We were back on the road again today for another fairly long drive of about 200 miles. We departed from Lemon Cove Village RV Park and headed southwest on CA-198, originally destined for CA-99. Long before we got to the freeway, we were directed to turn south on CA-65 to go through Exeter, Lindsey, Porterville and Terra Bella. The GPS indicated equal times but less mileage on 65 so we gave it a whirl. It is a good road through farmland and small towns and it is quite pleasant until south of Porterville where it runs through some lumpy grass prairie before entering an area called Oildale. I don’t think anybody actually lives in Oildale but there are rocking oil pumps covering the landscape on about 150 foot centers. There are many shiny pipes running in all directions and mysterious devices filling up the areas between the pumps and the multiple current oil derrick drilling operations, some right in warehouse parking lots.
Just a short time after leaving Oildale, we joined up with CA-99 south for a few miles before turning east up CA-58 into Tehachapi Pass. It is a solid pull from right near Bakersfield with a slight incline gradually transitioning into a slope that had all the big trucks plodding along in the right lane with their hazard lights flashing. Our Charlotte was a powerful friend and, although passenger cars shot right by us, we passed all the trucks without fouling up traffic behind us. We finally passed over Tehachapi Summit at a bit over 4000′ before starting a slow decline into the desert town of Mojave where we had to fill up on diesel. Charlotte may have loads of power but hard pulls up long inclines suck diesel. After filling up and thankfully being able to use their restroom, we turned due south on CA-14 headed for the Angeles Crest. About an hour later, we turned off in the foothills and pulled into Soledad Thousand Trails in Acton. We stopped by and registered and then went looking for a campsite. Due to the interesting funding method Thousand Trails uses to maintain their parks, the electrical system is very shaky which eliminates better than 50% of their available campsites. We eventually found a space with electrical power and sewer but no water. We are happily sharing the one available water tap with our neighbor, unscrewing his hose and filling our on-board water tank before re-attaching his hose.
It is hot here but the Santa Ana winds are blowing from the desert toward the coast so the humidity is around 7%. This type of weather frequently brings out the firebugs. Sure enough, by 4:00 PM, there was a huge plume of smoke visible west of us. We turned on the local news and found the initial plume of smoke was now a 3700 acre fire and the houses of many Republicans were in jeopardy. Since the wind is blowing from the east, we are currently safe but those downwind are in a fiery shit storm and we are glad we are not there. In accordance with the fauna in this part of the state, it is called the Tick Fire.
We rewarded ourselves with a dinner out this evening. We found a Mexican restaurant called La Cabana about 4 miles up the road and popped in for some Negra Modelos and terrific food. Prices were fair and the service was great. The last time we ate out, before tonight, was 700 miles ago in Redding. Thank God Peggy can cook.
Don’t click the link if you don’t want to see Oildale. https://photos.app.goo.gl/X1cH8bSQVfYAr2br5