After I left the Windwolves Preserve I headed downhill to Maricopa. What is visible of Maricopa from 166 is not much. A Super 8 motel, a gas station with convenience store, an ice cream stand, some run-down homes. On other trip I discovered there is more to the town, and much is actually quite attractive. But on this trip I did not venture any further than the convenience store. At that store I bought another map of Bakersfield, having packed my other, left it in SLO. I called Elaine to ask her to look up cafes with free wireless in Bakersfield. She tracked down four or five and gave me names and telephone numbers. She suggested a possible route to a part of town that looked like it might be central and have several cafes in a small area.
I mapped out a route generally where she said I might want to aim, wishing not to stray too far from highways 99 or 58. I wasn't too interested in exploring Bakersfield on this trip. When I got close to where I thought one of the cafes was i called the phone number and got an exact address, then made my way over there. On opposite sides of the street are these two options:
Kosmo's sports bar. And
the Spotlight Theatre and Cafe. This amazing place has a cafe and theatre in one building, and does it so beautifully. Scan down the link page to see a picture of the lobby - cafe. It is unfortunately a small pic and doesn't show the full scene. So I'll set the scene a bit: There are tables with umbrellas outside, in the shade, a nice place to have lunch with an animal (I thought of this too late, had left Bullet in the car with air conditioning). To the left of the entrance door, just as one steps inside, is the box office. It was open when I was there. The posters on the walls indicated that the theatre is quite a going business. Lots of productions in the works. To the right is the cafe, with tables spread around, and straight ahead are wide, curving stairs leading to an upstairs theater. If I lived in Bakersfield you can bet I'd be spending a bunch of time here. It's just wonderful. It's in the heart of what looks like "old town" Bakersfield, but it might simply be the central business district. I do not remember. It's a nice section of town with many businesses and activities, far more interesting than the malls elsewhere.
I got a sandwich to go and an iced coffee to drink while I checked email, made an online reservation at the Mojave Motel 6 (saved a few bucks that way) and tried to catch up on postings here. Obviously I have not done so well in keeping up. I am determined to get the major elements of this trip into this journal. Otherwise I am going to forget things!
From Bakersfield I headed down 58 toward Mojave, but I had a couple more side trips to make before I got there.