Albuquerque NM to Needles CA

Odometer: 89729


There is nothing quite so annoying as being in a huge thrift store in Albuquerque NM on a Saturday morning in the midst of a half-price sale. I was in and out in about three minutes and off to my final Luby’s Cafeteria, where there was no fried okra, but there WAS fried zucchini.

I stopped at a truck stop just outside town to get gas. Imagine my surprise at seeing an Oakland city bus in the parking lot. The driver said it was being delivered. I saw another one a few miles down the road, rolling along with its “West Oakland BART” destination sign out of place in the desert.

About this time, my odometer crossed the 90,000-mile mark.


This was another long day of driving with few stops. Once again, I was covering familiar ground, through western New Mexico and all of Arizona in one day. The only highlights were a devilishly cute gas jockey in Holbrook AZ and a brush fire in the median somewhere west of Flagstaff. I was completely worn out by the time I hit the California state line and rolled into Needles.

Needles CA has to be one of the most depressing places in the country. There was absolutely nothing there and absolutely nothing going on. And this was a Saturday night following a rodeo! OK…there ewre a couple of cute cowboys around, but they were on the way out of town.

I coped by going to the AM/PM, getting myself a 59-cent death dog, some Doritos, and a Foster’s Lager, and then settling in for “The People vs. Larry Flynt”. Slept like a baby, although I was a little worried that I was running the air conditioner while it was 50 degrees outside. Guess I’d sort of gotten used to the cold.