From now on, I should really take a look at the map or believe my GPS when it tells me my drive will take over seven hours instead of the four that I expect. I left Bakersfield Friday morning confident in my ability to arrive at the Las Vegas airport in time to meet my mom’s flight from Des Moines, which was scheduled to arrive at 2:35PM. The one place I had to find was Barstow, California and from there it is a straight shot on I-15 right up to Vegas. There is only one interstate highway near Bakersfield (I-5), and I assumed it would lead me right to Barstow. Uhh, not quite!
I started to take it southward, and after 30 miles or so wondered why there were no signs for Barstow…although I was seeing plenty for Los Angeles! Finally I pulled over to check the atlas, and had a sinking feeling: the actual road I wanted from Bakersfield was not this interstate at all, but a state highway that led southwest from the city.
Luckily, a detour in the form of state highway 138 presented itself shortly, and I was soon screaming eastward following south of the range of the Tehachapi mountains. I had wasted about 50 miles, and was in all probability not going to be in Vegas in time to meet my mom’s flight.
On the way I passed several interesting sights, such as Edwards Air Force Base and Mojave Airport, which appears to be a kind of jetliner junkyard, with dozens of widebody jets outside, waiting to be made into scrap.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you: I got to Las Vegas airport two minutes ahead of Mom.