woensdag 27 november 2013

26 nov: Los Angeles, CA - Trona, Ca

Did I just see a Greyhound from the corner of my eye?
Another beautifull day, leaving LA it was 70°F/20°C allready
on our way to Trona, California. Getting out of LA went smooth. Bit crowded on the road, but now we're on Highway 14 and traffic is normal, and we see impressive rocks.
Woke up early again this morning so I tried to upload the pictures, but the motels server doesnt allow uploads.
Back to bed, slept a bit more (who of you called us at 7?! :-) packed the car and went to the 7/11 around the corner for some more snacks. Robert found something that looked like an "eclair" but it was just a long donut, I found out by tasting it. Luckly I only took a tiny tiny bite!! (and spit it out straight away, yuckerdeyuck).

Ha! highway patrol with a radargun sticking out of the window :-D (I assume)

we're driving in a valley, surrounded by yellow mountains with small bushes on it, no grass or trees. I think I just saw eternal snow. there are beautifull ranges, old trailers and small towns, and now a small lake.(we're in Palmdale now)

slowly we're getting used to the GPS. It's from a friend and way different than the one we have at home so it caused us some headache, but its working good, so far. And that speed limit sign on it is in KILOMETERS TOO hahaha "wow, speedlimit is 105 mile here?" NO. (thats about 180km omg hahahahaha)

(some "Boring Desert Blog" stuff deleted here.)

A few years ago, I googles Trona, CA because our friend Karl lives there. He always said he lives "in the deser" and "there's nothing here" so I got curious and started reading on Wikipedia. Its a small town next to a dried out lake, with a big plant that gets the minerals from the lake. In the middle of absolutely nowhere, and, turns out there was something to see called "the Trona Pinnacles". What? yeah, I started reading about that too, and it didnt take long to realize we now had two reasons to go there.

The Pinnacles are a group of rocks/hills in the middle of the desert. It looks so freaky that many movies were shot there like planet of the apes, because it looks like something from outerspace.
It's in the middle of the desert and you can only reach it by dirtroad. I was a bit worried on forehand because we drive a simple small car, and tried to find info on it. Also did our friend Karl, and he said we should be ok if we looked out a bit. Still, the only wish I had was to see them at least, even from a distance.

we found Trona just perfect, the GPS didnt let us down. About 25? miles from the city we saw mountains that looked like a big heap of big pebbles.
When we passed some other mountains, all of a sudden a roadsign for the pinnacles showed up and there they were, in the empty distance of the desert, in the middle of some mist, like a fairytale or a science fiction movie. It was SO beautifull.

Trona looked a bit like it had its glory days a while ago. And as we were told, a lot of people left since the seventies. A lot of buisnisess were for sale and/or about to fall down and some houses too. (but it wasnt HALF as bad as some other towns we saw later) Also, it was just a bit of a culture shock of us Europeans, we've never been in small deserttowns before. theres plenty of space, it's not like someone needs the space for something else. If something gets old in Europe, they get rid of it straight away because they need the space.

We were warmly welcomed by Karl and his dad Earl and we were just in time for the lunch, a very tasty spaghetti with bread and salad, mmm... Earl said a prayer before we started, and allthough I'm not religious I was touched by his words. It was so great to be at their place! we sat down and talked about a lot of stuff, then Earl showed us the garden, I was surprised to see that he was able to grow vegetables and tomatoes in the dirt! (=zand) that was also weird to me, their garden existed of dirt instead of grass. Totally normal in a desert town ofcourse, and to me it added to the whole experience of being in a special place.
after several attempts to pet their cats, who all clearly thought "who are those stranger in my house" we went to the pinnacles.

It was allready 3pm and we feared we wouldnt maybe make it in time as you cant go fast on a dirtroad. before we turned on the dirtroad, they allready appeared in our sight. Goal set, lets go!  It wasnt even a gravel road... just dirt, with some sharp rocks. we slowed down to 10 or 5 mph and followed the tracks of other cars around mud puddles. In the distance the Pinnacles were waiting for us and they didnt seem to get closer for a long time, but I was allready satisfied that I was looking at it. Karl said the road wasnt as bad as he thought.

we stopped halfway to snap some quick pictures, also with the sight (someone shot at it, what added to the experience :-D )
And there they were! It took us more then a half hour creeping up on a dirtroad, but we made it! we saw some other people, who waved at us, and parked the car somewhere.

What I loved was that it still was so pure. The road was marked with small pebbles like you would do in your garden, there were a few signs explaining about the pinnacles and that was it. No welcome center, no parking, no toilets, nothing.
we just parked the car somewhere and got out.
The first thing that struck me was the overwhelming SILENCE.
It must have been the quietest place I've EVER been too. It felt like walking around with earplugs in.
we messed up the silence with talking and laughing and taking a gazillion pictures of eachother.
When I got myself back a bit, we walked up on the hills. It looked like gravel hills but it was a very soft squisy path. After some more pictures I left the men alone and wandered off, taking pictures of everything untill my camera battery died.
Words nor pictures can describe what it was like there. And that silence, wow. Its a perfect place to go, set up a camp and spent sometime with yourself thinking about life and meditating I guess.
Maybe because of the silence, or the way the rocks were positioned, the sound carried really far. From a big distance I could completely hear where the men were talking about.
I walked around in a dried out riverbed, looked at little dead bushes waiting to become tumbleweeds, touched the rocks, that looked like they were made of vulcanic stone, but although they were "poreus" it was something different, almost from outerspace.
I really didnt expect to be able to actually touch the rocks, I would have been happy with just seeing them in the distance, so I was quit happy.

WARNING*** my pictures dont caption the Pinnacles at all, and also there were other Pinnacles I didnt take pictures off. Robert made a whole bunch of real cool pictures and will post them when he can. ****

After a while I went back to the others, who were around the corner and showed something I didnt see yet. Some more pinneacles, further away, and all in a row. It was beautifull and while staring at it for a while, and all of a sudden, I was looking at the most beautifull sunset I've ever seen. The setting sun threw a warm orange glow on the mountainrange in the distance behind the pinnacles, and when it got more further down, it colored the pinnacles, and in the end, only the mountains, with darkened pinnacles in the foreground. We stood there and stared at it in total awe.

It was time to go back home, though I could have easily stayed there for a while, I wanted to see the starry sky in the middle of the dark desert. Maybe next time. when we were back at the car we notices the big mountain in the far distance on the other side of the vally (sorry forgot the name) had its snowy top lit up PINK in the setting sun. It was so beautifull.
We had to kick ourselfs under the butt, get in the car and leave.
I kept on looking over my shoulder at the rocks in the dawn. What a lucky person I am to be able to visit this and witness this, together with my sweetie and a dear friend.

One more thing; at home I tried to look up info on the pinnacles (or Tronacles as we called them) about the dirt road and didnt find much, and totally nothing on the dutch America forums, with members seem to prefer to go  to Death Valley and Grand Canyon en-masse. One part of me wants the whole world to see this beautifull place, on the other hand, I hope it stays like this, with its dirtroad marked with pebbles like a garden path and no toilets, info-center and parkin space.

Back home where Karl cooked us dinner, tasty steaks and ... "does this potatoe has a name?" LOL i think its called stuffed baked potatoes?? and salad.
We had a long conversation after the dinner and talked about a lot of things. What really stuck with me was how gratefull they both are to live there in the litterally quiet desert town, away from brutal forces of nature and big city live. And for the lack of mosquitoes!

Unfortunately were were both exhausted and around nine we had to get into bed.
The bed was so big we got lost in it, Robert said next morning "I wanted to cuddle up but I couldnt find you" hahaha!!
Had a great night of sleep, but unfortunately our inner alarmclock went off around 4 am.

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