Sunday, April 19, 2015

San Diego to Las Vegas

Oy!  It was a long drive today.  San Diego to Las Vegas is a hike and a half.  We left a day early, having decided after a week in the city that we did not want to be driving in Monday morning traffic.  This is the first giant back up we saw going south bound, near Lake Elsinore.  The exit had backed up onto the freeway, blocking the left two lanes.  The backup went on for miles.  I think I would go somewhere else.

This is a dry lake somewhere.  It was pretty with the white of the alkali.

This is really cool.  This is the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in the Mojave Desert.  It deploys 173,500 heliostats that direct the sun's energy at three towers.  The towers get hot, boil water, make steam and that turns turbines.  It's eerie when you crest the hill and see these things glowing out in the distance.  Apparently it has not been as efficient as it was projected to be.  Clouds, contrails and weather are being blamed.  The facility was originally planned to be larger, but was scaled back so as not to infringe on desert tortoise habitat.  They are setting fire to birds who fly between the heliostats and the towers.

My sample size is only one, but I think I can say that departing Las Vegas on Sunday to return to San Diego is a bad idea.  This traffic jam literally stretched for 20 miles.  TWENTY!  Please make a note of it.  This gives new meaning to "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

There are two 4,000 foot summits on the route.  There is a 10 mile 6% descent off the second summit.  There first truck stops are in Lenwood, CA, near Barstow.  Between San Diego and Barstow there are really no places for a Class A towing to stop.  You will want to manage your coffee consumption with that in mind.
Tomorrow we are moving on to Hurricane, Utah; which will be a short day.

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