Thursday, October 14, 2004

Deserts and Hot Tubs

We left San Luis Obispo yesterday and made it as far as Bakersfield. One problem with not staying in an RV Park is that your holding tanks need emptying. Jim found a dump station by going to Pretty cool, a gas station with a dump station. Fill one side, empty the other. Liz counseled us to go south and use Cuyama road - 166 to go east rather than the more obvious 46. Good advice! Hardly any other traffic all the way to Bakersfield. And it was gorgeous. Starting to look a lot like desert. And, here we are at Bakersfield Palms RV Park. Very pleasant, but don't try it if you're a light sleeper - trains go by all night. They had a hot tub which is one of Jim's and my favorite things. Besides just feeling great, you get to meet people. A veritable melting pot of people. Last night was the final Presidential debate between Bush and Kerry. In the hot tub afterwards, we had democrats, republicans and 'I don't vote' people. Quite an education! A bit more lively than the debates themselves! We all made it thru the experience in one piece ... we told the republican to be sure and go to the polls on November 3 :-) There's a Camping World in Bakersfield. We needed some maintenance done, so we spent half the day taking care of that. Here we are in the 'shop'. They need pretty big bays at an RV service place! One thing we were hoping to get is an inverter. That's the piece of equipment that can take the 12 volt power from your coach batteries and allow you to plug in regular 110 appliances - like computers! The batteries that came with our motorhome were not very good - we knew they wouldn't support an inverter so we didn't even consider it. Our fellow Datastormer, John, gave us his old *good* batteries when he had a new solar system installed. Thanx John! We've been carrying them in the car since Oregon - finally getting them installed today. So, we discussed the different inverter choices with the tecnician. It was pretty clear we have more research to do. Stay tuned. Back on the road and heading east, we traveled over Tehachapi pass and the windmill farm. At this point it is becoming *very* clear that we are in the desert. We noticed Edwards AFB had a 'Flight Test Museum'. That sounds cool. We tried to go there, but a security guard (who told us he was a contractor due to personnel shortages) said the museum was closed to the public anymore - you needed a special invitation. So we kept going. I started to hear the theme song from 'Bagdad Cafe' in my head as we see more and more desert and tumbleweeds. Guess what, we'll be going right by the Bagdad Cafe tomorrow! As we studied the map for our eastward journey tomorrow, we noticed that we will be passing within 50 miles of Grand Canyon National Park. Hey! We can't pass that up - I think it's worth 100 miles, don't you? Next post ... Grand Canyon!

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