Calico Ghost Town (3)

For Rita: Zee Froggy

This was a travel day. Getting down to the deserts means some big miles on at least a couple of the days. Since there is very little of interest along I-5, we tend to just push through, all the way to the big highway hub of Barstow. Travel on 5 in that part of the state is usually not stressful because there are passing lanes, very few merges or lane changes, and plenty of gas. Really, the only news of the day had to do with gas stations.

Note to future I-5 trailering selves: do NOT pull off at the first Shell station after Los Banos. It is so small and awkward, I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to get through. There is a good looking Chevron off exit 385, and another good looking fill up opportunity in Panoche, with multiple stations. We learned previously NOT to try gassing up at the Kettleman City exit.

Got in too late at night to visit the ghost town, but we’ll stop here again on the way back.

There was dense fog in the morning, that did not dissipate at all until we got up to Tehachapi. It was striking enough that we looked it up, and now we know what “Tule fog” means. Apparently, it is good for us, so ok, fine. Glad I wasn’t driving at night for sure because the visibility was low sometimes.

Penny’s is now a ‘must do’ destination

We now genuinely look forward to staying at Calico Ghost Town. Not because it is the most amazing campground, but because it is funky, and lies in close proximity to Penny’s Diner. We talked about, and looked forward to, breakfast for dinner all day. It is reliably open 24/7, even on holidays, and was everything we needed it to be after about 7 hours of driving.

We may be telling Randy later, “Aaaaannd there! Right there. That’s where the pipes froze. See it on the graph? Definitely froze right there.”

Another xmas present for Dory: a tiny bluetooth thermometer. We will be braving sub freezing temperatures on this trip, and even with a layer of foam insulation zip tied to the external Pex pipes, we may be pushing it. This little thermometer will send real time data, complete with graphs of past data, so that we can ….. I’m not sure. I guess watch the graphs while freezing the pipes. It’s not like we’re gonna want to move at 5am or go out there with a blow torch. But it’s a fun gadget anyway.

Next stop: Joshua Tree! After several years of reserving and then cancelling, we may just make this one happen.

Total miles: 327.0, 15.7, 6 hours 55 min. This time got 1-2 bars of LTE most times. Hookups, good dump. Great gas stations downtown. Any service imaginable in Barstow. I like the route of: 5 to 46 to 43 to 58. Very minimal time spent on 99. Thumbs up.

4 thoughts on “Calico Ghost Town (3)

  1. I had a winter home in Yucca Valley at one time, I spent a lot of time in Joshua Tree, the town and the park, Twenty Nine Palms. I’m getting nostalgia for that country. Thanks

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