Day 18 - Needles to 3000 miles

Woke up in Needles with pins and needles cursing up and down my fally leg.   Matt had me stocked up with pain killers and ankle wrapped in ice in no time.  It took some time to get going... I recall an event from the day before that needed blogging....

The afternoon before we encountered our only real border control at the California state line the where we had to declare "stuff".    Matt shuffled around in the back seat to show them a giant seed we had picked up earlier in the trip that is as big as the dome on a maraca but it doesn't make any noise.  The state guard shrugged, as if to indicate that California had them too and so whoop-de-doop.... and Matt happily ping ponged it back into the car.  Whether or not we can get it home is another thing - will make a good desk toy for Matt's office until it turns into a sasquatch.

We then headed to Goffs and saw our first signs to Los Angeles.  Matt kept correcting my Geoff with Goff, each time I mentioned the town until he gave up trying to get the right word in my head.  We stopped at the Wagon Wheel restaurant when Matt spotted workers repainting the road with the infamous 66 sign.  They repaint it every year.

We then dipped into the Majove desert by 10:30am it was 76 degrees Fahrenheit and climbing rapidly.  There were so many trains on the full route until late California.  Trains that needed five engines and pulling 112 + transport cars.   Some trains were covered with ornate graffit, and it was interesting to note that these artists respected each other's work and deface other tags. 

Fenner was a tiny oasis in the desert..... but had the most expensive Gas in the USA!  Over 5 dollars per unit.  to park cost $10 so not really much of an oasis and we carried on.

Essex was another Ghost town with a population of 100.  Names written in large stones ran along the highway and a railway embankment, many were colourful and creative but meant tackling the sheer heat of the desert to collect enough stones to sign your name (and dodge what would also be snake country)..... no thank you.  We hit our 3000th mile here and it was a joy in the midst of the desert and hills with the road ribboning off into the distance.  We took pictures to mark the moment.

Chambless was a small town in the middle of the desert which had more palm trees than people.  It must have taken some work to irrigate the land as it looked so out of place.

Amboy had a famous sign that is in many films but it is very run down and the desert winds are unkind to the structures.  It did have a crater though.... we saw the edge of it as the structure climbed high into the sky.  We walked to a viewing station but that wasn't the crater. We would later learn that we would need to hike for 3 hours to see it... not on your nelly in the desert and on crutches.   We ate cold satsumas ad homemade cheese sandwiches instead.