L29 trip to California

  • jhcarlady
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01 May 2009 04:00 #13392 by jhcarlady
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Day 21 ?Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today, we started from San Simeon, CA and drove northeast on 46, then 41 toward Fresco, CA and on to Zion National Park, then south to Sequoia National Park ending about midway through Sequoia at Montecito Sequoia Lodge at 7500 feet. Our travel today was so interesting. Just when you were getting accustomed to an area it changed.

We began by driving south on highway 1 along the Pacific coast. Then we turned east on 46 and began our ascent up the coastal mountain (more like large rolling hills) As we got away from the coast, the rolling hills turned into farms; first grazing areas, then grape vineyards, then orchards. We saw the workers in the field training the grape vines, plowing fields, baling hay. We drove past many wineries and tasting houses. The steeper hills were terraced. The land became flatter as we continued east.

Continuing on 41, we drove past a few large dairy farms. As we drove, the crops changed. At one point, we stopped at a farm supply store to ask what crops were grown there?cotton and pomegranates. There was a canal full of water lining the street for miles. At one point it looked like water flowed over the road, but it was just a mirage.
We turned off 41 before we got to Fresno. Our Garmin took us on several interesting roads. One looked more like a driveway; a single lane paved road that went on about three miles around a couple orchards. One area was lined with roses, thick as a privacy fence and about 6 or 7 feet high. It went on for miles, then went around a corner and continued. We saw a large oil refinery and saw several huge pumps pumping water.
I learned that an almond branch is usually spliced to a peach tree to make and almond tree. We even saw a very unique tree variety, a piston tree.

As we neared the Sierra Nevada Mountains, you could see them in a distance, getting clearer as we got closer. The farming country became more vineyards, some with huge boulders intertwined among the rows of grapes. The roads became steeper and more winding. The drop to the side got steeper and steeper. Mike has had a little experience now and is feeling secure in driving up these mountains. I was on the outside edge, and I could feel myself pushing down on the floor and back of my seat to support myself from swaying toward the door, which no longer felt very secure. As we climbed, we drove past the signs that gave the height, 1000 ft., 2000 ft., 3000 ft. etc. We rounded a bend and the car lost some of its momentum; we pulled over and let some cars go by, then shifted into 2nd. I felt a lot more comfortable traveling in the lower gear. We were able to do more pull offs too. At the point where 180 turned north to Cedar Grove, we continued southeast toward Stony Creek Village.

As we were driving, we suddenly noticed patches of snow, and it was getting noticeably cooler. At first Mike didn?t believe me when I told him I saw snow, then we saw more and more patches of it, and it became thicker and thicker. The Sequoia trees in this part of the park are not the huge ones yet, however we have seen some very large trees and even larger stumps. I was a little surprised by the trees; they have very thick trunks but are not that tall. There are some beautiful overlooks, with snow covered mountaintops in a distance. It really is gorgeous. At one of these scenic pullouts a photographer took our picture and told us it would be published in his book. Around 5 o?clock we ended our tour at the Montecito Sequoia Lodge about midway though the park. It?s a large Lodge, nettled among the trees with a spectacular view of the snow capped mountains. The mile long drive into the lodge has snow about a foot deep on either side of the drive. We are at an elevation of 7500 feet. It?s an all inclusive resort, so meals are included



Joan Huffman

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  • Chris Summers
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03 May 2009 19:05 #13410 by Chris Summers
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Mike and Joan,

Hope all is well...no posts for a few days, are you stranded on the mountain? :D

EDIT (5/3/09): Apparently just a problem with posting. Should be fixed soon.

Chris Summers
ACD Club
Chandler-Cleveland Motor Club

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

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04 May 2009 03:13 #13414 by acdclubadmin
acdclubadmin replied the topic: Day 22, Friday, May 01, 2009
Posted for Joan Huffman by Administrator

Day 22, Friday, May 01, 2009

I enclosed a picture of some of huge snow equipment they had at the lodge. They also had snow grooming equipment for their cross country ski trails.

Today, we got up early to beat the traffic. We spotted a huge Sequoia, and Mike stepped inside its cavity as I took his picture. After taking several pictures in the area, we continued south to the road of giants and the museum. We got a couple pictures of the Cord driving through the tunnel tree. The trees were much larger today, more what I had expected.

We continued down the mountain, a 2nd gear decline of about 20 miles. There were many sharp bends and steep declines. We stopped for a few more photo opportunities. There was a tunnel under a massive rock, and several great shots of beautiful scenery.

By noon we were out of the park. We had lunch at Serranos in Three Rivers, CA.

It seemed like the minute the mountains stopped, the citrus groves began. We continue southeast toward Bakersfield, and then drove east to Tehachapi, CA. The wind was strong, and it was very hazy out. Before Bakersfield, dust was flying heavily, especially as we went through the oil fields. Shortly after we got out of Bakersfield it started raining. Mike pulled over and we put the top up, we then continued to our hotel in Tehachapi. There are hundreds of windmills lining the hilltops in this town.

Gas expense 4/30/09


Paso Robles, CA


Kettleman City, CA


Squaw Valley Trading Post


Selma, CA 5/1/09


Bakersfield, CA


Three Rivers, CA

Food expense 4/30 & 5/1/09

Mc Donald?s
Kettleman City
$ 8.18

Three Rivers, CA
$ 22.93

Hotel 4/30/09

Montecito Lake


Giant Forest Museum

Sequoia/Kings canyon NP


Bill Hummel - Webmaster - ACD Club

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04 May 2009 03:22 #13415 by acdclubadmin
acdclubadmin replied the topic: Day 23, Saturday, May 2, 2009
Posted for Joan Huffman by Administrator

Day 23, Saturday, May 2, 2009

We started late this morning, Mike washed the car. It was very windy and overcast.

The car got dirty yesterday from the wind and rain. Mike also lubed the car again.

We finally left about 11 AM. It was still very windy and overcast but not raining. We drove to Barstow, CA on 58. About the most interesting site we saw was the windmills as we left Tehachapi. They looked like the tops were going around, floating in air.

The drive today was mainly through desert and mountains. At Barstow we had lunch, and then turned on 15 NE toward Las Vegas. Between the wind, the traffic and the road pummeling against the car it was a hard, very tense ride. We had a long incline through a mountain pass at 4730? near Wheaton Springs, CA. At one point we had a crazy driver pass us on the right on the shoulder while another was passing us in the left lane. (Probably talking on his cell phone). As we neared Las Vegas, traffic got very fast,

There were several cars that we figured were going 100 or more.

We ended the day at a Best Western Hotel in Henderson. We were referred to a grill in town for supper, there was a car show just up the street from the restaurant. Some of the entrants are staying at our hotel tonight.

Bill Hummel - Webmaster - ACD Club

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04 May 2009 03:25 #13416 by acdclubadmin
acdclubadmin replied the topic: Day 24, Sunday, May 03, 2009
Posted for Joan Huffman by Administrator

Day 24, Sunday, May 03, 2009

This morning we drove NW from Henderson on Lakeshore Dr. around Lake Mead. It is beautiful. The sun was shinning; it was warm outside right from the start of day. Temperature got up to around 86 today. We pulled in at nearly every scenic pullout. The water was low for this time of year, so many of the boat launch sites were closed, but there were still some boats on the lake. We should have some good pictures; there will be lots to choose from. After Lakeshore Dr. the scenic route continues on Hwy 169. That area reminded me of the Painted Desert. We drove about half way to Overton, then turned around and retraced our route back to Henderson. We continued on Hwy 93 to across the Hoover dam and SE to Kingman. There was a long line at the Hoover Dam to have your vehicle checked. A lot of construction is happening there, as they are making a new road to allow traffic. The construction is a massive undertaking and their equipment hides much of the Hoover dam. Because of the congestion, we missed our exit for the tours. We did not want to walk back from the other parking, viewing areas, so we just parked at a couple of spots, took pictures, and continued on.

Mike asked me earlier today if I wanted to go to the casinos. I told him ?No, I would rather save my luck for the trip back home.

Hwy 93 south was very desolate. It is mainly desert and mountains. We did not have long, steep inclines or descents. It looked like someone just moved huge mounds of dirt and dumped them around in the desert. There was a snow covered mountain in a distance but most of them were just dirt or rocks without much growth of any kind.

About half way to Kingman, there was a gas station standing all by itself. There was a sign in the bathroom saying they have 10,000 visitors each week, please purchase something from their store. By the cash register, they had $1,000,000 bills that could be bought for a dollar.

We quit early today, 2:30PM. We had lunch/supper at Cracker Barrel, and then got a hotel. Mike is changing the oil in the car as I write today?s post.

Bill Hummel - Webmaster - ACD Club

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11 May 2009 00:00 #13450 by acdclubadmin
acdclubadmin replied the topic: Day 25, Monday, May 04, 2009
Posted for Joan Huffman

Day 25, Monday, May 04, 2009

Since we stopped early last night Mike was able to do some maintenance on the car. He changed the oil, washed the car, and scrubbed the tires. There were a couple of car guys with in the hotel parking lot and they got to know each other and kicked tires. Mike found one of his tire spring rings was cracked so he dismounted the spare and made the exchange.

We left from Kingman, AZ going east on Route 66 to Seligman. Route 66 was desolate; there were long periods where you didn?t see another car. We stopped for gas around Yampai, a place where the gas station, souvenir shop, hotel, laundry, and canyon rides were all offered at the same establishment. It was a little cool when we started; we both were glad for out lightweight jackets. When we drove by Seligman, there were about 6 buses stopped in front of the lunch place we stopped at on the way across. Cameras flashed as we drove by.

We continued to Williams, AZ on Hwy 40, stopping there to have lunch. After lunch we continued North on 64 to the Grand Canyon. There was a group of exotic cars there with graphics all over them that said Gumball 3000. We met many of their cars as we were drove to the Grand Canyon, and they were parked all over once we got there. We got out at most of the pullouts and took a few pictures. It is beginning to feel like we have scenic overload. Everything is beautiful! I was afraid we going to see someone go over the cliff today, there are some real fools out there.

We began at the south entrance, too bad Mike isn?t a few days older. His birthday is May 16, and he will be 62, old enough to buy the senior National Parks Pass. Since he hasn?t had his Birthday yet, we get to pay the full entry fee. We parked near the village, took a couple pictures and decided it was too congested. We got back into the car and drove Desert View Dr. (64 E) to the other scenic vistas. We tried to take a few pictures with the car in the foreground; but for most of the best views, you have to walk up to the path. It wasn?t nearly as congested at the turnouts, and it was much more pleasurable. We talked to a couple of young girls that are traveling and taking pictures, trying to sell them to pay for their trip.

After leaving at the East entrance, we continued on 64 to 89N to 160 NE to Tuba City.

Once there, we checked into a Quality Inn for the night and walked over to the restaurant next door and had supper. Mike is getting a cold, so he took some medication and is out for the night.

Bill Hummel - Webmaster - ACD Club

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