It looks the same

I hit the road this morning after swapping out rental cars, checking out, and having Noah load the van with all of his stuff.

The first part of the trip went smoothly, if not so stupefyingly boring that I had to play with the radio to keep focused. Then there was the accident on I10W which was in the final stages of being cleaned up. I must assume that most of the looky-loos hadn’t ever seen anyone with a broom before. Otherwise how can one explain a three mile stau?

After hitting road construction and another hour lost to laboriously slow traffic where my only entertainment was watching the couple in the car ahead of me. He was driving while she was all over him, less subtle than a cat in heat. After 30 minutes, I changed lanes and took myself out of range.

The landscape ranged from desert to high desert punctuated by the occasional rest stop (closed). Liking the google directions better than my GPS, I bailed off the interstate to take CA62 toward 29 Palms with the plan of then picking up 347 to Barstow where I could pick up I15 followed by CA 58. Actually you don’t care about the roads and directions – except probably for Brad & Cheré who were stationed at FT Irwin a couple of decades ago.

But while I was going on with all of my two lane cross country driving one of those blinding flashes of the obvious hit me. This is desert, high desert to be sure, but desert none the less. 29 Palms is in the desert. No wonder all the Marines & supporting Navy staff rotating from there through the various camps in Kuwait didn’t think anything of the environment. After all, it was just like home only a bit hotter.

Admittedly, the roads here are better and the chances of IEDs are less, bit there is no lack of trashed, abandoned vehicles along some of the roads. Add in a few camels….. Anyway, my drive across a couple hundred miles of roads had me thinking back a decade or more to temperatures that would make today’s 42*C (~108F) seem like a balmy spring day. It is nice to be driving a civilian vehicle. To not be wearing battle rattle and absent people shooting at me is a definite plus.

Spending 15 months in the deserts of Kuwait was one thing. Living in this type of area as a choice? A bit too barren for my tastes.

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7 Responses to It looks the same

  1. Clint says:

    Wish that you had said something before your drive. You just drove right by us. Any chance that you will come back this way? We are just off the 15 & 10.

  2. Lynne says:

    Holly I remember fondly my many long hauls over I 10. Smart to get off if you can. The worst of it I think is Texas, which goes on forever and has a gas station about every 100 miles and then it’s 50 miles off exit.
    Don’t know if you’re going this far but some of the prettiest viewing in the country is off of I-10 in west Louisiana bayou country. If you get a chance to spend a night in Lafayette don’t miss it.
    Have fun and stay safe.

  3. Jen says:

    It’s neat you had the cooler, civilian, properly paved revisiting of your desert deployments. And choosing to live there? Ron is missing the lack of humidity- 80 F here in AL feels worse than 100 F there in desert CA- and pushing me to reconsider staying in AL forever.

  4. Holly says:


    not driving along this way again – definitely like ships better than autos!

  5. Lynne says:


    How far are you going?
    It’s quite along haul and yes the view is definitely better on ships.

  6. Bruce says:

    I hope the roads are a little smoother than the dirt roads in Q8.

  7. Carmen says:

    I don’t think the dessert will ever feel like home to me, but it is amazing.

    Having in-car AC is a big plus.

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