From Ridgecrest to Trona, CA
Danny Devito visited Trona and was so inspired by its odd nature that he made a movie about it called Just Add Water, adding itself to the list of others filmed in the area such as Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Planet of the Apes. The town is a result of a potash mine and processing plant and is a community of largely boarded up homes where the high school football team apparently plays on a dirt field (thanks Wikipedia...). We arrived there on our bikes at twilight and it smelled as if the whole town was cooking meth in their living rooms. Minus the gas station we stopped at, we did not see a soul. That night, as the purple evening shade gave way to the glowing green factory lights we set up camp in the middle of town. The processing plant across the street clanked and smoked, creaked and rattled as we pitched our tents on a concrete slab underneath a picnic area awning. The factory, it seemed, was this giant, self propelled machine that needed a community of laborers around just to sweep the floor and grease the hinges.