Road Trip-Bay to Bakersfield

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July 2020, just two weeks after driving to Lost Hills, (before the freak lightning storm and subsequent wildfires) my obsession with travel centers continued.

This time my road trip took me past Lost Hills and Love’s.

My four-hour journey took me down Interstate 5, east on 46 and south on 99 to my destination; a Pilot/Flying J in North Bakersfield.

Photo of the drive along 46 East
Picture of a a Cat in the Hat silo-E. 46

Once at the Pilot/Flying J, I took care of the usual gas station/rest stop business. Bought a horrible coffee (I trashed it after two sips). Then I ate my homemade lunch in my car with the A/C on full blast.

Toby at Pilot/Flying J-North Bakersfield.

Comparing these two specific stops on my southern treks is like comparing Target to Walmart, or Niemen Marcus to Montgomery Wards. Bakersfield Pilot offered zero dairy-free creamers options and a townie vibe. The venue was passable, but for the traveler, it was no Lost Hills Love’s.

Photo of the drive along 46 west towards Lost Hills, CA

And you know I stopped at Love’s on my way back home for fresh coffee and creamers I could digest.  

Still on interstate 5, about 30 minutes north of Lost Hills, I stopped in Kettleman City for a quick break. Below is a picture of the big attraction in Kettleman City and there were plenty of patrons, a good thing considering these were COVID times. If I wasn’t trying to get back to the Bay before dark, I would have stayed and played; perhaps I will another time.

Photo of Kettleman City, CA off I-5
Photo of the strange mist coming from Harris Ranch.

Driving in the late afternoon, with nothing to focus on, I watched how the movement of the sun changed the colors of the sky and clouds. First, everything took on a pink hue, a pink road, pink cars, pink trees, as if the entire landscape was under a pink filter. As time went on, the sky appeared like a rainbow. The horizon was red, then above that, it transitioned into orange and yellow. A streak of green across a bright white cloud above which the sky became blue and then indigo.

I pulled into a rest area to take these sunset shots (below)

Then I kept on driving.

P.S. My next post was going to be about my Big Basin camping trip. Unfortunately, Big Basin was hit with wildfires. I’ll try for another road or camping trip sometime in Winter 20/21.

Picture of smoke from the wildfires, taken on September 3rd 2020, West on highway 205. The road was smoky, but I added a filter to clear it up.