Monday, June 23, 2008

Shoshone, California to Kingman, Arizona, 1982



My sister Linda's August 1982 chronicle picks up after we left Death Valley:

Stopped at Shosone for gas and human energy fill up ($5). The pass on 178 was really easy and gradual, thank the gods. We are now headed through upland desert (tufts again) towards Pahrump (elevation 2668 ft.). Heading towards Nopah Range and into Las Vegas, Nevada, (state #15).

All right! We've stayed longer in California than any other state: from chilly coastal Baredon[?] by the sea to silent [?] misty mountains and redwoods to big cities and crazy Berkeley, the High Sierras and switchback passes and icy lakes to the lowest point, and hottest, in the Western Hemisphere -- Death Valley.

20 Miles to Vegas. Blue diamond red rock canyons float in a hazy space. More rain clouds everywhere. Man on horse. Caves. Fuqua mobile homes, Air Force, Lola and Linda streets. "What's that you're doing?"

Vulgar Vegas, we rode the strip of neon and decided Wayne Newton could do without us. No desire to do more than drive the strip and get out! Flooded road with two huskies. FM 91 Las Vegas U. station, groovy jazz. Tacky chapels.

Stopped for food ($5).

Boulder City. Grapes of Wrath migrators in red bomb.


Across the great Hoover Dam, Lake Mead. Raining of all things in this desert. No ram/sheep seen. Blue skies ahead.

15 miles west of Kingman -- incredible rainy skies of negative colors: grey, white, black, brown and numerous shades in between.

$4.50 stop at Kingman (Route 66).

(to be continued at some point).

Ah, like photos and bubbling memories, this takes me right back.

My old Armenian friend Nishan "Baba" Toumajan said: roam the earth like a firebug! (He also said, back in the early 80s: "We need another FDR in this country!")

Been in Detroit since 1997 -- the longest anywhere -- and love it. But the call of the road often beckons still.

Today's Rune: Growth. RIP George Carlin (1937-2008).

7 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Again, your sister is a very good writer. Did she ever try to publish any of this?

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks, Charles. This is the first time it's been put out there in the public sphere, working from the travel notebook. She does write for traditional publication, mostly historical archaeology and anthro. By the way, she loves fantasy and science fiction and all sorts of things, too. We co-wrote a sort of John Carter on Mars manuscript, alternating chapters, about the same time. If I can find it . . . she'd love your books! I'll be sure to send copies to her later this summer.

Beth said...

I'm so jealous y'all made this trip! I've always wanted to meander cross-country.

the walking man said...

Crazy Berkley...yes I remember it well...The vacuum cleaner dam and the rain in the desert, that was a bit disconcerting, almost as much as the bee sting I received in the arid lands.

No where will your own exceptional talents be appreciated like they are in Detroit. There is a certain appeal to being from a place shaped like a gauntlet.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks Beth and Mark/WM --
makes me want to get out on the road again, but I do love Detroit, shaped like a gauntlet and all.

Cheers!

Charles Gramlich said...

Whatever happened to that co=wrote JC of Mars manuscript?

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