I had forgotten the difference between the Sonoran desert of the Phoneix area and the Mojave desert in California. The Sonoran desert is very green (for a desert), and I always loved the tall saguaro catcus. I got a great reminder on a long ride with several of my Seattle biker friends who are wintering or have permanently snowbirded to the Phoenix area.
It takes about 6 hours to ride between Phoenix and Palm Springs -- at least it does me, even on the Interstate. I need to stop and stretch and walk around, and I tend to stop in every semblance of a town at an exit to ride around and see what's there. Alas, there truly is almost nothing between Phoenix and Palm Springs, other than a couple of rest areas, a truck stop about half way there in the middle of nowhere at the point where AZ-72 takes off for Parker on the Colorado River, and the town of Quartzite which is essentially one big depressing used RV sales lot and swap meet.
Blythe is the first town in California, right after the Colorado River and the CA fruit inpsection station. Why they still have these I don't know, the inspectors just waved everyone through. I remember as a kid on a family trip to Disneyland having to stop and they actually searched our car and made us throw away some grapes. I was feeling hungry and swung off the freeway to take the old road through town -- what was US-60 back in the day. No ghosts here, and I was hoping for a taco truck with some real tacos but didn't find anything either and settled for a Del Taco with an outside patio.
I did stop again in the ghost town of Desert Center (top picture) to stretch and explore my favorite old gas station again -- pondering how best to preserve one of the old gas pumps in my living room/den. I also rode out a bit towards the abandoned Kaiser Steel mine and found the remnants of their railroad, something that warrants further exploration in the Hummer with my best friend Dave sometime soon.