Thursday, October 30, 2008

California or Bust

5.5 days
10 states (count 'em!)
2650 miles

It's been a couple of weeks since the last post, and a LOT has happened in that time, so here are a few highlights so as not to bore you. We drove an average of 9 hours a day, so we could see the beautiful places we were driving though, arrive most places before dark and get set up.

Wednesday, Oct 22 :: Gadsden AL - Tupelo MS - Memphis TN - Little Rock AR
- Stopped in Memphis for some BBQ ribs - you just gotta!
- Checked Mississippi and Arkansas off Lisa's "states i've never been to" list.
- Airstream weathered its first rainy night at an rv park in Little Rock - didn't let in a drop!

Thursday, Oct 23 :: Little Rock AR - Oklahoma City OK - Amarillo TX
- Lost our brand new Alabama trailer license tag somewhere on the bouncy roads in Oklahoma...along with the whole metal piece it was bolted to! Guess we shoulda riveted the plate on...whoops. Had the paperwork at the ready. Never got pulled over.
- Stayed in an Amarillo rv park
- Had warm, happy memories of Birmingham's best birthday cake from our early party. Really, it was like a wedding cake. For breakfast. Mmm. Happy birthday Laura!

Friday, Oct 24 :: Amarillo TX - Albuquerque NM - Flagstaff AZ
- Had some seriously yummy (New) Mexican food for lunch. Smoky chipotle peppers. Discovered sopapillas.
- Were surprised to discover a pretty decent fixed gear bike scene in Albuquerque.
- Stayed in a hotel in Flagstaff because weather dropping to 20* overnight and Airstream not yet fully insulated.

Saturday, Oct 25 :: Flagstaff AZ - Grand Canyon AZ
- Both saw the Grand Canyon for the first time.

- Decided to camp up there that night and enjoy it some more - weather was really suprisingly warm, even overnight.
- Put a hole in the air bed (temporary set-up until we can rebuild the interior) - whoops - patch had a slow leak too - only had to reinflate once (at 3 am).

Sunday, Oct 26 :: Grand Canyon AZ - Hoover Dam - Las Vegas NV - Bakersfield CA
- Woke up early - got on our bikes and rode down to the canyon rim to watch the sunrise - took lots of pics of that - bedhead and all.

- Drove across Hoover Dam - they're building a HUGE bypass bridge up over it.
- Did the obligatory cruise down the strip and back - and are proud to announce that Vegas claimed a whopping total of $0 from these tourists.
- Felt glad that we had decided against claiming the radio-show-prize-package-turned-sketchy-time-share-"opportunity" at a new resort that ended up being on the far outskirts of town. We figure, if we never even really wanted to go to Vegas once, why should we obligate ourselves to go there every year?
- Checked Nevada off both of our lists.
- Stayed in a hotel in Bakersfield so we could get cleaned up and well-rested before arriving at our destination.

Monday, Oct 27 :: Bakersfield CA - Palo Alto CA
- Considered going all the way out to the coast and driving up scenic Hwy 1, but decided to just take the quicker back way up 5 and get there already. Will do some day/weekend trips. Maybe when the trailer's all polished and shiny?

- Drove up the San Joachin valley and gained a new respect for an underappreciated part of California - it was pretty and peaceful - vineyards, orchards, cacti, ranches, mountain ranges, and the occasional Airstream (even though we saw about 8-10 along the way, that was the first vintage one we saw on the road besides ours. Shared waves and grins with drivers).
- Not to discredit the aforementioned peace and beauty, but at one point we stopped and looked at each other and noted that the "Adopt-a-Highway" signs had tapered off somewhere behind us and we'd been seeing some weird trash on the side of that bumpers (plural), luggage, a baby seat, caution tape, a hubcap halfway up a mountain...?
- Arrived at our "home" for the next few weeks, in the Santa Cruz mountains on the peninsula about 25 miles south of San Francisco. We can see the Silicone Valley from here (except in the early morning when it's a big lake of fog with a mountain top sticking out of it) and if we climb the hill across the road, we can see the ocean about the same distance away.


As I told a friend the other day, we're the kind of people who tend to err on the side of actually enjoying the view instead of missing it while trying to capture it for posterity...just a little thing we discovered about ourselves during our last ten years of traveling. Hence the delayed blogging. We did get some pics, however, as you can see, and if the ones here aren't enough, Ben posted more pics of the trip on his Facebook page.

Tuesday Oct 28 :: Palo Alto CA

The guys started doing their frame building apprenticeship...

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