What a day, headwinds, boring desolate desert country, heavy traffic, 32 degrees C, 30 minutes to get 2 gallons of petrol. Apart from that, we certainly covered some ground.
Left Las Vegas early and headed for Hoover Dam. That was the start of the rough country. The hills around the area where the dam is built are just rock, no substantial vegetation whatsoever. The dam is on the Colorado river and holds back Lake Mead which supplies Las Vegas and the surrounding area with water supplies and no doubt with a water playground. A few years ago, a new bridge, Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, was built to span the gorge at a height far higher that the dam wall to replace the original and much lower down bridge. Rode over the bridge and back, wind blowing quite strongly, then went for a walk across the pedestrian path before going down to the wall for a ride across it and back.
Then we headed west again and into the Desert country as the temperature climbed toward the forecast 33 degrees C. Around 4 - 5 hours of this including head winds. The only respite for the day was a range crossing where we climbed back up to the 4600 ft we were used to and the temperature dropped to 25 degrees C for a while but then back up when we returned to the desert floor. I'm glad we didn't take the Death Valley route. Interesting time getting fuel for a longer leg of today's travel. We pulled into town and dropped into the first service station and went to get petrol, Cash or Debit Card only and it wouldn't accept the card. Moved on to another station and again the card was not accepted, FastPay again. Therese went inside to get the operator to start the pump, the servo was full, about 12 pumps, and one cashier/operator. California has fume recovering nozzles and this was my first encounter with them. Getting it to work was easy but once it cut off, topping off the tank was not as easy. Ended up only getting two gallons of the three I expected, I've worked them out now but that travel leg was getting to worrying point before I found somewhere to refuel again.
Dropped into a Rest Area for lunch about 2:30pm. 5 hours of riding and only two rest areas sighted. They surely don't encourage rest breaks over here, the truckies are lucky to get a bit of graded dirt to pull off onto when they need a break. At one point a gust of wind was so strong we ended up in the Emergency lane and had to battle to get it back in the correct lane.
Our motel is on the western side of Bakersfield and the GPS pulled a swiftie on us this afternoon. I think it was making up for yesterday's performance. It only misbehaved once today then gave a more interesting route after a stressful day. Instead of the expected route through the city, we ended up going south and passing through some nice country which seems to be a bit of a salad bowl with various fruit trees and grapes growing. Grapes for the Californian wine production I suspect. There was a lot of new planting of, I assume, fruit trees. I don't know how big of a producer the area currently is but it looks like it is set to boom in the near future.
We have undertaken some planning tonight to finalise the last two weeks of the trip to find an extra night in San Francisco and to get us back to Vancouver to catch up with John and Terry then catch our flight back to Los Angeles.
Another big day tomorrow but it should be a lot more pleasant, After a run west to the coast we will then be following the coast north most of the way back to Canada.
631 klms today, total to date 14,906 klms.