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first stop: needles

Thursday, September 9th, 2010 by

Leaving was tough.  Not so much because we didn’t want to go to North Carolina, more because taking off in an RV with three cats was fraught with uncertainty.  And, as if to reinforce that uncertainty, the RV stalled as we pulled away from the house we were leaving.

I think we were both on tenterhooks all that first day, driving 525 miles from Castro Valley to Needles CA.  Constantly checking on the guys, making sure they weren’t dying from dehydration or fear or catching their claws in the carrier doors.  We’d gotten a late start, and by the time we got to the Palms RV Resort it was nearly midnight.

The place was a little odd, really; part RV park, part subdivision, part mobile home park (as in the kind tornadoes inevitably hit).  And when I got up to shower the next morning, it looked like a scene from a zombie movie; no humans in sight, no sign of life but one maintenance guy in a golf cart zooming slowly by.

Why do they call it Needles?  Could be because the temperature there moves the needle high on a regular basis—triple digits aren’t unusual for Needles.  Maybe it’s all the desert vegetation that has spiky green pointy things instead of leaves.  Maybe it’s because to live there you’d need IV medication.

More likely it’s the mountains—one of which is called Needle Mountain—that look like deep red spikes spearing the sky nearby.

It was our first stop, and the spookiest and strangest.  Things got better from there.  (Fred looks happy to be leaving.)

Fred D. Bear leaves Needles, CA

Fred D. Bear leaves Needles, CA

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