Leaving the Holton Desert Oasis

The roads taken:

Pearblossom Road in Palmdale, CA to Hwy 18

Hwy 18 to Apple Valley, CA, Hwy 15

Hwy 15 to Mesquite, Nev.

While RD attended Rawhyde Adventures offroad motorcycle course, I found refuge in the Holton Desert Oasis for home cooked food and free pitching lessons on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Thanks to Mark, Lisa, John and Alex for a wonderful visit. We were on the road, Wednesday, after a fantastic omelet and heading for Mesquite, Nevada.

Leaving Palmdale on Pear Blossom Highway, we took a slight detour on Hwy 18 to get in a few miles of hilly road that was fun. Next we picked up Hwy 15. Traffic was great. The wind wasn’t much of a hindrance at all. We made good time and stopped in Baker, California for lunch. It’s not hard to see the Bob’s Big Boy restaurant from the highway, but we chose The Mad Greek across the street because we were curious about the statues out front and the music inside. When you walk into the place, the first thing that hits you in the face is the glass display of baked goods and fruit. We feasted on the cold and sweet watermelon while waiting for the food. RD had the gyro and I dove into the Greek Salad, complete with grape leaves and rice. The music and tons of pictures of celebrities and murals were pretty restful while recuperating from the desert heat.

While I was finishing lunch, RD decided to top off the gas tank and met 3 riders from Finland. They drove from Chicago heading to Los Angeles. All three were dressed in plaid Bermuda shorts and helmets. We think one guy was even barefoot. They were all enjoying themselves. Don’t they sunburn in Finland? These guys were smiling big; it was hard not to smile back. They were definitely living in the moment.

While at The Mad Greek we watched the giant thermometer across the street read 97 degrees. And we still had the Baker Grade climb ahead of us. But we made it better than OK and actually survived going through Las Vegas during rush hour. I was surprised to see so many new casinos under construction. If the rest of the country is in a recession, no one told Las Vegas. What surprised me even more were the miniature Las Vegas towns before and after Vegas. And what happened to the Bonnie and Clyde car with 10,000 bullet holes? I know it was there in the 70’s.

About 45 miles north of Vegas is a little town called Mesquite. It is midway between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. Ranch land started back in the 1890’s by Mormon families traveling along the old Spanish trail has become a modern desert town complete with golf courses and casinos. At the Virgin River Casino, hotel rooms are $29.99 per night, Sunday through Thursday. They increase to $69 on the weekends. The lobby is full of slots and big screen TV’s with a long bar for watching NBA basketball during the playoffs. Or not.

Tomorrow RD is going to show me some sights from an earlier ride he took. Utah and Colorado here we come. There may be wildlife.

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