Greetings from America's Best Value Inn in Barstow. I recommend it as a low-budget alternative to the seedier-looking places down the road. If you bring a Coleman stove, you can put it on the granite-like counter of the bathroom, steam up some sliced broccoli stem, then make some pasta, and then make hot water for tea. Not only do you not have to go outside (where it's fairly chilly) to sample the best of rural California's best chain restaurants...well, that's pretty much the reason to make your own food. I feel a lot better than if I'd eaten at a restaurant. It's a bit of a bummer I couldn't make Kelso today, but I didn't really expect to, and traffic on I-5 (why does I-5 have traffic? There's nothing here.) made sure ofit.
There's a lot of noise, though, since the miles-long cross-country trains come through here. There's a loud whistling noise that sounds like the wind blowing over a hole in something, like someone built a 30-foot high Coke bottle someplace. Fortunately I know better, and brought earplugs.
I had a moody drive out, unhelped by it being both boring and with intermittent traffic. That's part of the point, though, because without any distractions or interruptions, it's just me and my stream of thoughts and memories and experience, and I can map out how my thoughts are running and how I feel at the same time. There are paths through my consciousness that let me settle down and move in the world peacefully; I just need to find them so I can get back when I need to.