Baker, Calif.- It's not the kind of place where most dream of spending their vacation. If I was born and raised there, I'd find the quickest way to escape and head for the beach when old enough to do so. Today (Tuesday, June 22, 2011) it's 116 degrees in Baker, and 70 degrees along the California coast.
The roadstop of under 1,000 population makes light of its situation as the Gateway to Death Valley by posting the temperatures-on the World's Tallest Thermometer!
Baker, an unincorporated town in San Bernardino County, is located in the Mojave Desert near Edwards AFB, approx. 120 miles from L.A. and 190 miles from Las Vegas. Known as the Gateway to the Mojave National Preserve and also Death Valley National Park, the town provides many services to brave tourists who venture there to explore. Winters can actually be quite pleasant and are the preferred time to go. Between October and April, you'll rarely see the high reach 86 degrees. Summers are a different story, however, and are not the optimum for tourists to explore as the temperatures average around 119 degrees on June and July summer days.
The tallest thermometer has enough room to measure up to 130 degrees, though the high has only made it to 122 degrees several times. You can't miss the icon of this desert town. Just keep on truckin' on 1-15 and you'll see it as you pass through Baker. For resources and to learn what's happening, check out the Baker Chamber of Commerce before you go (bakerchamber.org)