Barstow California is a FUNNY little town. It is at the crossroads between two highways in the middle of the Mojave. I stayed one night at the Rainbow Basin Campground, which has a long washboard dirt road, no electricity and a lovely view of very DESOLATE desert. It was also 25 degrees at night. Only I can nearly freeze to death in the Mojave, I swear. It was chilly, but I had the dogs to keep me warm.

I was a little glad of the cold, just cause, ya know, snakes come out when it’s hot.


In the morning I heard a huge boom, which I’m assuming was some kind of weapons testing at the nearby military base. Either that or it was a sonic boom from highflying aircraft. No idea. Disconcerting as HELL though. I heard it twice more during my stay.

As I drove out, I noticed that Sacajewea was panting like a dog. I took her into the hospital and she was diagnosed with a faulty water pump. The TRULY lovely people at Certified Auto Repair in Barstow fixed her up same day, gave me a new hose at cost and a new headlight for free, no extra labor. They even stayed open an extra hour to finish the job and didn’t charge me extra. Merry Christmas to me!

That night I stayed at the Shady Lane RV Park.

I know. I can’t make this shit up.

It wasn’t shady though, it was actually just fine, and the owners were very friendly.

Though the guy definitely reminded me of this guy:


Same glasses and everything.

If you like looking at really ODD stuff, take the drive on Old Highway 58 around the north side of Barstow. Someone, or a group of someones, loves welding old junk into cooler junk. There are a ton of abandoned motels and various falling down buildings, which I think are cool. In general, though it took some getting used to, I started to actually kind of enjoy that every single person lived in a single wide surrounded by shacks, dead cars, and a barbed wire fence. And that 1 out of 5 was uninhabited and covered in graffiti. Some of the graffiti was pretty creative! I saw a tag that said “Uranium Poisoning Fan Club.” I don’t know what that means, but it wasn’t your usual scribbled initials. So there’s that. It’s weird, I know, but this is the Mojave, people! It’s kind of bad-ass country, and I like bad-asses.