Summertime is in the air, even though spring has officially launched as off Sunday March 20th. But after looking at the car’s temp gauge of 91-degrees, summer is starting to show its ugly face and I’m definitely not ready for it.
Let’s see, where did I leave off, Salvation Mountain… Slab City… the two John’s, that suggested we go skinny dipping, that’s right! One of the advices we did end up taking from one of the John’s was to visit East Jesus. He did mention if we had a couple hours, do the tour, but time was of the essence for us. Still, we went ahead and drove the extra couple miles on an off beaten path to discover an artist dreamland full of sculptures and other conceptual ideas made entirely out of junk… literally, old useless junk. Coffee makers, tv’s, tires, cans, jars, cars, you name it, they did something with it.
Before heading out of town we stopped for some lunch at this place called Buckshot Deli & Diner that came suggested by one of Tyson’s buddies. Our waitress noted that their burgers were handmade, so we each got one. We planned out our last stop which was a random topic of mud pots which only happened to be six miles up the road – just didn’t realize it was all dirt and started to regret my decision of car swapping Jason for his 2004 Mazda 6 while he got to ride pretty in the confines of a smooth chassis in the Malibu.
The Mud Pots ended up being quite the highlight of our day. They were in the shape of mini volcanos with active mud boiling and popping. Tyson, going in for a closer shot, ended up stepping ankle deep in fresh mud. The mud-pots can get to roughly 200-degree Fahrenheit and can be as tall as 1 or 2 meters. The one at our site where easy to climb a top of and take a look inside – each mound had different sizes and volume of mud that occasionally would pop and bello or in some instances spit out in some of the smaller holes.
Thankfully, Tyson posted a video about his traumatic experience.
“Uh, guys, we have a problem!” Now that’s something you never ever want here. Let alone on isolated dirt road in the middle of the desert far from civilization. Our friend Jason locked his keys in the trunk of his Mazda. Whoops! In attempt to call AAA, he discovered his shared accounted was terminated. With Tyson and Jason sitting in the back of the Malibu, attempting to reactive his account with AAA, I decided to use my press car to its full advantage and contact OnStar to see if they could be of any use. To my surprise they were! The gentlemen on the other line spent a good 15 minutes trying to help us locate a locksmith or some sort of roadside assistance. In the end, we ended up be connected through Mazda’s Roadside Service. After going through another 15 minutes of questions and describing our where abouts, the wait for help was an hour away. Again using the Malibu’s technology to our benefit, we each connected our devices to the OnStar Wi-FI and proceeded to catch up on emails, text messages and Instagram. Luckily right before help arrived, a nice bystander who came to look at the mud pots offered us up some bottles of water so we wouldn’t die.
The Mud Pots was our last stop of the day before we decided to head on back to Phoenix. This is where Jason parted ways with us as Tyson and I headed north up Highway 78 towards Blythe, CA and Jason headed south towards I-8. The road had its moments of entertainment with some nice swift bends and hilly parts that put the chassis on the Malibu into overdrive. But for the most part it was a boring drive that provided no cell service, but that didn’t bother me. Being connected through the OnStar’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi, I was still able to stream Pandora all day long.
Before hopping back onto I-10, we stopped in Blythe for a quick bite at a little 70’s diner called Courtesy Café – best grille cheese in town. We both refueled before parting ways, as I was a little eager to get home… therefore I looked in my review mirror and waved as I said “tootles Tyson!”