So a buddy from Ohio is in Arizona for a week visiting relatives, and he makes the mistake of saying “you should come to Arizona!”  I gave him several chances to withdraw the invitation, he refused, so here I am, in Yuma!

Dinner tonight was a good old fashioned hamburger, fries, and a Coke, at a 50’s style diner.  Right down to the chrome barstools, and 50’s music on the jukebox.

Tonight at the Wingate Hotel, tomorrow wasting time with Roman, tomorrow night in the hotel, then home in time for Christmas Eve.  (It doesn’t start till sundown, technically, and I’ll roll in sometime after dark, but close enough!)

(update: I actually rolled in about an hour before dark, so I made it home before Christmas Eve started.  At least Christmas Eve Pacific Time!)

456 miles.  8 hours, 20 minutes on the road.  31 MPG.  In a 2005 Taurus!  Not too shabby.

The weirdest thing so far?  Fine dust blowing across the road like fog.  Big windstorms starting in Palm Springs,  well, windstorms all over, but raising dust like crazy starting at PS.  Dust snaking across the road in front of me,  going almost as fast as I was!  I’ll have to get a new air filter for the car when I get home, it’s going to be full of fine dust.

Second weirdest thing?  Wal-Mart parking lot in Blythe.  (Taco Bell.  I didn’t go into Wallyworld) They need to ban plastic bags there, too.  The fence along the street was a 3 ft chain link…  it was solid plastic bags pinned solid to the mesh of the fencing.  Wind was picking them all up and plastering them to the fences up and down the roads.  Looked really bad.  Plastic bags have got to go.

Also saw a tumble weed on the Grapevine commit suicide by jumping in front of a speeding mini-van.  Pretty much exploded.  Saw another one racing the cars, rolling along the center divider shoulder, and doing a pretty good job of keeping up!

Snow on the ground going over the pass, but fortunately the roads were clear by the time I got there.  CHP had been escorting cars earlier, and they had completely closed it at one point last night.  Lucky me, didn’t have to detour, or wait.