Wednesday, May 14, 2008

To Florida...We Must

On the trip west, we drove I-10 all the way from Florida, through Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and through Tucson, Arizona. About 50 miles NW of Tucson, we headed due west on I-8. This brought us into California through Yuma, AZ. (About now is when I wish I was really techy and could make one of those maps with the red arrow thingy showing the route! But alas, that ain't gonna happen!) (Sorry about another ( ) but a cool thing I just noticed. Spell checker doesn't try to correct 'ain't' -- now ain't that a hoot!!!)

After three days of pushing hard to get to California, we can now relax a bit as we head towards home. Studying the map at the motel in Carlsbad, we've decided to take I-15 north taking us right between Los Angeles and San Bernardino. Then I-15 takes an easterly turn toward Barstow, CA which is smack dab in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

As we traveled north, we DID see some beautiful countryside. These big rocky hills would very often have one house perched on top! We were also surprised how many NICE homes had to travel dirt roads to get to them. It just never occurred to me that CA would have any unpaved roads! I guess I've just never seen those fancy cars with dust on them on television! This first picture shows little white windmills everywhere.

This was taken just north of San Bernardino. Can you imagine looking out your window at this every morning? The next couple of pix show parts of the San Gabriel Mountains.

After looking our fill at these beautiful mountains we moved on. Our route through the Mojave Desert was interesting...for the first 3-4 hours. But never fear! We learned that in the desert, if you don't like the color of the rocks...go on down the road about 5 minutes and the colors and types of rocks will change--drastically! Funny, I always thought of the desert as a bunch of sand. I quickly learned that THIS desert is rocks, rocks, rocks and more rocks! Here are a few examples. This first picture is kind of dark... but its just kind of reddish, gray rock. Those are huge craggy rocks in the front of the picture.

This looks like sand or dirt -- but its all rock--just smaller! Oh, yeah. Throw in a few scraggly little trees. Are these Joshua trees? I can't remember.

Are you thinking about those pioneers again? How in the world did they cross this vast rocky land? Can you imagine working so hard to get over the mountain --just to find another mountain in your way? The next picture shows black rock. At first we thought there had been a fire. No, its a lava-type looks like somebody just dumped it out on the ground!

In my journal, this is how I described it (with a little help from dh and dd).
"Describe the Mojave Desert. Rocks, rocky, rocky rocks, red rocks, black rocks, white rocks, tan rocks and then some more rocks. Huge deserted, desolate, rocky, a little sand, and then some more rocks. Majestic mountains surrounding the rocks."

Before we got to Barstow, CA we noticed lots and lots of campers and motor homes parked in out of the way areas. Each seemed to be pulling small trailers. We soon found out that those trailers carried 4-wheelers and dirt bikes. There were many, many miles of trails to ride on. We saw many out stirring up the dust! Dd and dh decided this would make a good vacation. Dear mommy doesn't think so!

After leaving Barstow, CA (in the middle of the Mojave) we drove due east on I-40. Both of the other folks in the truck were getting very antsy to climb up some of these rocks. We finally found an appropriate "mountain" for them to climb. This first pix is of dd on the very top...sorry the perspective isn't really good since she was so far up there!

This next one has a bit more perspective...looking down. You can see our rig (truck and trailer) off to the side of the road. I was sitting on the trailer...but for once I was too small to see! LOL!! This seems about the same height as looking down from the 22nd Floor of the Capitol.

In this last picture (aren't you glad its the last?) dd is about half-way down from the top. Wayne is standing on the top looking down towards her.

Tomorrow, I'll continue our journey through Arizona.

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