The usual riddle is What’s big, black and white, and drives like a whale?
But that’s a little deceptive – even though Devon has owned the Orca a bit over two years, I only first got to drive it yesterday, on the way down from Palo Alto to Tehachapi, and honestly, it drives just fine.
Devon has taken the Orca out on a few jaunts around northern California while I’ve been doing my my own gallivanting from up at the farm, but this is the first time we’ve taken it out together, and I think the longest trip it’s been on since she bought it from a fellow in Los Angeles back in the beforetimes.
We’d had an even bigger, airline and passport-requiring adventure planned for earlier this month. It got canceled by the booking company due to rapidly-changing COVID-requirements, so we decided to push a couple of weeks and create our own little adventure. We’ve got roughly a week blocked out for cruising around the interior of Southern California – Joshua Tree, Salton Sea, Anza Borrego, meeting up with old friends in Tehachapi and the San Diego area. And intersecting with not one, but both of our offspring on their own trips to the LA area.
We camped last night in the driveway of one of my best buddies from the South Pole, the indefatigable and intrepid Linda McDermott (see the Pablo and Linda’s South Pole Water Experiments, scientifically answering the question, “If you pee off the deck at the South Pole, does it freeze before it hits the ground?”). We got to see the famed Tehachapi Railway Loop (sorry, pilots, not that kind of loop – it goes around a horizontal circle to handle the steep grade). Bypassed the Last Woolworth’s Counter Diner (closed, temporarily), and drove through miles and miles of wind turbines. Put our money down at the self-proclaimed “Greatest Gift Shop Ever” in Little Rock, also claiming to have the hottest beef jerky in the world. Roamed the desert with fiberglass dinosaurs (a sign kindly requests, “Maximum one minute in the T. Rex’s mouth when other guests are waiting.”)
We’ve got a campsite reservation inside Joshua Tree for tonight, and from there? Well, we’ll see where the Orca takes us.