Posted by: caryandjohn | December 31, 2010

New Year’s Road Trip

Cary and the trusty Honda Accord in the Panamint Valley

Cary and the trusty Honda Accord in the Panamint Valley

We decided to meet up with Tegan and Chuck in Las Vegas over New Year’s Eve, so we kept an eye on the weather reports, hoping to have some motorcycling weather … but that was not to be … we loaded up Cary’s trusty Honda Accord on Tuesday and got on the road at around 11 a.m., headed for the dreaded slog down I-5 to Lost Hills, where we jumped on route 46 to 155 to Lake Isabela to route 178 and finally, Ridgecrest …

We stayed at the world’s worst Motel 6 … don’t know why I always end up at these bad motels … I’m going to have to find a good alternative in Ridgecrest, because we always seem to land there on our way to Death Valley …

Ballarat Ghost Town sign ...

Ballarat Ghost Town sign ...

The weather on Tuesday was pretty dreary, but we had a beutiful drive after we finally got off the purgatory that is the I-5 … lots of snow up around 6000′ just before we dropped down to Lake Isabella … we wound up in Ridgecrest at about 6 p.m.

We got up on Wednesday and hit the road towards Trona and Panamint Springs, where we had a pretty good lunch before taking a side trip to visit Darwin Falls …

Darwin Falls ...

Darwin Falls ...

There was a lot of water from recent rains all across the region … there was quite a bit of standing water in the basin at Panamint Valley, which I’d never seen before. The walk up to Darwin Falls became a bit of an adventure, with a lot of the trail underwater at various points … it’s about a mile walk from where you have to park, and well worth the effort if you can park and lock your car … it’s a bit of a hike if one is wearing motorcycle boots, though.

Cary had the brilliant idea to head for Tecopa Hot Springs and the Delight’s Hot Springs Resort which we promptly did, after enjoying a beautiful ride through Death Valley and Badwater …

Delight's Hot Spring Resort

Delight's Hot Spring Resort

We rented a motel-style room that had a kitchen for about $80 and enjoyed a great soak to end the day in one of the four private baths available there … I think a day pass is $10 … super place. We stayed here at the beginning of our Baja sojurn, and I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to stay here this time … Cary and I love this oasis in the desert. Bring your laptop for the free wi-fi, because there are no TV sets! Ha.

The next day we decided to check out the date shakes at the China Ranch …

John at the gate to the China Ranch

John at the gate to the China Ranch

An old Ford pickup truck at the China Ranch

An old Ford pickup truck at the China Ranch

There is a wonderful bakery at the China Ranch, where you can get fresh-baked date bread made from palm trees that are irrigated from the Amargosa River, which was actually flowing when we hiked down to it … We also enjoyed a date shake … Not To Be Missed. It was a description of the date shake that got me to take Cary here, and we were not dissapointed! Check it out …

Wherever you go, there you are!

Wherever you go, there you are!

After our treat at China Ranch we returned to the Old Spanish Trail Highway and made a stop at the Cathedral Canyon near Pahrump … Dave and Phil showed me this place, which was a strange shadow of its former self …

Cathedral Canyon near Pahrump, created by Roland Wiley

Cathedral Canyon near Pahrump, created by Roland Wiley

Apparently a man named Roland Wiley created Cathedral Canyon near Pahrump … at one time it had a fountain, stained glass “windows” carved in the sides of the large wash, and a suspension bridge … it’s in quite a dilapidated state now …

And boy, was it cold! We got back into the car and scooted on into Las Vegas …

Las Vegas!

Las Vegas!

Anyway, we’re in Las Vegas now … at the Golden Nugget, downtown. We’re going to pick up Tegan and Chuck at the airprort tomorrow, and recreate their wedding vows under the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign … hillarity will ensue!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: