The first stop on our road trip to Tombstone, AZ was the annual BABE (Bay Area Bead Extravaganza) show in Oakland. I wasn't going to go this year, but decided to at the last minute since we had to drive right by there on Hwy 580 to get to Interstate 5 (read Justification Shuffle). We had reservations at a hotel in Bakersfield for our first night out, so we had plenty of time to get there before dark ~ or so we thought.
Just north of Novato, we hear a loud bang that shook car. WTF? There were no objects in sight and it didn't seem to affect drivability so we continued to Oakland for lunch and a little bead therapy. I found this amazing borosilicate glass bead set, by Colorado artist Harold Cooney. I was so drawn to the colors, Rod just pulled out the cash and said do it. He's fun to shop with.
When we left the Marriott with the windows down we started hearing some grinding and rasping. We're about to take off on a 2,200 mile road trip so our friend Common Sense says "Okay it's time to take the Jeep home". Once there Rod grabbed the rear driver side wheel and pushed and pulled, nothing, but on the right side it clanked and had about an inch of play. Considering the axles were just replaced I didn't know what to think except that going to the bead show was a good move ~ justified.
I wasn't going to bother my mechanic until we returned so we just did a Hail Mary and threw everything in the Honda CRV. Because my Jeep is a big loud V-8 our neighbor heard us come home and wondered what was up. Andrea is always amazed that this kind of adversity never seems to phase us. Our take is that "it is what it is and there's no sense in getting upset." My only concern was getting to Bakersfield after dark, she looked at me and smiled "but that's the best way to see it" and sent us on our way.
No way we were to face Oakland again so we took Hwy 37 and went out through Martinez to 680 to 580 to I5. I can see why our friends like I5 when headed south. It's wide open country, with far fewer idiots than most freeways closer to civilization. When we stopped for a late lunch, we found out that Kern County produces 76% of the state's oil and is 3rd in all counties in US in agricultural production. Who knew? We made to Bakersfield in good time: great room, comfy bed and a freshly made to order breakfast at the hotel in the morning. Deep breath, we're on vacation.
Sunday Morning Along Hwy 58
Sunday morning we made a left off of I5 and head east on Hwy 58, to I40 and Laughlin, NV. We'll spend a couple of days there to try and locate my grandfather's gold mine near Lake Mojave.