To Oz and Back With a Cat-2014 travel blog

Heading up the Tahachapi Pass

I'm going east, he's going west

Signs warned of high wind area

The 4 pull-through spaces next to me

Me stressed? No way!

Hmmm - the Colorado. I could build a raft and float down...


It was an uneventful drive on my first day and that is good. However, it didn't start perfectly and I started getting stressed...mainly for my poor cat.

We left my son's property an hour later than I had hoped. He and Kym and the kids were RVing with several other couples at Mammoth Lakes on the eastern side of the Sierra. I had to bid my farewell to them last Tuesday as they took off in their toy hauler. Before I left on Saturday I fed and watered the horses (1 big, 3 minis), dogs (2 big), cats (5 outside mousers), turtles (1 box, 3 red ears) and watered the brown spots on the lawn where the sprinklers need mending. That was fine and I thoroughly enjoy those chores but I spent more time than I had planned with just last minute to-do's around my site before leaving.

I stopped 10 miles down the road in Oakdale, our town, to have all 10 of my tires checked. One looked like it was half flat. That's where I started to get antsy. There were three jobs in front of me and I had to wait 2 hours before it was my turn. The tire was fixed (simple loose twister on the valve stem) and the others all checked and aired properly. My cat, 3 1/2 MONTH old Boots, meowed sweetly (not the howl I was afraid I'd be hearing) two times. I told him this was something we had to do. He had to just wait 'cause we were going to Kansas. He hushed immediately. His carrier is big enough for him to move around a bit and big enough for a big heavy bowl with water and a little bowl with dry food.

We were south of Fresno on Hwy 99 before Boots told me he had to pee. Two little mews. He's smart too. We were just passing a sign that said Rest Stop 2 miles. The back seat was folded down into a flat platform. I had his carrier raised so he could look out the window and his covered litter box was there beside it. I crawled up in there with all that and closed the door behind me before I let Boots out of his carrier. He walked out, stretched then used his litter box. We talked for a while, I put him back in and said we still had to head to Kansas and I didn't hear another meow from him. After I arrived at my destination, hooked up, extended the slides and let him out, he'd been in his carrier for 8 and 1/4 hours! I have an incredibly wonderful cat and traveling companion!

He was not stressed in the slightest. Ate, purred and went to bed at his normal time.

Amazing.

Driving down 99 is not a scenic drive. And bumpy in sections...but not nearly as bad as Wes's Hwy 40 in Oklahoma. ;-) But as soon as I turned east onto Hwy 58 in Bakersfield, it started feeling like I was on a road trip again. (That's when I got excited, Laura.) The terrain became varied, the flora gradually changed to cacti as I crossed over the Tahachapi pass and entered desert county. The Tahachapis separate the San Joaquin Valley from the Mojave Desert and the town of Mojave is my home for two nights. The RV Park looked ratty and full of tiny back-ins, but I was directed out of the park and around to the rear to a big open area. I have a nice large pull-through with a tiny cement slap and nice newish picnic table. It's especially large since I'm the only one in this area, except for a line of stored RVs across the back. That's okay. I don't get lonely.

I may mosey over to the Mojave Airport tomorrow. The first private spaceship launched from there! Mojave was also the terminal for the 20 Mule Team Borax that left the Borax mines in Death Valley. I'm also near Edwards Air Force Base where I have watched two shuttle landings. The first one was what I call my most American Day. The Columbia's fourth mission landed on July 4, 1982, and President Reagan was even there to celebrate. After Columbia's perfect landing, a 747 did a low fly-by for the 100,000 people parked in the mud flats. (I had rented a Class C and took two of my kids and their friends for the occasion.) Atop that 747 was the Challenger, making its way for the first time back to Canaveral. We saw both the Columbia and the Challenger...the two shuttles that never made their final landings.

Well, my first day was a safe travel day and I was glad to get settled. The day had started at 6:30 and I turned on the AC in the HH at 5:30. I'm pooped.



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