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Old 07-12-2007, 11:40 PM   #15
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CaddyGrn's Avatar
1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,870

I lived in the Central Valley for 45 years. I suggest you avoid as much of it as possible. I would nix Hwy 99 ~ the truckers are crazy and it is very hot in the summer, not to mention the cross traffic across the "freeway" in many places. If you are going to Watsonville, I suggest going up the coast unless you are in a real hurry. At least go up 101 as much as you can.

I agree I-5 is awful as well, but if you drive it at night you won't miss anything and it won't be as hot. There is gas, but you have to pay attention. Gas up at the grapevine and then you can go as far as Kettleman City and cut over to Hwy 101 at Paso Robles or so. I would really check out the google maps to see what you might want. Much depends on what you want to see. If you go Hwy 99 you will be much farther East than you want to be... it will add a couple of hours to your journey to come back to the West.

If you get stuck on I-5 you can always "camp" in the parking lot at Harris Ranch Restaurant just out of Coalinga. They have great steaks and shade trees. You can park on the pavement and your wifi will probably work if you park between the restaurant and the hotel (you will see others there...)

Good luck... hope the weather cools for your journey!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)

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Old 07-13-2007, 08:22 AM   #16
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2003 22' International CCD
Whittier, California , Depoe Bay, Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 358
If you are comfortable trailering on the I 5 in San Diego, you'll be comfortable on the rest of the 5 going N. Avoid the LA Int'l airport area (405) and you'll be just fine. Your primary question was timing the passage thru downtown. 10am-2pm is the best. Go the way you want and have a great trip.


2003 22ft CCD Int'l
2005 GMC Yukon Denali
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:00 PM   #17
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Yakima , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Duhhhh!!!.....I think its too late for most of our advice.....There were gonna hit the I-5 almost two weeks ago. I do the same thing. Check the time lines...I never
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Old 07-21-2007, 04:16 PM   #18
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2004 28' Classic
Chula Vista , California
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 80
Thanks for the help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions about traveling north from San Diego to the Santa Cruz/Monterey area. We ended up taking the 15 north, to the 210 west, to the 5 north, to the 99 north. Those of you that aren't from Southern Cal. this must sound like a code of some kind. To those that know the area, understand that this lingo is just a fact of life for us.

Anyway, the trip north was great with little traffic and smooth sailing. We ended up staying at the KOA in Watsonville. The park was a terrific place to stay. Good professional management, clean and lots for kids to do. Our grandson never stopped smilin' for 5 days till I told him it was bed time each night.

Also, plenty to do for adults at the park and not far away (10 minutes) were two beautiful California State Beaches, resturants galore in both Monterery and Santa Cruz (30-45 minutes). If you're traveling through that area the Watsonville KOA is a good stop.

On the trip back we took the 5 south, to the 210 east, to the 15 south. Now this was Southern California driving at it's worst. We hit about 10 miles of bumper to bumper around Magic Mountain and another six plus miles of the same stuff around Pasadena. My recommendation is driving south on Interstate 5, Saturday morning, heading to San Diego, bring your patience and make sure you've got plenty of diesel.

IrishRover 2

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