Monday, December 12, 2011


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!

Driving south along 101Highway 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.

Scoopy in site 16Yesterday 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!


  1. For the time being, desert warmth is a relative thing. Here in Arizona we're having a series of storms bringing much-needed rain, as well as mountain snow and chilly days. The campground looks very pleasant, the kind of place I like to stay.

  2. Can't imagine driving anywhere near LA. Lived there for 3 years too many in the San Franando Valley. Could hardly wait to escape. Hats off to you two!


  3. HAHA! Franando....instead of Fernando. LOVE IT! Can you say I tried to forget all about it.

  4. sorry to tell you we are at Borrego, and it is cold and raining today. Maybe you can bring the warmth with you.

  5. Over T-Giving DH drove through West Virginia to visit relatives. He was pulled over TWICE. He said both these "Kids" couldn't have been more than 20yrs old. I laughed and told him he's getting old.

    He got off with 2 warnings. NO TICKETS! Can you believe it?

  6. sounds like you had a nice easy paced travel thru LA...without tickets...we will have to be careful of that laner thing when we hit the the park...looks like a great place...enjoy

  7. More learning curve lessons today. I did not know it was illegal to be in the third lane with your RV. So sorry you got a ticket. Thanks for passing on the information to others.

    Looking forward to reading about your travels. We will be in the same area in a few weeks.

  8. LA is crazy driving for sure... and we were only in a car!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  9. I'm with you, we avoid anything to do with LA and it's traffic.

    Funny you mentioned the cop and a ticket...

    Our first adventure a few years ago, not an hour into California, and we had a cop on a speaker phone, as he was driving next to us, tell us it was illegal to drive in anything other than the far right hand lane when towing. Thankfully it was just a warning and no ticket. But I'm with you, we saw no signs and we were vigilant in reading every sign as it was our first trip.

    Personally, we find it dangerous to be in the far right hand lane if their is merging traffic. You would think they would allow you to move over so you do not cause any gridlock or God forbid an accident. But hey, that's just our opinion.

  10. Love your blog and campground reviews. We came down 101 in June and stayed at the Elks in Santa Maria-very nice with FHU for $25. I'm curious where you found the truck stop. We came down from OR on 101 and had to use regular gas stations, which is tough in a 40' rig.

  11. John, the truck stop I mentioned on this post was on I-10, half a mile west of I-15. We went a little out of our way to drop down to I-10, just because we needed diesel and knew there were several truck stops on the 10.

    How did we know? The National Truck Stop Directory (we have the 2010 version), one of a few reference books we would not be without. It has maps and detailed lists of truck stops in all 50 states, and shows half a dozen traveling 101 in northern California. Just ONE on 101 in Oregon, at Coos Bay. We bought the directory after having the same experience you did - using non-truck fuel stations to fuel our MH, towing. ACK!!