California Bloggin…

December 1, 2009

Well, we’re back at home now, trip over. But still… It isn’t easy to interrupt that old adrenalin flow that courses through one’s veins with every new day of discovery on the road? But coming home into California hasn’t passed without incident, as you’ll see. We arose early on Thursday morning, jumped into the Prius, and enjoyed a seemingly short ride (the time change gave us an extra hour!) from just west of Phoenix over to Palm Desert, CA, our Thanksgiving date with Jane’s sister and brother-in-law. We figured by now that we had just about had it with museums, having seen myriads of them along the way. Even junkies can get saturated, right? So imagine our surprise, when we stopped in for gas at Chiriaco Summit on the way into the Coachella Valley (where Palm Desert, Palm Springs, etc. all lie), to see yet another museum, this one dedicated to General George S. Patton! Luckily for our schedule, it wasn’t open, but since they’d have a hard time hiding big tank-sized exhibits inside, I managed to snap a Patton Tank on exhibit:

A Patton Tank on exhibit at George S. Patton Museum, Chiriaco Summit, CA

After fill-up, we finally dismounted our faithful Prius in Palm Desert, and sat down to an end-of-trip toast right there at the dinner table:

Toasting the end of our trip at Thanksgiving in Palm Desert

Ahhh… And a nice dinner was had by all, for sure! And by the way, HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you blog followers, while we’re at it. Thanks for the fun support you’ve given us along the way for this trip, it’s made the experience even richer and more fulfilling than it would’ve otherwise turned out.

Jane’s brother lives over the San Jacinto Mountains in the town of Fallbrook, not far north of San Diego. In good weather, one can figure about 2-2.5 hours to journey over there. So we planned that trip for Saturday, and headed out in the morning, over Highway 74, the most direct route over the mountains. But… As we drove along, the overcast turned to rain, and the roadside signs started saying “Chains Required.” We didn’t have chains, but figured we could keep going anyway, right?

Heading up Hwy 74 at about 5,000 ft in the snow...

We trudged along a little further, but were soon repelled by the logic that it just plain wasn’t safe to go much further, what with narrower roads and higher altitudes ahead. So, we turned around, and on the way back down, I found some solace in the beautiful scenery unfolding down in the Coachella Valley:

A panorama of Coachella Valley, from Palm Springs to La Quinta, from Hwy 74

As you can maybe get a sense in the gallery, some of those desert scenes were absolutely breath-taking, comparable to many of the beautiful scenes we’ve encountered heretofore on our trip. But what the heck, I’ve gaped at a lot of beauty along the way, this left me agape as well. But be sure to take a full-screen view of that pano when you’re in the gallery, it’s kinda purty, I think.

Sunday morning, as more pious people were perhaps in Church, I instead went down to Living Desert off Portola Avenue, at the south end of town. I suppose you could say I was a Cheetah?Of course, if you had a face that only a mother could love (like that Turkey Vulture over there), you might find solace in my punful humor. I always think of these guys when I hear those luggage announcements on airplanes regarding “carrion” items?

Well, all good things must come to an end, as inevitably must this marvelous trip of ours. We had originally planned to spend Monday night with some old college friends from La Canada Flintridge (the longest city name in the U.S.), but as Jane and I were both feeling a bit puny from the cold I started, we opted instead to just visit them for lunch, and make our final goal, HOME, in Los Altos. So we did that, had a nice lunch, and headed off later than we should have to the west and north. La Canada Flintridge is just west of Pasadena; it seemed that the whole area had cleaned itself up for our visit. The air was as clean as I’ve ever seen it, and the local mountains seemed close enough to touch!

Mountains west of Pasadena: Santa Suzannas? Close enough to touch

We did indeed reach home around 9:30PM, for about the longest day’s drive of our entire trip. Now we’re regrouping, and coming to grips with local realities, incumbent upon our return. So I guess this is the last post of this blog, and again, I want to THANK YOU all for your interest, and hope that you’ve gotten some benefits from this thing called a blog. I know I’ve personally found it rewarding, and I’m sure we’ll both refer to the blog time after time just to recall our many experiences. See you around!

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7 Responses to “California Bloggin…”

  1. Ginny Lear said

    Welcome home to Los Altos.

  2. Gerry said

    Great you made it home. God has blessed you. And us too because you made it home safely.

    Didn’t put your suitcases in the mail yet, but soon. God bless you – what a wonderful trip and thanks so much for letting us all share it with you. Blessings Sis

  3. Sharon said

    WELCOME HOME!!!! What a journey.

  4. Joyce Dougherty said

    Looking forward to seeing you! Your trip sounded wonderful and the pictures were truly beautiful!!!

  5. The Springs said

    Thoroughly enjoyed traveling with you via this blog-email bit….
    Welcome home….. and a belated Happy Thanksgiving…
    Les & Mary Jo

  6. Welcome home, John. I haven’t followed every post, but it looked like, from what I did see, you had an incredible trip. I imagine you can spend at least as much time as you did on the road going through your photos. Looking forward to seeing what you post at dpreview.
    Take care,
    Daniel

  7. John Cardoza said

    Thanks, Jane and John. A wonderful Americana travelogue with a personal narrative. And, great photos, too.

    John Cardoza

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