Now we talk roadtrip! The distances are huge in California and Nevada and so is my way back to Cali’s shore, where I booked a shabby Motel room for the night in a place called Santa Maria. Just read up somewhere that it’s the best entrance to the stunning, breathtaking beauty of the Pacific’s coastline along PCH-1. I leave I-15 at JCT 395, it leads me direct into the Mojave, California’s huge desert in the east. It seems endless and I just cruise, 80 mp/h shows my tacho, it seems like 30 km/h, the mountains pass by so slowly and the hours pass as if it were minutes, like in a beautiful dream. There is basically nothing, some civilized spots every 30 – 40 miles, some big solar energy power plants, albeit from that just sand, dryland, some dried bushes, some cactaceae, mountains, blue sky and some clouds. It’s a beauty for itself.
After some time, I decide not to stop anymore to take pictures, but to take them while riding the car out of the front window with my phone… Works great – and snap – just after I start, I am pulled over by the cops. They don’t issue a ticket, lucky me, but they fine the rental company for not having the insurance papers on the car. Hope ALAMO won’t charge me for that, since it is their mistake after all… It’s a strange feeling to be stopped by an American cop in the middle of nowhere and he has always his hand at the gun, man.
The way leads into the mountains and the Mojave ends abruptly. The mountains become more and more green over here. The region I enter now is called the Sequoia National Forest.
I come along Lake Isabella, which is beautiful and the mountains get higher and the streets narrow and become steeper. The countryside looks just as out of a Western movie, totally transformed from desert now to plenty of farms, with huge stones and creeks in between, it’s like in a movie and I have the certain feeling, that the dudes who produced Rockstar’s Game Red Dead Redemption must have lived here or at least must have hung out a lot in the plains.
It starts to dawn and the sun hides behind the mountains quickly. I push the gas since I don’t want to ride this street at nighttime, the Americans go crazy in regard to speed over here, same like we would do in the alps. I just make it out of the mountains in the last light and what I see surprises me. I find a countryside totally similar to what I have seen travelling Italy and the Tuscany region. They grow their wine over here, those are wine yards for sure, and I don’t wonder about that at all. There was sun the whole time, the grapes will have the water from the mountains on the western side, since all the water from the Pacific goes down here – in contrast the east side of those mountains is arid as hell, the Mojave desert starts over there. It’s a great trip and seeing how drastically nature changes on maybe 100 miles diameter is impressive, too.
At 10:30 p.m. I finally reach my Motel, room is OK, not more not less. Anyways just a place to sleep and since my credit card won’t work anymore and I don’t have too many cash left, I decide to not book for Santa Cruz and just travel there and see what’s going on the next day…