Day 39 – Glen Helen Raceway to Alabama Hills

Overland Camping Roadtrip Blog

Travel Day 39:

Total km driven to date: 7664km

Total km walked to date: 308.67km

Glen Helen Raceway, CA – Alabama Hills, CA

395km drive

6.77km on foot

                This morning started off with the mass exodus from Glen Helen raceway with the majority of the teams packing up their gear and getting on the road. I decided it was time for an oil change since I have already driven over 7200km with an 18yr old motor and a camper to boot. Being close to San Bernardino I figured it was the best time to get it done since I plan on hitting some back roads for the next 1000 or so km. I detoured south to the nearest Instant Oil Change place and got them to give me a quicky and then I turned around and headed north on the US-215 which turns into the I-15 right back near Glen Helen Raceway. My plan is to travel up US-395 following the Sierra Nevadas into Yosemite. I stopped at a Pilot gas station outside of Hesperia only to run into a huge group of Mongols bikers, they were some big scary looking guys and it reminded me of Sons of Anarchy with all sorts of bikes and also assorted trucks and vans as support vehicles. They were very nice guys though and let me squeeze in to fill up with gas, California gas prices are all over the map but so far I’ve seen $4.70/Gal which is more than gas at home if you add the exchange rate (I fueled up at 3.69 thankfully). A far cry from my cheapest gas in Colorado at 2.55/gal! My truck battery has been giving me some grief and barely holding a charge (I have dual batteries but the second battery is just for the lights/fridge/accessories in my camper) so I decided to go to Walmart and pick up a new battery before I’m left stranded somewhere since I seem to always be camping in the most out of the way places!

                After that it was onto US-395 and through the high desert which is some of the most desolate terrain I’ve seen since Utah. I wanted to travel far enough north to get into the mountains a bit for some nicer scenery and also some cooler temperatures for sleeping. So far California has been quite cool only getting to the mid 30’s during the day and a proper desert that drops the temperature drastically at night. Not sure why that wasn’t happening in Utah, but it commonly would be 37* at sundown and still 35* by midnight there, makes for hard sleeping with no A/C. Here is has been in the mid 30’s during the day and by sunset already into the 20’s which is not bad at all. 395 runs straight north through some tiny towns that Im not sure how they survive and clearly some of them are not surviving judging by the amount of vacant and boarded up houses. When I was in Joshua Tree I met a nice older couple that told me I should come check out the Alabama Hills just west of Lone Pine, CA so thats where I sit right now. The terrain is extremely beautiful, very much like Joshua Tree with tons of huge boulders and neat rock escarpments, the difference is no trees or really anything aside from scrub and also the Sierra Nevadas looming along the western horizon. Its a really neat place and a complete surprise so I might stay here tomorrow night as well and do some hiking tomorrow and work on some of the backlog of photos I have from the race. I’ve got lots of time to kill with my next event not taking place until Aug 1-2 in Goldendale, WA. Did some night photography and watched multiple (10-15) sets of lights come crawling down the windy road out of the mountains in the distance at around 11:30……I almost want to drive over there to find out what they’re all doing in the mountains and why they would be coming down so late at night!

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