Home » 2014 Southwest Deserts and Yosemite

Flying J - Bakersfield, CA

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 7:30am by Lolo
314 miles and 6 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


Afton Canyon WallsAfton Canyon WallsOn long driving days with no particular fun destination in mind, we often just pull into a Flying J to spend the night. The price is right. They let trucks and motorhomes stay overnight for free.

Another reason we like Flying J’s is that there is a lot of activity going on all night, so they are generally safe. This one, however, had me a bit nervous. Before we even got tucked into our parking place for the night, I had a bit of a scare. Herb was filling the motorhome with gas, and I was walking around looking for a good place to park for the night. As I was crossing the lot, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a guy sort of heading towards me. I changed direction a bit, trying not to make it too obvious that I was trying to avoid him, and headed back towards Herb and the gas pumps.

I heard him mumble, “I’m not gonna kill ya” over and over again -- not Herb, but the strange guy in the lot. Well, that was certainly good to know. I told Herb about the incident and we decided to park under a light with plenty of other RVs around.

That was the first time I was ever nervous sleeping in a Flying J. The next morning, the guy was still wandering around the parking lot mumbling to himself. He was obviously homeless and probably either a drug addict or mentally disabled. I felt really sorry for him.

As we pulled out of the Flying J that morning, we got to experience a bit of what the California draught has done to the Central Valley. A thick haze blocked the sun, reminding me of those pictures you see of the pollution in China -- but it was just dust. “The Grapes of Wrath” came to mind. They better get some rain soon.


Flying J's are Travel Plazas that cater to truckers and RV's. Their numerous services include gas, dump station, propane, fast food restaurant, limited groceries, and even showers and a barber shop. However, the best feature of all is the section for overnight RV parking.

They are conveniently located on most of the interstates (except for the northeast).

Flying J - Bakersfield location map in "high definition"

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