Lancaster Travel Blog› entry 27 of 94 › view all entries
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.
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.