February 28, 2007
Such a lovely place
“I was in Baker. A truck-stop of a city in the south-eastern chunk of California and I got hungry. I was on my way home. Baker sits at the mouth of Death Valley to the south and is the small podunk between Primm and Barstow. Not that Primm is any bigger, but at least it has some rollercoaster's.
One thing Baker is home to is an internet legend. One of those "Funny Signs!" pictures that's circulated its way through chain mails and internet forums. Zzyzx Road. lol.
I had passed the road and the famous sign on the interstate plenty of times, but this time was different. I had it all figured out. After I finished my sandwich, I was determined to find out...” - The Mystery of Zzyzx Road
Fort Ord, a deserted Military base occupies an area as big as San Francisco
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Regarding the town of Baker,CA. I worked as a temporary bio-tech on a big engineering project out in the desert outside of Baker for a few months, years ago. As you might have mentioned, it is the main drag between Las Vegas and LA at about the halfway point. Additionally it sits down in a basin, where the temps are always warmer, oppressively warmer, and you could see the arrow-straight seemingly unending roadway with its un-broken line of headlights and tail-lights on the road straight as an arrow for miles and miles descending into the stifling heat of the desert floor. At night it would take on a particularly interesting appearance, alomost as if you were inside the electronic game, Tron, with reality outlined and highlighted by glowing elemental geometry. You could see this node of connecting lines and dots of pnotons ahead in the dark and even though you were still miles and miles away, you could see the sign. It would stand out. 100' tall, gigantic gothic uppercase letters vertically arranged in neon red announcing the presence of an oasis of civilization out in the middle of the inky black bi-sected wilderness. The oddest damn thing,however, was that for the 3 month period I was travelling in and out of the area, the giangantic gas station sign seemed to be forever malfuntioning and the neon tubing for the upper-most letter would invariably be darkened, imparting a more-than-just-surreal feeling to the approach of the city, and an abiding sense of relief on seeing it in the rear-view mirror. Oh, the gas station's sign read: SHELL.
Posted by: doug at Mar 1, 2007 6:08:06 AM
Yea, Baker is a Shell hole...
Posted by: HL at Mar 1, 2007 8:14:15 AM
Great post about Baker and ZZYZX road.
I can't count the amount of times i stopped at zzyzx and always wondered where does it go but never looked.
Posted by: Loren Nason at Mar 3, 2007 2:12:50 PM