We’ve driven south from Sacramento to the Palm Springs area many, many times, usually traveling through California’s central valley to Bakersfield, where we turn east, then south to avoid driving through the L.A, basin. The drawback? It is a long, tedious drive after you’ve done it a couple of times!
Highway 101 is far more visually appealing, particularly beautiful when it runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean, from Avila, north of Pismo Beach, to Ventura, just north of L.A. So why don’t we drive it more often? Because it goes right through the L.A. – lots of traffic, lots of interchanges and, yesterday at least, lots of smog!
We left the Santa Barbara Elks Lodge (click here to read our review) at 9 am, an hour earlier than our normal departure time. We anticipated a drive of 175 miles, from northwest of the L.A. basin to Yucaipa, a small town on the far eastern edge of L.A’s urban sprawl.
A few years ago, along this route, we received the first – and so far only – ticket while driving the motorhome; we were pulled over for traveling in the middle lane on a 5-lane section of eastbound 101. It was unusual for us to be in that lane, but Odel had pulled out to pass an auto hauler; the car in back on the upper deck was bouncing so badly we were afraid to stay behind it! We had no idea it was illegal for us to be in the third lane (no signs posted to that effect) and I still can’t believe that the little twerp who stopped us gave us a ticket instead of a warning! Just another reason to avoid the freeways of L.A.
Yesterday the drive was uneventful, including the stop for diesel at the biggest truck stop we’ve ever seen. We arrived at the almost deserted Yucaipa Regional Park (click here to read our review) at 1 pm and settled happily into our 50 amp, FHU site. After ten days without a sewer hookup, I truly appreciate unlimited hot water.
We planned a two-day stay here, long enough to do several loads of laundry and enjoy the good hiking in this park. Only half our plan worked out; a rainstorm moved in early this morning and washed away our hiking plans. :(
Tomorrow we’re off to Indio in the southern California desert, a short stop before we head further south, to the dry mountains of Anza Borrego State Park. Bring on that desert warmth!