A visit to
Calico Ghost Town
eating breakfast we filled up the car for the first
time on the trip and we got something of a surprise
when it turned out that gasoline cost $ 3.36 per
Later we would see prices much lower, but also
prices that were higher).
We also had to adjust to how to tank.
First, the octane numbers are far lower than in
Why I do not know, but the Camaro was running on 87
octane, and tyhw lowest you can get in Denmark is 92
octane. Our own Renault Laguna runs on 95 octane.
The hardest thing now was to get used to that when we in Denmark have green
hoses for gasoline and black for diesel, it's just
the opposite in the U.S..
Well, we got the gasoline, and then we drove into
the hills behind the town.
Our first goal was the Carrizo Plain National
Monument, where we had read that the San Andreas
Fault would be very visible. We took
a little twisted, but very pretty mountain road,
that went south and east of the monument and we
passed a lot of windmills, but a driveway to the
monument we didn't locate.
So when we reached the tiny town of Maricopa, we
decided that we would only proceed to the next town,
Had we found not the entrance by then, we would
continue to Bakersfield, which should be the next
step on the road to today's goal in Barstow.
We didn't locate the entrance, so we did never see
the fault, but instead Taft (6400 inhabitants) was a
rather exciting city.
The whole town lived on petroleum and absolutely
Around the city, especially in the mountains west of
town stood drilling towers and oil pumps and the
city itself, was clearly solely dependent of the oil
On the tour around the town we saw more oil pumps
than I've seen in the rest of my life.
On the way from Santa Maria to Taft, we passed a
wind farm with thousands of windmills.
It was in our opinion not pretty and the pictures we took could be used as a
scare off for those who believe that wind power can
solve all our energy problems.
From Taft, we continued northwest along even smaller
roads, and here we passed a lot of citrus fruit and
They were all irrigated and we were obviously on
ourway out of to desert.
Shortly before Bakersfield we reached a freeway and
we went 5-7 miles km to the north, before we again
left it to go west toward Barstow.
In the town of Arvin we stopped.
Partly to switch drivers, but also so I could get a
cup of coffee.
From here we continued to Barstow through more and
more desert-like landscapes.
On this stretch we saw a lot of strange looking
trees, called Joshua trees, which further south in
California have their own national park.
Here they stood just in the desert along the road.
we got to Barstow, we found where we got our room.
For the first time on the trip, we had direct access
to the parking lot so we did not have to carry our
We took the luggage into the room and noticed that all towels,
washcloths, etc. were folded to look like elephants,
so there was a lot of elephants in the room.
When we had settled we left the hotel again. We took
Interstate Highway 15 to the ghost town of Calico,
that Dorte and I had visited four years earlier, and
as Tim also wanted to see.
Here we went for a ride through town and we took a
tour with a small train. On the trip we were told
the story of the town's heyday, when there were 30
1,200 people were in town when the population
It had a red light district "of three brothels and
23 saloons, and it even had its own Chinatown.
Today there are not many original buildings left,
but there are some, including Lane's General Store
and a few other. Of
Chinatown, only the foundations remain, and some buildings in town are
When we got back to the car park we enjoyed the
views of the city Yermo, and we were both
photographed at the car, so we had proof that we had
actually driven in a
When we got back to the hotel, we relaxed for an
hour and then we drove out to get some dinner.
Here we ran into the same problem as Dorte and I did
4 years earlier in the compound in Utah.
Because of the 4th of July celebrations, almost all
the restaurants were closed. We managed to
a local burger restaurant
we had our dinner.
- Return to Father and Son-
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