With my resolution set, I made an early start from Moab, heading north towards the I-70, as the rising sun bathed the red rocks of the cliff walls in light.
Reaching the interstate that would take me west I decided to grab a coffee at the rudest gas station in the world but found it closed. Continuing on westwards took me across more of the stunning Utah landscape where every single turn in the road gave me something else to be in awe of.
As impressive as the landscape was, the construction of the interstate was similarly majestic, which in places cut through outcrops like a giant had dropped an axe into the land.
The biggest surprise came in the form of the Virgin River Gorge in Arizona. The descent from the Colorado Plateau to the Mojave Desert was one of the most expensive sections of interstate roads constructed in the US and for every dollar spent you get big gasps back in return.
The highway clings closely to the edge of the steeply walled ravine, and at times crosses the Virgin River. This allowed me glimpses of the torrent, full of Spring meltwater, below. The thin band of water below gave evidence to the millions of years the water has been cutting down through the sandstones.
At the bottom of the range the river disgorged itself into a long, open trough that eventually led to Las Vegas. Whatever happens in Vegas definitely stayed there because I didn’t stop to find out anything about this city, and kept on driving through Nevada to reach the first town in California – Baker, home of the World’s Tallest Thermometer and a dusty, rundown hotel that we’ve stayed at a couple of times that seemed like a nicer alternative to another night in the RV.
The motel was shuttered up when I got there, and despite trying every door, knocking on numerous windows and calling the number on the note (which said the hotel would be open) posted on the door to reception, I couldn’t raise anyone. Taking advantage of my brief stop I popped into Alien Fresh Jerky next door and picked up a treat for Oscar.
With a couple of hours of light left in the day I pushed on to Barstow, where my journey on Route 66 had started two and a half weeks before. While slowly driving down Main Street I spotted something that drew me in like a moth to a flame.
Celebrating my last night on the road Motel 66, on Route 66 seemed like a good way to close out the trip. And my decision had nothing to do with being sick of the sight (and small) of the inside of my RV! While my final dinner of hotdogs cooked in the kitchenette’s microwave I walked shoeless in circles around the room, curl my toes in carpet and spread out on the king-sized bed.
Jeremy is the sole driver, writer and photographer on Order66RoadTrip.com. He has plenty of experience doing all three having toured the US, Europe and North Africa searching for Star Wars filming locations, written about Star Wars for several books, magazines and websites, as well as providing photographs for a numerous Star Wars websites and publications over the years.