My wife Margaret and I flew out of Brisbane, Australia on a direct flight to LA. 13 hour flight went well but couldn't sleep. Just rested eyeballs. LAX was really busy this time but we managed to escape in the end and jumped on the Alamo shuttle bus to go and pick up rental car we had hired through Auto Europe, a broker. We have gone through Auto Europe twice now and it has saved us a fair bit of money. More of that later. Always pays to check the rental car companies as well though as sometimes they have a special on.
Arrived at Alamo and checked in. Took out another cover for loss of keys and flat battery. They wanted to upgrade us to a Jeep but we said no as that would have given them a chance to add all there fee's. We had a choice of a Kia, Chevy Malibu and a Toyota Camry that had only done 4500 miles. We chose the Toyota but soon wished we had picked the Malibu. Was pretty tinnie. Could hear the panels rattling now and then and we would clash elbows now and then as it was a bit narrow.
Off we went out of town and headed for Barstow for the night. We had this placed booked before we flew out of Brisbane. Had to for customs. Only other place we booked was Las Vegas and that was to get the specials. Big difference if there is something on in town.
I 15 heading towards Barstow.
Once we had booked in, we headed out to Peggy Sue's Diner just on the outskirts of town. Great place that has been there for years and the lady owner's name really is Peggy Sue. There was a few rooms there and they were all busy.
Military stock pile across from Peggy Sue's.
Next morning we headed out of Barstow to Baker where we were turning off for Death Valley. There was a interesting Alien building there just near the turn off. We stopped and had a look. Was a fun place. Alien Beef Jerky.
We left Baker and drove out to Shoshone and checked in at the I centre. (info) Very helpful lady there gave us lots of great advice for travelling in Death Valley. Like plenty of water. Phones don't work out there and if you are lucky, the HWY Patrol may drive out there once a day. So be prepared.
The Info Centre and Museum
Old Shoshone Saloon.
Off we went again on our adventure. It was great to see Death Valley. Temperature was 117F for part of it.
We drove carefully and kept an eye on temperature gauge getting to Badwater.
We didn't walk all the way out there. It was way to hot. Very dry heat. Lots of people did though.
Up a bit further we turned off on to the one way road to Artist Pallette. Beautiful drive.
We didn't walk to far so missed out on some great sights we are sure. Walked for a couple of hundred yards but that was it. So hot. At one point I had to use the thunderbox and the air twirling around under it was even hotter. Didn't sit there to long I'm telling you.
We didn't walk past that point. It was about 300 yards/metres to sunset point but I wasn't capable of doing it in the heat.
We drove on and not far from the Death Valley centre building, the road swings back and heads back towards Pahrump. We still hadn't booked anywhere for the night and I wanted to be real sure we had enough gas to get back so we followed that road around and headed out past Zabriskie Point. How stunning was this place. Magnificent.
Well worth the drive out there. We drove to Pahrump and booked into a Best Western for the night. Had dinner there and the waitress's were flatout like Lizard's drinking water. One really looked after us well. We taught her Aussie slang in return. Next morning we went to Walmart to get a sim card for Margaret's phone. Couldn't believe how many people were working there. Different to what it used to be. Couldn't walk down an isle without being greeted by at least two smiling staff. Lady there went to a lot of trouble to sort out a card for the phone and after a bite to eat, we headed out to Las Vegas. That's another story for later. Need a break.
Keithg (Aka Banana Eater)