Saturday, May 2, 2009
Today’s goal was Mesa, Arizona, with a start from San Diego.
I decided to take the I-10 instead of the I-8, which runs almost along the Mexican border, as that way I get a better entrance to Phoenix. From where I was, I went north to San Bernardino, and then turned east. Maybe half an hour past that the city dries up and you’ve hit desert. I’m glad I’m doing this trip in early May and not the height of the summer; as it is the temperature today hit 32C (over 90F). Before you get to Palm Springs, wind turbines show up on both sides of the road, almost like they’re fields growing them. I stopped at Desert Hot Springs for gas (which was right by the turbines) and the wind was just howling. If we get a wind like that back home, it’s with the rain (and probably hail) is coming in sideways! The guy at the gas station said it’s like that all the time. From Palm Springs on, it starts feeling really lonely, with signs warning you there are no services for 60 miles. I stopped to find a bathroom in a place called Desert Center — no one would care about a dot this small (population 125) except for the fact there’s nothing for 40 miles to the east and 60 miles to the west! The vegetation is different too. While San Diego is relatively green, in Mesa, many ‘lawns’ are actually rock gardens.
For tomorrow, the plan is to go to church here in Mesa, and then drive to El Paso, although I might drive further as I hope to make it to Dallas the next night, and there’s about 1000km between the two….
Leave Valley Center CA — 11:02am (PDT) — 222,298km
Desert Hot Springs (lunch $6.42, gas $23.95) — 12:40 to 1:35pm —- 222,476km
Ehranberg AZ (nap) — 3:15 to 3:50pm — 222,672km
Buckeye (gas $24, snacks $2.03) — 5:30pm — 222,856km
Arrive Mesa — 6:30pm (PDT) — 222,945km
Today — US$56.40 — 6 hours — 647km
Total — CAD$589.65 — 33:20 hours — 3424km