This is part 12 of a collection of diary entries by Dennis Fuller (Vikki‘s dad) during his holiday in Los Angeles (from London), January 2005. Links to earlier entries at the end of this post.
Woke up and felt really lazy, so without even getting out of bed I switched on the television, almost immediately the date came on (as above) and I laughed. I am in a motel in not so sunny California and Acton & West London College have paid me, aint life great. I stayed in bed and watched T.V. until about 9.00am. Got up and showered, this motel provides a ëcontinental breakfastí so I must try it. Nice breakfast room, just off the main reception, American cereals, fruit juice etc. I ate three toasted rolls with cheese on the first two and strawberry jam on the last one, very nice.
All ready to go by 10.30am, another nice thing about motels is that they never hassle you about leaving in the morning. I am going to try and drive straight through to Las Vegas today. First stop is the garage across the road to fill the tank; I asked the cashier if I was on the right road for Highway 99, which will take me to Bakersfield. She told me that a prettier route would be to go to Mariposa and get on the 140, it was lovely scenically speaking but I got a bit confused and decided to check with the Mariposa Tourist Centre. The gentleman there advised me that I would be foolish to carry on as the route would take me through the mountains and there was a big storm coming. Visions of the previous evening persuaded me to turn around and go back the way I had come. A 70 mile round trip for nothing but I had seen some fantastic scenery, sort of ranch land, which after all is what I had come for.
Took Highway 41 through Fresno along to Tulare where I took time out for a coffe and freshen up. Drove straight past Bakersfield as I had been told that it was just a huge industrialised town and stopped at Techapl. Starting to realise that I am not going to make it to Vegas. Saw this huge train and raced it, not very hard as they are a bit slow, to Mojave parked in the parking lot outside Mikeís Diner to cam cord the train. Had a little look around but thought Mojave was a bit boring saw a sign for California City so I decided to go and have a look. Wow California City, it sounded as if there would be a couple of saloons and a coral or something, in fact it was just a collection of houses not even a motel. So once again I find myself retracing my route, at least I have touched (barely) the desert. Had enough driving for one day so I am going to stay the night in Mojave and decide what to do. Booked into Whites Motel, as it is the closest to Mikeís Roadhouse CafÈ Bar & Grill. Fantastic place, had a Bowl of soup, a New York Strip with French Fries and peas all washed down with a couple of glasses of white wine, finished off with a nice cup of coffee. The bill came to 17 dollars and I was so pleased I gave the waiter $25. The great thing is that the dining room is about 40ft square and about 10 ft up around all the walls there is a shelf about 2 ft wide with pedal cars sat on it, there are all sorts of cars as well as tractors, boats and even a bi-plane, they were all on sale at $300, I reckon if I could ship them home I would easily sell them for £300 each.
Walked out of the restaurant through the door and walked into the bar, I love it. Met a guy in the bar called Dave, he worked at Andrews Air Force Base. He was telling me a story about Richard Branson visiting the base and seemed quite chuffed when I told him that Richard used to live a couple of blocks from where I live. I also told him about my disappointment that I would not make Vegas, he told me that it was only a three-hour drive, which sounds OK until you realise that you would then have a 9-hour drive back to Los Angeles. I think that the next time I do this and I am very clear that there is most definitely going to be a next time, I would still start in L.A. but I would then go to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon and then Texas, oh yes 2005 is going to be a really good year. Went Back to the motel and had a nightcap What a good boy I donít think I have been to bed later than 1.00am the whole holiday, mind you I suppose the driving is quite tiring Final thought Mike Roadhouse CafÈ and the Pedal cars CRAZY.