RTW Day 5 - Ridgecrest

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February 20th 2018
Published: February 21st 2018
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Up early for a run along the Monterey coastal trail. A surreal experience, as it’s one of the virtual routes on the treadmill at my gym. So I’ve run it before on a rainy day in Boscombe, looking out over the A338. In reality, it is next to an even busier road. It’s also way colder than I’d anticipated so I pull the sleeves of my fleece over my hands. Passing runners feel the need to ‘high 5’ which means pulling my hands out of my nice warm sleeves. I watch the sun rising over the Pacific as I run. Not a bad way to start a day.

After what passes for breakfast at a Days Inn, we set off. Today, neither the route nor the destination are of great interest but will bring us close to Death Valley ready for tomorrow. It is a 400 mile drive through mile after mile of vineyards and orchards, up and up through ever more desolate landscape peppered with solar and wind farms. Then, just as we reach 3000 feet, the land opens up and we’re in Red Rock Canyon with its layers of rock in hues of red and yellow.

We end our journey at the Econo Lodge, Ridgecrest. The hotel and the town have seen better days and plenty of them.

The old man goes to ‘explore’ Ridgecrest. I can’t imagine it can possibly have anything to discover, so stay at the hotel. Some considerable time later he reappears, a jibbering wreck. He has trodden on a live power cable sticking out of a hole in the road. I say we should call a doctor but he is convinced IPA is the answer.

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