saw this very colorful tanker truck painted with an advertisement for "Milk from Arizona."
An hour later, there were mountains on the east side of freeway, ...
... desert flatness to the south, ...
... and mountains on the west side of the freeway. The very pointy peak on the middle left of this range is Picacho Peak.
Just before 6:00 PM, the sun was starting to set, ...
... as we turned off I-10 into Picacho Peak State Park, our destination for this day.
We found our campsite, ...
... which had a great view of the mountains on the east side of the highway.
We set up camp, and headed off to the bathrooms, which were awesome.
Sunset, saguaros, and a very inviting tent. What more could you ask for?
We had several kinds of tiny bugs that kept intruding into the tent, and it took us a while to figure out how to seal the hole for the drawstring that collapses the top of the tent. There were also moths and praying mantises (praying manti?) that were attracted to the lights and kept landing on the top of the tent. The portable bug zapper quickly dealt with the intruders, and we settled down for a very pleasant evening.

Day 14 >

US-50 West 2022: [Day 1 - Owensville] [Day 2 - Dodge City] [Day 3 - Cañon City] [Day 4 - Colorado NM] [Day 5 - Great Basin NP] [Day 6 - Folsom Lake SRA] [Day 7 - Lassen Volcanic NP] [Day 8 - Humboldt Redwoods SP] [Day 9 - Portola Valley] [Day 10 - Pinnacles NP] [Day 11 - Yosemite] [Day 12 - Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP] [Day 13 - Picacho Peak SP] [Day 14 - Flagstaff] [Day 15 - El Reno] [Day 16 - Heading Home] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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