Last week I spent a night at a truck stop in Barstow. The whole place smelled like ass.
Though, to be fair, I don’t know if it was the truck stop or just Barstow.
Barstow, California has my favorite city motto. I’ve always been intrigued by city mottos, because I find them to be uniquely pointless. Merced: Gateway to Yosemite. That tells me absolutely nothing about the city of Merced, only that it’s in close proximity to a different place. Did you know the motto for Sacramento, California is “City Of Trees”? I would have thought, maybe, Thousand Oaks was the city of trees since, you know, they have a lot of oak trees, apparently.
The motto for Barstow is “Crossroads of Opportunity.” Notice, it’s not the stopping place of opportunity. No, merely the “Crossroads of Opportunity”, the place where Opportunity arrives, looks around, and asks, “How the hell do I get out of Barstow.”
I imagine the crossroads are Interstate 15 north or south, Interstate 40 east, and State Highway 58 going west.
I’ve been on the 58 a lot recently. I like it. Going west out of Barstow you drive through Hinkley (if you’ve watched Erin Brockovich, yes, that Hinkley), through colorful Kramer Junction, through Boron, it’s Twenty Mule Team Road and home to the largest borax mine in the world, then deep into the high desert, past Edwards Air Force Base, Mojave, and into a whirling forest of windmills attached to the golden highlands of Tehachapi before the 3,500 foot decent into Bakersfield. That road has a lot going for it. Someday I’ll get some time to stop and photograph some of it.
The time I’ve been spending alone in the truck might be starting to get to me. I had a full blown argument with my GPS recently. You know the movie Castaway, and how Tom Hanks talks with Wilson? That was me. I was heading to the Schneider drop yard here in Vegas, on the 15 south coming back from Cedar City, Utah, and the GPS was directing me to exit onto Tropicana. To hell with that, I’m getting off on Russell. Trop is way to crowded, tight, and too many weirdos, especially just west of the 15. Russell has nice big lanes, less traffic than Trop, it’s just a better choice. I was explaining all this to my GPS, until I realized I was explaining all this to my GPS.
As the title of the blog says, the heat is on. Some nights are unbearably hot in the truck. I normally complain about the noise from truck stops because everyone idles there engines at night so they can keep their A/C on. It makes no sense when it’s in the 60s, but when it’s over 100 degrees, I totally get it. Schneider has incorporated an idle cut-off on their trucks, so mine won’t idle all night. I have a fan, though. It’s good for blowing the hot air around the cabin. It’s something.
Can we just pause to remember Glenn Frey? In any other year, the death of an Eagle would have been on everyone’s mind months after it happened. As we all know, however, 2016 isn’t like any other year, and I fear his passing might have been forgotten already.
As I’ve said before, most nights I stay in noisy, smelly, horrible truck stops. But, once in a while, i get lucky. Goodnight from somewhere deep inside the Tahoe National Forest.