Riverbrian Old-Timey Member Posted August 23, 2022 Share Posted August 23, 2022 I have recently completed a solo 18 day road trip covering 8 ballparks, 9 games, 14 states, national parks, normal tourist traps and not so normal stops. My fairly new 2022 Kia Seltos had 6,400 miles on it before the trip and the journey tacked on 8,522 additional miles. Some of you may find this interesting and some may say what's the big deal, it's a crazy man with a torture filled vacation plan. I was encouraged to tell the story here by individual day because it would be a very lengthy post if not broken down by day. Some days are not that interesting, some days were more interesting than others and some days need a new adjective, but each day was different and they were days that I couldn't experience in my living room. Feel free to comment, shake your head at my moments of stupidity or tell your own experiences of the places I experienced. This is hit and run tourism... I didn't have a lot of time to hit all the stops but I wanted to hit all the stops because who knows if I would ever be back in any of the areas travelled. I researched and scheduled the trip to the minute and followed the schedule to the letter. Day Nine - August 6 - Phoenix to Modesto, CA Today I'm entering California for a solid week worth of California, Today will be 700 miles, over 11 hours of driving with a couple of scheduled food stops. I try to avoid driving in the dark because what the area looks like good or bad is a critical part of this trip that I never want to miss but darkness can't be avoided today. I would have left at the crack of dawn to keep the trip completely daylight hours but I had to wait at the hotel to get a Yosemite reservation for NEXT Saturday and I didn't want to risk a desert reception dead spot so I felt it best to wait. I was not coming all this way and missing Yosemite. Yosemite is the opposite of Big Bend, too many people visiting the park so they have to manage the space via a park entrance reservation system. 70% of the space on August 13th was spoken for in March. They hold and release the remaining 30% exactly one week prior to the requested day. So if you want August 13... You must be on the website August 6 at 8AM and it is suggested to be there right away because they go fast. I was up early, got showered, packed up, luggage in the car, programmed the GPS with today's stops, drove to a gas station to fill up the tank, ice in cooler, breakfast in the lobby and I was back up in the room by 7:45, I had my PC ready to go, my Ipad as a backup ready to go and my phone also ready. I tested it at 7:55 and August 13 was not available so 8:00 meant 8:00. My watch and the atomic clock are in sync, I am not coming all this way and missing Yosemite. It's 7:59:50, I'm ready and I watched it count down to 8:00:00, GO! The N/A on August 13 was gone so I knew it was live. You'd think, I'd get a pass easy being there at the very second it opened, I was shocked when my first attempt was denied due to heavy volume. My 2nd attempt was denied due to heavy volume so were the 3rd and 4th attempts. On the 5th attempt, I got in and I exhaled because I was holding my breath for attempts 2,3,4 and 5. I waited for email confirmation, got it, threw the room keys on the front desk as I passed by, went straight to the Kia and I was moving by 8:05. Apparently, I'm in a different desert now as I have segued to the Sonoran Desert at some point, not sure when, probably around the time I saw that first Cactus. I read somewhere that a Cactus was a Sonoran desert exclusive. I have never touched a Cactus and was hoping to get that chance, but they seem difficult to safely reach. They are usually quite some distance from the Interstate or high up on a hill, if they are close to the Interstate, they are behind fences with no place to safely pullover. I had given up on the idea when they disappeared for a long stretch. At a rest area about 60 miles from the state line, there was a Cactus that I could get to, along with a sign warning of Scorpions and Rattlesnakes. It has a weird softness to it and those needles are real, you pull your hand away fast if you hit the wrong spot. I immediately cancelled an upcoming acupuncture session back home. I should also mention that I took a 2nd rock chip to my window... this one is much larger than the first and it looks like it intends to infect. At this point, I was thinking bring it on... let's go for a record and see if I can it up to 10 rock chips before I get back home, I was also thinking that motorcycles also must get struck by these projectiles and that it must hurt like hell. Reaching the California state line, I was sure to top off the tank because I heard that gas was selling for 74 dollars a gallon in California. I could see the Colorado River as I fueled up and had read that the Colorado was running low, it looked low... but then again, I have nothing to compare it to since it was my very first time in this particular location. I can confirm that there was water in it. The first stop was in Palm Springs for lunch. It's a beautiful place that is pressed up against a decent sized mountain, you can tell that they have a little money in the town because the homeless people are wearing ties and fancy cufflinks. I had chosen a sandwich stop that named all of the sandwiches after old famous Palm Springers, or Springans?, Springees?, Palmers? who are no longer with us. I selected the Lucille Ball, I was in the mood for a Meatball sandwich and it was good... however, no way of knowing at this point if the Bob Hope creation for example would have been better. Before I pulled out of town, I figured that I should check out one... just one... of the celebrity homes that they used to inhabit, lots of great choices like Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sonny Bono, but I still had a long trip ahead so I simply chose the closest one to my current location, that was still on the way out of town. That selection system ended up being Zsa Zsa Gabor, she had a place high up on the west side of the city, not far from the side of that mountain. I imagine that the view of the city lights from that vantage point would have been impressive. I haven't kept a spreadsheet of daily temps during my life time but living in Grand Forks, it is very rare that I experience anything above 100, I may have felt the 106 degrees sometime in my lifetime, like I experienced in Dallas and Phoenix, I'm really not sure... but... I am 100% sure that I have never experienced the 114 degrees that was Palm Springs when I stepped out of the Kia. At 106 degrees, you think about how hot it is... at 114... it doesn't matter anymore, your brain just melts and you are incapable of any thought, and therefore unable to think about how hot it is... you just mindlessly go out and look for Zsa Zsa. I still have a lot of miles to Modesto, I had to navigate Saturday L.A. outskirts traffic and that began almost right away as I drove west to link up with I-5 heading North. I've seen some impressive valleys in this trip but the first view of the San Fernando Valley where the Valley Girls lived in the 80's made me think about the Red River Valley that I live in. It's kind of embarrassing to call what we have a valley in comparison and I haven't even reached the big valley yet, which I do after climbing some mountain, through some pass and there it is as you start a long descent down. This valley is going to dominate the landscape for many more miles. I've read that Agriculture in California is massive and this valley in the center of the state has got to be the agriculture epicenter. From my view, it looked to be nut production primarily, field after field with row after row of trees. I wish I would have had a nut expert along with me just to tell me what tree was producing what nut. The only nut experts that I know think I'm nuts and they charge by the hour. The drivers in California seem to come in two classifications with nothing in between. One group drives 60 MPH with a 70 MPH posted speed limit and the other group drives 187 miles an hour. This means that I am constantly changing lanes to get around the crawlers and to get out of the way of the Earnhardt's that come up on you fast. I was just trying to be responsible and drive 75 in a 70 like normal people. For Dinner it was Pea Soup Andersen's in Santa Nella, California. I've seen this place on the Food Network and it came up often in my research so I put it into my schedule for a California experience. Pea Soup Anderson's is a restaurant slash gift shop and I'm usually suspicious of that combination, however the food turned out to be decent. Yes,.. I had some Pea Soup. Perhaps, I lowered my expectation once I saw the space set aside to display all the varieties of Pea soup merch but the food did it's job. From there it was on to Modesto, arriving in darkness just like I predicted, which is too bad because there was something lurking nearby to the west of the hotel that I wasn't able to see and it was going to play a role in my life during the overnight. I am scheduled to depart tomorrow at 6:44AM. glunn, MMMordabito and Richie the Rally Goat 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.