395 blasts a road straight (almost) through the Mojave desert from Adelanto and north and north and north up the eastern spine of California, clear past state line. The first stretch of it, up to Kramer Junction, is mostly flat – littered with creosote bushes and other small brush plants that also inhabit my yard, but whose names I do not know. Aside from 395 and a line of power poles, it is all open space. Desert and sky. I think if I have a ghost, I would haunt this beautiful place.
North of Kramer Junction, the road continues flat for a while, but then rises past Atolia (population 0), Red Mountain (population unlisted) and Johannesburg (population 130) before tracking through the El Paso Mountains and into Ridgecrest. Ridgegcrest is neither on a ridge, nor on the crest of anything. It was originally called Crumbville, but when the
China Lake Navy base was built, (yes, that’s a US Navy** base in the middle of the desert) there was a decision to rename the town, and a lady suggested
Ridgecrest because she had lived in a place of that name somewhere back east (that I figure probably was built on the crest of some ridge) and no one could think of anything better.
It’s always nice when you drive into town and see your name in lights. The Maturango Museum was ready for me and we were on time. We spent two hours unloading, unpacking and setting up the show and then took the rest of the day off – it was quite “toasty” outside. Arriving at the Heritage Inn Hotel, which comped us the room, I approached the front desk and told the lady my name, and she knew exactly who we were.
I wrote this on Thursday evening, but the hotel’s internet took the evening off sick, so no posting until today. Was able to post this via the museum’s internet while setting up for my presentation at the reception this evening.