Day 14 - Ridgecrest, CA to St. George, UT

Published: May 26th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Mojave DesertMojave DesertMojave Desert

The second time around heading back east wasn't nearly as hot, but it was windier.
We had a longer mileage day today, but still managed to see quite a bit, and still get in to the hotel early since a lot of our miles were on the highway. We left Ridgecrest this morning and caught another windy day across the northern Mojave Desert. After about 50 miles, we were on to Interstate 15 for the remainder of the day through California, Nevada, Arizona and in to Utah.

The wind got really bad for a while to the point we were riding leaned over pretty well, but the worst part is that it was gusty, so at times we were almost blown right out of our lane. The wind was so strong that in Nevada we came across a pickup truck towing a travel trailer that had been blown over. It seemed that everyone was ok, but the truck had flipped and crushed the cab, and the trailer was completely detached and smashed. We made it through safely without encountering any major tumbleweed like we did in New Mexico, but had quite a bit of dust again.

We also saw another group of people having a bad Memorial Day weekend on their way to Las
Photo opPhoto opPhoto op

Getting the day started in the Mojave Desert. It's not too hot when you're moving in the leather and helmet, but don't stop for too long.
Vegas. They were driving a Toyota Rav-4, and they were on the outskirts of Vegas when their car caught fire. We came across it just after the incident happened because there were no emergency vehicles there yet, but the entire front end of the car was engulfed in flames with a huge plume of black smoke in the sky. Luckily everyone got out of that one safely too.

We were fine during our ride however, and made it in to Las Vegas around 2:15. We rode down the strip, but surprisingly for being in Vegas, we didn't stop at a casino and didn't even gamble! The one stop we did make was at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, the shop that is on the History Channel series Pawn Stars. Unfortunately while we're here on the west coast on vacation, the guys from the pawn shop are on the east coast on vacation at some races in North Carolina. Oh well. We did get to browse the shop and see many of the items that have been on the show. It was really fascinating to see some of the really old items.

We also stopped to try and
World's Tallest ThermometerWorld's Tallest ThermometerWorld's Tallest Thermometer

We stopped in Baker, CA, the gateway to Death Valley on the way to Las Vegas, and came across the world's tallest thermometer.
pick up some scratch-off lottery tickets since we've been trying our luck in each state, but Nevada doesn't have scratch-off lottery tickets, so no luck! We'll have to try in Utah.

We left Las Vegas and made it into Utah to the hotel around 6pm with the time change and a lost hour as we crossed back into Mountain Time. We had a great dinner at the Gun Barrel Steak & Game restaurant. Dad had a burger and I had a buffalo burger. We then headed down to Larsen's Frostop which is an older drive-in car-hop service restaurant where we had some ice cream before calling it a night. St. George is really a beautiful place and it reminds me of Sedona, AZ with a lot of red rock canyons around.

It's an earlier night than some of the others we've had, so we've gotten to relax a bit. Tomorrow we head on to Zion and Bryce Canyon to see more of Utah. More to come tomorrow.

Additional photos below
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On Las Vegas Blvd. coming onto the main strip.
Look, it's the pawn shop!Look, it's the pawn shop!
Look, it's the pawn shop!

And a lot of people waiting to get in and see it.
Pawn StarsPawn Stars
Pawn Stars

No, not us, but we made it to their store.
St. GeorgeSt. George
St. George

The red rocks are beautiful.
Larsen's FrostopLarsen's Frostop
Larsen's Frostop

A good ice cream stop to end the day.

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