Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

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Some days just have more than 24 hours - what do you do if your energy only lasts that long? I was facing that question as I was driving on I-10 from Los Angeles towards Twentynine Palms... Greeted with traffic jams almost from the start, the drive would take four hours, or at least one hour more than I had projected. Of course the headache that had already developed in the plane didn't really make that more agreeable.

But I guess I should begin from the start. The alarm awoke me at around 5:15am. Got up without too much trouble, checked the internet for a last time and then took a shower. Then cursed, started up the computer and connected to the internet again, my car taxes are due in a few days. Shut down the computer again, think of a few things to pack, and bingo, it's too late for breakfast already. Get into the car, drive towards the airport. Then, make a 180 degree turn, probably ground the bumper in the process, and head back home to get the money I had forgotten. Drove back like a madman, sometimes at twice the speed I had driven to get away, got the money, and returned to the airport just in time... to wait. Boarding was scheduled for 6:30, I was there at 6:30, but probably only got to the plane at 6:40 or so.

The flight to Amsterdam in a Fokker 50 was uneventful. Some snacks were served, and I thought the sunrise in the many water surfaces was nice to look at. Somehow, the thought "the river, snaking through the land" stuck in my head.

Over two hours waiting time, then boarding the plane to the US. Or rather, wait for another hour while people were boarding, and only then get in line.

We finally took off with a twenty minute delay.

I guess I can consider myself lucky, I had an exit row seat, and as such plenty of legroom. Seats are pretty narrow though, and I wouldn't have minded some more distance to the annoying fellow next to me who probably had the flu and instead of blowing his nose was doing this annoying noise with it... for the entire duration of the flight.

After landing in LAX, immigration and baggage claim was pretty straightforward.

Into the bus shuttle and off to AVIS, to find plenty of cars parked there and obviously no way at all to get a free upgrade. Oh well, I guess I'll just take that Chevy Cavalier I ordered, thanks.

Looking across the interstate median towards downtown Los Angeles Getting to the Interstate was a matter of minutes. Accelerating to 70mph and relaxing... wasn't. For at least two thirds of the way, there was heavy traffic, and more than once I had to come to a full stop again.

What seems surprising is that comparatively few people change lanes in such a situation.

After about three hours on the Interstate, I joined Highway 62, via Yucca Valley. The same time, the sun was setting, and I would have liked to shot some photographs. Alas, I was too tired, and moving too fast, anyway.

Arrived in Twentynine Palms after it was already completely dark. Checked in ($54.50 including taxes) and collapsed into bed straight away. During the night, I got up twice to cope with the cold, first putting some more clothes on, then getting the fleece inlay, then turning the heating up (duh, should have thought of that sooner).

Miles driven: 164mi (264km)

Motel/Hotel Accommodation: Harmony Motel (Twentynine Palms, CA): $54.50

Written around 7:30am on Sunday, March 3rd in the Harmony Motel, Twentynine Palms, while still being plagued by a headache.