My last blog post left me in Las Vegas, waiting for my friend, Sammy, to arrive. The following day he and I headed out to San Diego, by way of the Mojave National Preserve. We were going to San Diego to visit a tattoo shop, Tahiti Felix’s Master Tattoo, owned and operated by my friend, Gil. Unfortunately, the ride from Vegas took longer than expected and we didn’t arrive until late in the evening. The shop was closing, but we were able to get a quick tour and chat with Gil for a few.
From the shop, we rode south to Imperial Beach and grabbed a hotel for the night. The next day we took a quick buzz past the Mexican/US border, then headed north. Our destination was Rachel, Nevada, by way of Death Valley. Our plan was to ride to Death Valley and camp, then make it to The Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel the day after. The Little A’Le’Inn is in the movie “Paul“. It’s on the outskirts of the Nellis Air Force Range (commonly known as Area 51) on route 375, the Extraterrestrial Highway. It’s a nice little place with friendly people and free camping, which I discovered on last year’s road trip.
We were about 20 miles or so from Death Valley when the road we were on suddenly closed, apparently due to being washed away in a storm. This being the only road, our next course of action was to take a 150 mile detour, going back the way we came, then up and around the China Lake Naval Station. Since it was already dusk when we came across the barrier, our escape plan had to wait until the following day… and in true horror-movie fashion, there was nowhere to camp but the nearby ghost town of Ballarat. It was super creepy and a lot of fun and totally made our forthcoming detour worth it…. Sammy was scared shitless.
Mojave National Preserve
Roys on old route 66
old US route 66 is now county road 66
- Sunset near San Diego
what’s left of the Ballarat post office, which was closed in 1917
killed this Camel spider making a b-line for my tent. fucker was fast!
Sunset over Ballarat, CA
Camping at Ballarat really peaked my interest in ghost towns. Do you have any recommendations for my next road trip?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section!