Into Lancaster

Lancaster Travel Blog

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The Arizona desert
 

It was tough leaving the air-conditioned comfort of Jerry and Amanda's house in Phoenix to continue the final westward stretch across the desert landscape. But I cruised with a grin, enjoying La Bamba's own air-conditioning; my window down and left elbow propped outside its sill. That left arm became noticeably more sun tanned than the right. Besides for retrieving dropped items, I used an onboard back-scratcher to roll down the passenger-side window and tweak its rear-view mirror.

 

The drive from Jerry's to Lancaster CA took about seven hours in the slow-moving VW. Though I maintained an easy 60-65 miles per hour pace, I stopped often to absorb the desert scenery and gawk at endless tumbleweeds, rocks, and cactus.

California sunset
Many of the towering man-shaped cactus had outstretched arms which were peppered with bullet holes - probably the result of urban cowboys mixing egos with alcohol and ammo. In Michigan too, they like to shoot yellow signs painted with black animal silhouettes but out here in the West, the cactus seems a more inviting target.

 

Upon leaving Gladstone, I had scribbled the number 41187 in red grease pencil onto the inside of my windshield. When I finally pulled up to my brother Larry's house in Lancaster, I flashed a Mini Mag-Lite at the odometer since I had no operating dash lights. The new reading was 45187 - the VW had traveled exactly 4,000 miles. Normally, the trip would have been around 2,400 miles but the backtrack from Kansas to Missouri, the side-trip to Nogales and back to Sierra Vista, and the wide diversion south to bypass the Rocky Mountains, all added miles, variety, and adventure to the long drive.

 

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The Arizona desert
The Arizona desert
California sunset
California sunset
Lancaster
photo by: portia