First published 13 August, 2008
Headin’ out of Flagstaff early in the morning, the San Francisco Peaks stand behind the trees and meadows. The grass alongside the road was bright with sunflowers and indian paintbrush.
The day is clear, the road not so much. It’s not as bad as LA during rush hour, but I’ve got a lot of pictures with the butt end of a truck in them.
The road starts down the long slope to Seligman, with enthusiastic sunflowers to wave as we go by.
I took this picture to capture the winding road. I didn’t realize until later, I had a picture that showed the blaze of vivid mustard on both sides of the road.
Imagine both sides of the road awash in golden blooms. The Yellow Brick Road was never so golden. And edged in ever present sunflowers.
Six percent grade, headed down out of the mountains. Road is steep, the view is magnificent. I remember driving this grade last week, tucked in behind a trucker, strobe flashes of lightning showing the mountains around me, the downpour trying to wash us all off the road. This is easier, but… that was exciting!
West of Flagstaff, long sections of Route 66 no longer exist as a separate road. Segments may exist as dirt roads on private property, or simply a wide stripe through the trees. The bare green stripes to the right of the road may be all that’s left of Route 66 in this place.
Sometimes, road crews just cut on through, adapting the land to our needs.
And sometimes, we gotta go around.
Or both at once.
I’ve taken a lot of pictures of mountains, clouds, sky, but I never get over my delight and joy at the layers of colors and textures each vista presents.
Sometimes looking like cardboard cutouts or painted backdrops for a play.
Crossing the Colorado in to California, the pictures are full of railing and railroad bridge.
The view back across the valley shows the Colorado River and the green of the agriculture that its water generates.
Stopping in Needles for gas, a stack of casualties of the road. And stacked neatly behind, their ever ready replacements.
Heading into the Mojave, the joshua trees are in bloom.
Driving thru the Mojave, sometimes the only sign of man’s impact is the double ribbon of the interstate sliding into the hazy distance, punctuated by signs, rest stops, and very small towns.
This dry lake brings to mind the words of the song “Horse With No Name” about a river that’s dead. Rivers in deserts are never dead, only dormant. If you can see the riverbed, it’s been scoured clean by flashflood, and kept alive by the sporadic rainfall. This lakebed still lives, probably flourishing when the snow melts.
When you think of desert, often low rolling sand dunes come to mind. The Mojave has long rolling hills of rock and sparse scrub. The Mojave has some fascinating geology: lava flows, and mountains with a split personality. Some of the mountains look like they’re shadowed. They’re not. And, of course, the many layers of landscape I love, with the mountains seemingly floating in the distance.
Sometimes the road gets a bit crowded. I have more faith in the common sense of long haul truckers than I do many others on the road, but even so…
It’s a leetle tight in here.
These power transmission lines look like they bring power in from Hoover Dam. They’re coming from the right direction.
Coming to the end of Interstate 40, at Interstate 15, into Barstow, and then back into LA.
Heading south in I-15, these are the backsides of the mountains that ring the LA basin. I suppose I should have taken more pics as we went thru LA. Maybe the mountains from the other side. But I’ve seen the mountains, and the traffic. If you want to come visit, I’ll give you a tour. Right now, I’m taking a nap. It’s been a long trip.