Day 8: February 2, 2011
Snowed in in SoCal
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A major storm, reportedly affecting one third of the US mainland, has produced lots of snow and ice. Expressways and airports have been closed. One of the affected airports is Indianapolis. In fact, Indianapolis seems to be the place hardest hit by ice with freezing rain covering trees, streets, cars, and runways with thick ice. I checked the status of my flight before leaving the motel last night and it showed "on schedule" but, as I drove to Fletcher's, I received a text message telling me the Phoenix to Indianapolis leg of the flight was canceled. An internet link was given for rescheduling but some aspect of my reservation disqualified it from being modified online. The first time I tried the supplied phone number I got a message telling me that things were so busy that I should just call back later. A call made a few hours later could be handled but the predicted wait was over three hours.

Those two messages, "no way"/"long wait" seemed to almost alternate as I made calls made every hour or so. When the predicted wait was down to thirty some minutes, I hung on and, about an hour later, got things rescheduled. There were other possibilities but I ended up selecting the same flights for Friday that I had originally booked for Wednesday. I now had two more days in the sunny part of the country but had spent most of the morning getting them. I'd gone north on Monday and west, aboard the Boxer, on Friday. I had no desire to go south into Mexico so I left the motel a few minutes before the noon checkout time and headed east on I-8. My pseudo-plans were to take the expressway to Yuma then return, via old US-80, more slowly on Thursday. Some of the scenery along I-8 is quite nice.

East of El Centro, things got plenty straight, flat, and boring but it didn't last forever. The second picture was taken in Arizona after I blew by Yuma. I'd really wanted to go to Tucson but figured it was too far. I could do it but only with all expressway there and back and a brief stay in the city. I thought about Phoenix then Gila Bend. I reached Yuma some time before 3:00 and calculated that, if I could tolerate two more hours of super slab, I could sleep in the Space Age Lidge tonight. Drive on.

Welcome to Gila Bend. I'll only be spending the night so they won't have to revise the numbers.

I reached the Space Age Lodge about fifteen minutes before sunset and grabbed a couple of quick pictures outside then some flash shots in the lobby. It's just as I remember.

I ate at an Italian restaurant almost across the street. It would easily be within walking distance if the temperature was a bit higher. I believe it was in the low to mid forties at this point. I had lasagne which was the only thing specifically identified as "made on premises" on the menu. I was assured that it contained a blend of pork & beef so that my tradition of eating ground hog on February 2 remains intact.

When I stayed at the Lodge in 2003, I arrived after dark and without knowing that the place even existed. This scene gets your attention even when you're expecting it and especially when you're not. The rates, nearly a hundred dollars, were higher than I expected or the location seems to warrant but breakfast is included and the rooms, here's mine, are really nice. There seems to be no shortage of takers.

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