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Published: August 9th 2016
The Calico Ghost Town.
A few years ago when we were driving from Yosemite to Las Vegas we passed the Calico Ghost Town but did not have time to visit. Since then it had been parked on our list of things to do and now that we were almost in the right area again the time had come.
Of course that meant facing the LA freeways again, but as it was a Sunday morning that would mean that they would be no where near as bad as they had been over the last couple of days. Yes, right, how naïve was that. They were every bit as bad and this time we had the task of crossing from one side of LA to the other, which is an unbelievably long way.
After a long, long while we were on the Interstate heading towards Las Vegas. Even once we were way out of the city and deep into the Mojave Desert the road was still five lanes in each direction. They don't mess about when it comes to the roads in Southern California.
Unsurprisingly the deeper we got into the desert the dryer it got and the hotter it got. By the time
The old school house in the Calico Ghost Town.
we reached Calico, it was 108°F. Suddenly the temperature in San Francisco seemed a highly attractive proposition, despite what we said at the time. The phase "be careful what you wish for" came to mind.
There were no problems finding Calico as there are big, white "Hollywood" like letters on a hill high above it, albeit painted directly on to the rock rather than free-standing.
Our daughter took one look at Calico and announced that it was just like Frontier Land at Disney. It shows that Disney had obviously done a good job, but we still tried to explain to her that Disney is based on the frontier towns of the old west, not the other way round.
Calico was nice to walk around and see what life was like. I can't imagine having to work in a place so hot especially hard graft in a mine, but then I am used to an air conditioned office in a city where it very rarely reaches such temperatures.
It cost extra to walk through the mine itself, which we thought was a bit tight.
Calico is very close to Route 66, so we just had to
Driving the historic Route 66.
drive along part of it to make sure that we had the bragging rights of having driven Route 66, even if it was just for a few miles. No one would lend me a convertible or a Harley Davidson, which would have added further to those bragging rights.
On the way back we saw what we first thought was a bizarre cloud, then we wondered if it was some sort of dust storm. The view on one side of the road the sky was clear and blue, on the other side it seemed to be cloudy. First it was a white cloud and then it started to change to an increasingly dense shade of brown. As we drove a bit further it became obvious that it was smoke from what looked like a serious fire in some nearby hills. We heard about it in the local news later in the evening.
Following our exploits at our alternative location for the Hollywood Sign view, I had posted one of the photos on Facebook. This had been noticed by an old friend of ours who had moved out to Los Angeles several years ago and he consequently sent us an
A serious looking fire in some far away San Bernardino hills.
invitation to come and visit them for the evening.
He and his family lived in La Crescenta in the north of Los Angeles. We arranged a time to see them there, but it goes without saying we completely under estimated the time required on the LA freeways (it is a Sunday afternoon!!!) and we were still over 20 miles away when that time came and went.
Things had calmed down slightly when we left to head back down to Redondo Beach later in the evening.
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