Sunday, February 22, 2009

It rained overnight and this morning we woke up to very overcast skies, cool temperatures (50F) and a light drizzle. This is the weather forecast for the next week in this area so it makes it easier to say goodbye to this beautiful part of California!

We had an 800+ km drive ahead of us so we were on the road about 9 and had a bit of drizzle all morning but it never poured rain so that was good. We took Highway 41 east to 46 that took us to Hwy 99 south of Bakersfield. Highway 41 was very scenic but a slow drive as it was a very hilly, twisty and turny road, it would have been really pretty if the sun were shining.

Highway 46 was pretty flat and all vineyards and orchards, the leaves aren’t out on the vines yet but a lot of the trees were just starting to flower – very pretty.

There were also a lot of cattle grazing on the hillsides on the south side of the highway. Just before we got to Highway 99 we passed a very large area of oil drilling rigs and hundreds of hydro towers to supply the juice to run them.

Highway 99 was pretty boring and not much scenery and at Bakersfield we picked up Highway 58 East and the scenery along here was a bit better. We stopped for lunch at Tehachapi, elevation 3729’ and there was lots of snow on the surrounding hillsides but fortunately none in the town. From there I took over the driving and we went across 58 to Highway 395 and took it south to I-15, then picked up I-210 at San Bernardino, then I-10 east to 86 south around the Salton Sea. Highway 58 wasn’t too busy but 395 was a VERY busy two lane highway and I-15 was really busy, I was very thankful when we hit I-210 as it was far less traffic all the way home from there.

We had overcast cool weather all the way to Palm Springs then the sun came out and the temperature jumped to 75F, sure did like that! We again passed a lot of wind farms in the southern part of California and the mountains were still beautiful with the snow on them. A lot of the windmills we passed today were on metal towers rather than pylons, but there were also a lot on pylons, I have no idea why they would be different.

It was interesting that all the vines in the vineyards around the Salton Sea had the leaves on them, just the difference in climate.

I drove until we were at I-8 with about 45 minutes to go to Yuma and then John took over again so I called both Nan and my sister and chatted with them until we were pretty well into Yuma.

We stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner when we got into Yuma, then home. It has been a long day and I am tired so I won’t be trying to catch up on my blog until tomorrow.

We had a wonderful “holiday” and the scenery was amazing but I am glad to be back in our own little home on wheels as I hate staying in motels, but this was a trip that was much easier to make without having the trailer behind us.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the not so sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

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