Yep, we've definitely left the cool comfort of Ojai, bidding adieu to easily accessible organic food, delicious coffee and other familiarities.
Yesterday we towed Betina the longest distance to date, as we left Ojai and drove 6 hours (at 55-60 mph) to Needles, CA. The drive to Needles was beautiful, passing purple mountains and getting to see the sun set on the Mojave Desert.
Needles sits on the western bank of the Colorado River in the Mojave Desert. Mohave County(yes it's spelled differently) straddles the California-Arizona-Nevada border. Needles was a major stop on Route 66 from the 1920s to 1960s, though today there isn't too much going on in town.
This is our first RV park, and one of only a few RV parks we will stay at on our trip (we're aiming to spend most of our time in state parks and on BLM land). After rolling in a bit later than planned, we were greeted by two very nice park residents who showed us how to get everything hooked up (and politely pointed out things we would need to buy). It has been unbelievably hot, so our trailer air conditioner is hard at work. We are the only Airstream in the park, which means we get a few visitors who knock on our door and ask to check it out.
The Needles weather station is frequently reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the site of the highest daily temperature recorded in the U.S. during the desert summers. Needles occasionally sets national or world daily temperature records (often clocking in at 120 degrees Fahrenheit). Totally explains why the RV park residents were happily telling us it was "only going to be 97 degrees" for the next few days. We're also getting 18 mph winds with gusts of 27 mph, which causing our (rolled up) awning to lift up a few inches and slam back against the trailer. A is wiley and hating the heat (probably because I'm cooping her up inside).
Dad and babe let mom sleep in this morning, going for a father-daughter breakfast at the Wagon Wheel where they met a traveling family that helps set up Renaissance festivals across the country. For lunch, we followed a string of glowing Yelp reviews to perhaps the most strange and uncomfortable dining experience I've ever had. I'll leave it at that.
Drive day one was a decent success. NEEDLES to say, we are ready for our next stop (see what I did there? Humor!)! Where should we go next?