It was only 70° when we left Malibu Beach at 11:45 AM. We missed a lot of LA traffic by waiting that late to leave. The high in LA was forecast to be a pleasant 72° today. It is 5:30 in the afternoon and I am now sitting in the motorhome at Shadow Hills RV Park in Indio, CA. The temperature was 106° (RH was only 20%) when we arrived about an hour ago. We only traveled 162 miles today, so why the big difference? It’s because we are now on the desert side of the mountains. The Sierra Nevada Mountains run almost the length of California. The difference between the western (coastal) side of these mountains and the eastern (desert) side is quite drastic. The coastal side is green and cool while the eastern side is brown and hot.
Internet access has been extremely poor on this trip, making it difficult to keep the blog current. I was unable to access it while at the $70 a night Malibu Beach RV Park but seem to have a satisfactory connection here in Indio. After leaving Paso Robles we drove down to Malibu Beach and the Malibu Beach RV Park, just a little north of LA on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). We spent two days visiting with my son and his fiancé in Pacific Palisades. Their house is on a hill with a terrific view of the Pacific Ocean. Driving around the various neighborhoods was something similar to a trip to Disney World. It was unreal! Reading the street signs was reminiscent of both the Beach Boys and the various TV shows that have been set in the LA area. There was Malibu Beach, Sunset Boulevard, Venice Beach, Santa Monica Freeway, Ventura Highway, Brentwood, Mulholland, and many more. We even went through Pomona (“Turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO”) after leaving LA today.
Nothing is cheap in California. I have paid as much as $5.11 per gallon of diesel and $18 for a hamburger with fries. LA must hold the record for the most luxury cars per square mile. We parked in a supermarket parking lot among makes such as Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo, Lincoln, Bentley, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Jaguar, and Cadillac. There are also a lot of “high maintenance” women driving these vehicles. California is a nice place, if you can afford it.
Just before we reached Palm Springs this afternoon, I-10 passed through a huge “windmill farm”. I have never before seen so many of these giants wind turbines in one place. I checked the internet a while ago and discovered that there are over 3,100 of them on the “farm”! The wind blows enough to keep them turning about 300 days of the year. With a little imagination it was easy to see them as alien machines invading the earth.
Tomorrow we are traveling to Phoenix (Arizona) where we will spend a couple of nights so that we can experience the Apache Trail, a 40-mile circular road that winds through the Superstition Mountains outside of Phoenix. It is billed as one of the most treacherous routes in the United States, however, after our 47 days of travel in Mexico back in January and February it will have to be extremely bad to scare us off. We will look into renting a Jeep for the day as there are portions of the road that are unpaved in addition to steep and twisting. The road goes by the Lost Dutchman State Park, a ghost town, Canyon Lake, Tortilla Flat, Apache Lake, Roosevelt Dam and Lake, and the Tonto National Monument.
We plan to reach Tucson and the Discovery Owners’ Association National RV Rally on Sunday. Meanwhile, I have posted a few more photos on a new page.