Exactly six weeks ago I had started this very special journey and on the agenda today was simply "get the last 400 miles back home".
On my way to Bakersfield I noticed some lonesome houses that had become the target for someone's creative urge.
Otherwise, I did not stop very often. Just here and there to capture the open landscape along US-58 and through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
My route brought me through Bakersfield, which is also known as "Nashville West" or "California's Country Music Capital". Due to the severe dust storms in the 1930s settlers from the Great Plains migrated into California and brought their Country Music also to Bakersfield (see blog entry from Oct 15th).
There are some fairly ugly areas around Bakersfield. Years ago, I had met someone from there and she used to tell people that she was from LA, did not want to admit her real home town. I kind of understand why. The closer I got to the city, the more the sky darkened and it felt really depressive. Maybe it was due to a lot of smog or just because of some rainy weather in the forecast?
I briefly stopped for lunch at a little town called Lindsay (near Fresno), surrounded by citrus orchards. My dear friend and former co-worker Virgie grew up there and I drove by the Sacred Heart Church where she got married.
And then finally, after some nerve-wrecking driving on busy highways 101 and 85, and precisely 8,366 miles (13,464 km) and countless extraordinary impressions later, there I was back home. Safe and sound and happy to be with Guido again!
Would I do such trip again? Yes, absolutely! But certainly not tomorrow! :-)