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Our Trip to the Desert Southwest, Part one

Day One

We woke up to snow at our cabin, and then drove south through Bakersfield, and managed to find a place to eat in Fresno! Alla's Armenian Cafe off Hwy 41 in Fresno. It was delicious, fresh, healthy flavorful food. Great Service, and completely affordable. Best of all, it was full of old Armenians who clearly ate there and enjoyed it. The only issue for travelers is that it closes at 6 pm. Still, we were delighted to find it. We've always had trouble finding good food off Highway 99.

In the afternoon we took a lovely drive up the Kern River Gorge then camped at Sandy Flat--"gorgeous" spot on the Kern River. It was peaceful, with the current from the river drowning out any traffic noise. And then we joined friends for dinner at Don Sombrero in Bodfish...where we had great conversation, good food, and a wonderful time. This was a nice way to start our trip, and boded well for the rest of the journey!

Day Two 

It rained much of the night, but by morning the sky was clearer and we were able to pack up without getting wet. Our friends had recommended Nelda's Diner in Bodfish, and we ate a classic diner breakfast there. By nine a.m. we were on the road for the long drive through Barstow, Baker, Primm, and Las Vegas. The desert is always interesting, and this time was no exception. We were surprised to see that gas was horribly expensive in the first few towns in Nevada--it should be about a buck cheaper than California--but once we got past the first fifteen miles, prices dropped by a dollar or more. Clearly, those stations near California are making a killing.

We stopped South of Las Vegas to visit Sloane Canyon and hike the Petroglyph Trail, which was fabulous. Great art and a fun clamber up the canyo, with our eyes always checking the sky as rain showers passed up by. Then we drove through Las Vegas and Mesuite into Arizona where we camped in the Virgin River Recreational Area. If you haven't been, the Virgin River Gorge is stunning, both in terms of the scenery and the engineering to put a highway through it.

When we arrived, it was to find a rainbow stretching across the canyon at our campsite. Wow! It was a lovely spot to watch the sun go down and the moon rise. we loved it.

And it cost $8 a night--$4 with our senior pass. A deal that can't be beat.

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