We spent our Thanksgiving day on the road. But since it was almost all New Road, it was still a very good day! (And we did get to talk to our kids and we have a turkey ready to roast tomorrow, so there will still be leftovers!). We were only going about 200 miles from the Coachella Valley down the east coast of the Salton Sea, south to El Centro and then west along the bottom of the state (almost into Mexico) and then a little north to swing around to Jamul (there are mountains in the way of actually getting there more directly). Here is what it looks like on a map –
Here’s what it looked like as we drove it –
Down past the Salton Sea
The north end of the Salton Sea is in the Imperial Valley – a real fruit (and vegetable) basket area of California. This field was ready for something!
Although the Salton Sea is increasing in it’s salinity each year (along with becoming more poluted), it is still home to about 30% of the the remaining American White Pelicans.
(If you’d like to know more about this lake (the largest in CA) there is some info Here on Wikipedia.)
We soon left the lake behind us and continued through the desert – but we knew that mountains were in our future!
Oh, yeah, mountains ahead. We were going from about 300 ft. below sea level to over 4000 ft. above sea level. Not the highest pass we’ve traveled by any means, but believe me, it was one long climb!
And what goes up, must come down –
and down –
We passed some majestic windmills along the way –
and pretty much continued to wind up and down and over and through mountain after mountain.
We eventually made it to the outskirts of The Big City – but I bet you can all picture Thanksgiving traffic. It wasn’t very photo worthy.
We finally settled down in parking lot near a Kohls in El Cajon. We figured if they asked us to move we would just say we were waiting for it to open at 4AM. Fortunately, no one bothered us so we didn’t have to actually get up and do it! (But I must say, many others did! And without the comfort of having their bed in the parking lot!).
Today we moved into our December project – Indian Hills Camp. We haven’t seen too much of the camp just yet, but I can share with you my new picture window view –
I don’t think we’re done being thankful just yet!
We’re on the road again, after a delayed departure from Nampa as we waited (and waited) for the return of my computer. Getting on the road at 5PM is not really our idea of a good start, but start we did. We are headed to Southern California – Jordan Outreach Ministries in Coachella, CA. (I understand it was 75 there today. It’s going to be 14 here tonight.)
Since we wanted to stop and see my niece near Salt Lake City, we were heading SE across the lower part of Idaho. I gotta tell you – there is not much to see!
We obviously didn’t get too far (trying to find a place to park in the dark is really not fun), but we were on our way bright and early the next morning. We were hoping to get to Salt Lake City by noon.
We did finally hit some traffic just as we were coming to the The Great Salt Lake –
And this is pretty much all we saw of the lake (as we sat in traffic!)
We did manage to hook up with Bethany just after noon, and she and I took a tour of Salt Lake City (while Gary kicked back, took a nap and did some reading.). She was a great tour guide – and I’ll do a separate post of that! (I promise!).
This morning we were on the road a little after 6AM – hoping to beat some of the Salt Lake City traffic (we were pretty much driving from one side of the city to the other on the interstate). Pretty much all we managed to do is join in all the traffic in the dark. We made it through and eventually left the traffic behind us.
What we didn’t leave behind us was the snow, and although there were stretches without any of the white stuff,
we could tell by the white stuff hanging on the distant mountains, that there was indeed more snow in dem dar mountains.
When we stopped for fuel at around 9AM we learned that the mountain passes (our route) were requiring chains so we figured we better stay put. As the day wore on we kept seeing lots of other RVs and trucks heading south on I15 and we finally decided that we would give it a shot. We had a full tank of diesel and a full tank of propane, so we figured we were set. Oh, and we also talked with someone who had come from that direction and he said the roads weren’t too bad. The sky even seemed to be clearing some, so off we went.
Looks OK so far…..
Alright, so it’s starting to snow pretty good, but the road is still pretty clear.
Hmmmmm…the mountains are beginning to disappear in the snow…….
Oh, man, I AM NOT feeling good about this. Slow down!!!!!!
The lanes are getting pretty narrow, and now everyone is going at a snails pace as we climb to the final (I hope) summit.
It was bumper to bumper all the way to the top (apparently a LOT of folks paid no attention to the winter weather warning!), things lightened up a little as we crawled down that “hill”, and after another couple of hours of off and on again snow, we did finally make it to the Walmart in Cedar City. It’s still snowing lightly, and it really is going to be in the mid-high teens tonight, but we made it over the pass and we are VERY THANKFUL!
Time to get snuggled under that wonderful down comforter.
(as soon as the Phillies win, right?)