Saturday, April 24, 2010

We arrived in Blythe, CA around 8 PM on Saturday evening. 93 degrees when we pulled into the motel. There was an tremendous amount of traffic in the Los Angeles area this afternoon. All the usual routes from I-5 to transition East to I-10 were just packed. Took a long time, but we made it!

An intersection on Old Hwy 99, near Traver, California. Interesting place!

The general store there. Fresh oranges in a stand, with some other local fruit and strawberries. It was in the low 80's here today, beautiful weather.

There were 8 or 10 separate businesses here at the tourist trap.

Don (vsp) has always secretly wanted to be a farmer! He's have fun playing with this tractor!

A John Deere Sportster.

A Gingerbread house in the back of the other buildings.

The entire floor of one of the dining areas was covered with pennys embedded in epoxy.

This old Chevy was pretty cool. Didn't know if it was a customer's or just part of the scene.

The Noriega Hotel, bar, restaurant, and boarding house. This is in a Basque neighborhood in Bakersfield.

Jai-lai court next to the Noriega Bar. It looks like it's not been used for a long time.

The Bar. We just stopped for lunch.

The Basque picnic will be going on while we're in Maggie Valley.

Sheep Dip and Fire Water among the other libations from the "Top Shelf"

The waitress welcomes us into the dining room. No menu. One seating. If you're there at noon, you eat and pay. There are still about 10 boarders that live in the old hotel. They eat breakfast and lunch here, after the paying guests have eaten.

Lunch was lamb stew, some nice garlic covered pork chops, green salad, red beans, French Fries, 2 kinds of cheese, and bread. You could have all the wine you wanted to drink with the meal, we didn't partake today. No choice of seating, they put you in with the rest of the old men, and were at their mercy to pass the food, which they were not very good at. It was interesting, but $14 each plus a tip was a little high for the quality of food and how it was served, just in my opinion. VSP loves the place! :-)

One of Southern California's familiar sights. These oil pumpers are all over the hills and dales in this part of the State.
We passed many acres of California Poppys. Too much traffic to try and stop along I-5, I snapped this from the window as we drove down the Grapevine.

Friday, May 7, 2010. I left Coos Bay before 6 AM in the Toyota pickup, going to Stockton to meet up with Don Inamasu (vsp). We'll be leaving in the morning enroute Maggie Valley, NC, to attend a VROC motorcycle rally.

To start this blog, I'm using this Hibiscus picture taken in the Pony Village Mall in Coos Bay last weekend. It's just sooooo pretty :-)

Picture for Zmean1. This is the same horse that I should have stopped to take a picture of back in 2006. I saw it, thought about stopping, but was anxious to travel the last 50 miles to get home. This horse is the last thing I remember, the wreck was 10 miles further West from here...

I grew up here in Grants Pass, OR. In the 18 years I lived there, I never saw a hot air balloon!

I didn't take any pictures going down I-5. My other blogs are full of pictures from that area by Mount Shasta, etc. This is Dave Wong's, in Stockton. The place VSP picked out for dinner. He pre-ordered 6 items, none which are on the normal menu. He arranged with the personnel who discussed the order with the cooks and agreed to make the meal.

After only 2 protein bars today, I was ready for dinner. Actually, it was pretty light, but delicious!

Don's mother, Leona is now 88 years old. Since Don will be gone, this is her Mother's Day dinner. She's a good eater!

Don's sister, Laura, joined us. She was fun to talk with at dinner. They have been eating in this place for years. Don went to High School with Dave Wong.

Don taking his food pictures. Since the new camera I ordered didn't get here in time for the trip, my pictures will be a little disappointing on this blog. When possible, I'll use the larger camera, but it's too big to carry into places like this...

There was plenty of food, and some left over. The stuffed chicken wings were excellent. I'll let Don tell more about them on his blog.

It's not BBQ, but it's a start! Don is showing off his ability to use the chop stix. I think this will be an early night for me. I didn't sleep last night, and drove well over 500 miles today. So this is the end of day one!