|Special educational pages from this month|
Hearst Castle gallery
Naval missile and plane display
Reagan Museum and Presidential Library
Titan Missle Meseum
|View entire year's route||546K|
|View year's Camps||90K|
|View this month's route||67K|
Sunday, March 1We're still in the same campground, but I figured it would be best to repeat the first day header because of the new month. Today was an easy going day. Frank spent time working on these webpages and further developing the Google Placemarks. Tom caught up on little chores around the trailer and email writing, the sending will have to wait till tomorrow when we have an Internet connection. In the afternoon we took another photography tour by the same ranger. This time the talk was in Golden Canyon, a beautiful location. In years past there use to be a paved road going up into this canyon; however, the rains kept washing out the road so in the 1970s, they decided to abandon the road, but you can still see some of the pavement in places. In the evening we decided that we will move on to newer locations in the morning.
We packed up and left Stovepipe Wells this morning and headed west. In about 14 miles the elevation increased from sea level at the campground to over 5,000 feet. We crossed the mountains that form the western side of Death Valley and descended into the Panamint Valley which is almost as large, but not as deep as Death Valley. Near the edge of the park we stopped for a brief rest at Father Crowley Point with spectacular views. In one photo you can see the road we had used coming out of Death Valley. Once outside the park we turned southward before ending our drive in Edwards Air Force Base just a few miles from the runway where the space shuttle lands if it is forced to stop in California.
Tuesday, March 3
Over the last few days Frank has had some serious problems with a rash. We think it is the same soap allergy he had last summer. Tom washed all his clothes again using just water. Today much of the rash has eased. We began today taking a short drive to look at some planes parked in a small museum on base. Then we hooked up and headed west again toward Bakersfield. Along the way we went through some mountains and rain passing many wind turbines generating electricity. We passed many very pretty green hills with lots of golden flowers blooming. We arrived in Bakersfield in a rain storm.
Thursday, March 5
Friday, March 6
After a short run to the grocery store and a filling of diesel fuel we set off on our daily journey. We had planned on going south about 20 miles and taking a scenic route through the mountains. However, a short way after getting on CA route 99 we saw a notice sign saying our planned road, CA 166, was closed through the mountains and to look for other routes. Tom quickly found another route which would take us along state road 58. But at McKittrick we came across a sign that said this road not advisable for vehicles longer than 30 feet. Our trailer and truck are over 50 feet. Backing up, we went north, paralleling our trip southward, but in the opposite direction until we got to CA route 46 which was open to the coast. Along our route we passed a number of places which turned out to be quite interesting after we looked them up on the Internet this evening. First was what must be the largest power switching and transformer station Frank has ever seen at the small village of Kilowatt. Next we passed through part of the Midway-Sunset Oil Field, which after a bit of research we found to be the third largest producing oil field in the US. W Over a distance of a few miles we passed literally thousands of oil wells packed more closely than we have ever seen, almost all of which were hard at work pumping black gold. About 50 miles further on we passed an intersection which meant nothing special to us until later in the evening when Frank was mapping out our daily route and happened to see a Wikipedia icon on the spot. Turns out that was the place where James Dean died in an auto accident back in 1955. W
And finally, as we came around a curve on US 101, we spied the Pacific Ocean as can be seen to the right of this webcam shot. Later in the evening, Tom and I took a little stroll along the beach and watched the sun go down over the Pacific Ocean.
Sunday, March 8
We packed up this morning and moved about 20 miles south to Morro Bay. A beautiful state park which includes beaches and the largest estuary in California. After settling down and resting we walked to their little natural history museum which was quite nice. The round mountain seen in these photos is called Morro Rock W and is one of a number of volcanic plugs which formed some three million years ago along a series of tectonic plates. The rocks around them has worn away in the interim leaving the plugs as mountains out at sea. Later we went to dinner at a very nice seafood restaurant in town called Dockside. Afterward we drove out to the rock and Frank took some more night shots.
Tuesday, March 10
Wednesday, March 11
|A basic move south for us today. We are en route to another military installation which we expect to spend the next 2 to 3 nights. Vandenberg is where the Air Force tests rockets such as ballistic missiles. It is also where most of the satellites for military and commercial use are shot up from which aren't launched from Cape Canaveral Florida so security was tight getting in. This is a nice Famcamp. Good spacing between sites, open fields border the campground on one side and woods on the other. Much better than Edwards AFB was.|
For the last few days of travel we have been traveling along the El Camino Real along the California coast. W The route is marked with bells on top of poles.
Today as we drove along we stopped at a rest area for lunch and Frank noticed some geology markers. This area is unusual as being the only mountains along the California coast that go east and west instead of north and south. From the air one can see the change from sandstone to shale and clays by the distinctive change in foliage. In this Google Earth placemark the change shows between the rough brown on the left to the smoother brown on the right. W The current satellite image was shot in November 29, 2006. In March this year there is much more green visible. Just beyond the rest area the road comes to the Pacific ocean and turns southward. As we drove along we could see a number of off-shore oil drilling platforms. In the last photo we can see one of the old bridges built in the early 20th century. Beyond that is a railroad bridge and we can just make out an oil platform on the horizon.
Saturday, March 14
Sunday, March 15
|We're moving again, this time eastward. We are headed for Twentynine Palms, but wanted to stop off about half way to avoid too long a drive. This campground is a park intended as a permanent manufactured housing development, with a few campsites for overnighters. Not a bad stay for one night, nice lady in office, clean, but the overnight sites, with only about 6 feet between, would be cramped if they were full. Along the way we stopped along the road for lunch next to a cherry orchard and the trees are just starting to bloom.|
The beginning of our drive today was through heavy traffic. Amazing how much traffic we found in a desert. Later miles along our route the traffic eased, the houses became sparse, and the scenery was beautiful. This campground is basically a parking lot but is clean and will do fine for a couple of nights as we visit Joshua Tree National Park. We had thought of staying at the nearby Twentynine Palms Marine Corps W Famcamp, but after taking a look it wasn't any better than here and didn't have Internet available. Frank is still playing with night photography.
Wednesday, March 18
A nice campground, but pricey. We moved from Twentynine Palms southward to Indio which is just east of Palm Springs. After unhooking the trailer we noticed 2 of our trailer tires are shot. The steel belts are showing through the sides of the tires. After Frank picked up his meds from a local pharmacy, we drove over to look at a tire place to see how difficult it will be to get in. We have set up an appointment for tomorrow to have them replaced. We also need to get the axle straightened, but the only place in town that can handle something this big can't get us in until next week. So we will move on and try to find a place in Phoenix or Tucson. We got salt for the water softener and that is now putting out nice soft water again after having run out of softening ability about 2 days ago.
Friday, March 20
|This is a county park. Rather nice, but could be better organized. The view to the west has a bunch of old stored trailers, but to the east is the Colorado river and the mountains of Arizona. The mountains all around us are beautiful and tonight we saw a spectacular sunset.|
|We are in a true desert campground, but very nice. Clean, very wide sites and extremely friendly owners. Crossing the desert today we saw areas which had obviously had recent rains. The flowers were everywhere along with many different kinds of cactus. I keep repeating myself about how beautiful I think the mountains of this region are. Later this afternoon the wind picked up and is gusting around 40 mph. The region is under wind advisory warnings, but it should calm down by eleven tonight.|
|This morning we picked up mail and stopped by a local city museum which was interesting. We then hooked up and drove south about 50 miles to Ajo. In the late afternoon we took a drive around town and viewed a large open pit copper mine which is now closed, but can be clearly seen in this Google Earth view. W We then drove downtown and found ourselves in a beautiful town center with an historic railroad station that has been restored with restaurants and small shops.|
Davis-Monthan AFB (overflow area) Tucson, AZ $7.00 per nightWe were in an overflow area tonight with no hookups so this entry was written the next day. On our route today we saw a coyote crossing the road and passed a group of border patrol guards who had caught a Mexican trying to sneak in. We also passed Kitt Peak observatory. W We may go back for a tour if time permits. We stopped for a moment at an historical marker where there once was a gold mining town.
Davis-Monthan AFB Tucson, AZ $17.00 per nightToday we moved to the full hookup area of this campground. I am having problems with my main computer. Yesterday I browsed to a website that tried to give me a virus. The virus was stopped by my anti virus software but something has happened with many software components on my machine, including the dialogue boxes that allow me to extract Google Earth location information from my photos. Friday we are going to a local tour, so I will be spending Saturday rebuilding this computer. I will get the photos and other log entries done after the rebuild. Well it turns out that I was able to repair my computer with a lot of scanning and such so a rebuild won't need to be done at this time.
Friday, March 27
Saturday, March 28
Sunday, March 29
Monday, March 30
Tuesday, March 31