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Old 01-06-2011, 04:26 AM   #15
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Escape from Vegas

We left Las Vegas on Tuesday around 11:30 AM. While being with family and friends (and Elvis) in Vegas was a truly amazing experience, it's not my kind of place. I love the lights, but I don't gamble. Anyway, it appears that no one got arrested, or tattooed. So, we headed west towards California.

The trip down I-15 was a nice ride, and uneventful. We did encounter some interesting grades and water on the road near Barstow. We were fortunate enough to get down off the hill before it started to freeze. In Victorville there was snow covering the ground, but the roads were clear.

After deciding on Malibu, the strategy was to get some rest and navigate Los Angeles in the early hours to avoid traffic. Since we only needed a few hours sleep, we consulted "The Next Exit", and found a Walmart just Off I-15 in Rancho Cucamonga. We called ahead to confirm it was OK to park there, and when we arrived we checked with the security guard, who recommended a good location. We hit the road at 2:30 AM. Aside from some poorly maintained freeways and detours, with the help of two GPS units (which are in perpetual conflict with each other), and a city map, the drive to Malibu was uneventful... yet exhilarating. We arrived in Malibu just before sunrise, and found a place to park and get some pictures and explore the town a bit. I'm pretty sure I spotted Malibu Barbie, without any makeup, walking some kind of poodle-like dog this morning. That's my story...

We're staying at Malibu Beach RV Park. It's an excellent location, with reasonable off-season rates (electric/water, cable, wifi @ $34). Like most everything here, it's on the side of a hill that appears as if it will slide into the Pacific at any moment. The sites are small, but level, and the scenery is spectacular. The weather today was great, but right now the wind is gusting at 39 MPH. There are three other Airstreams and an Avion here.

Here are some more pictures:

1. Our neighbors-Casita, Avion, Airstream
2. Sunset from the Pacific Coast Highway.
3. Sunset from the campground.
4. Towards the east.
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:38 AM   #16
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More pictures

1. Cowabunga!
2. From our site towards the west.
3. Before we were flanked by SOB's.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:02 AM   #17
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I admire you for getting up early enough to take those great pictures.

Stay where its warm as long as possible.

Just a reminder what might greet you if you come back too early.


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Old 01-14-2011, 11:05 PM   #18
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Picacho Peak State Park

I'm a bit behind in my pictures. Been busy. Coming soon, the Salton Sea, Slab City, Salvation Mountain, and Bombay Beach.

This is where we are tonight.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:46 AM   #19
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I'm orange with envy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverRanger View Post
I'm a bit behind in my pictures. Been busy. Coming soon, the Salton Sea, Slab City, Salvation Mountain, and Bombay Beach.

This is where we are tonight.
These are some very fine photos. Well done.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:01 AM   #20
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Thanks, Moses. I thoroughly enjoyed your blog, especially the latest entry about your experience with the border guards, and the pictures are spectacular.

Just two days ago, after we left the Salton Sea and were headed east on I-8, we enjoyed yet another checkpoint. The sign indicating we should merge for an inspection came upon us rather quickly, and my first thought was "Great, this must be another agricultural inspection" like to one we had entering into California, and asked my wife if we had any vegetables or plants. A few tomatoes, some salad mix, an orchid, and a couple of potatoes. I told her to get ready to open the Bambi. To my relief, it was a Border Patrol checkpoint. Those guys have a sense of humor.

When we stopped, the officer said "Good afternoon, is it just the two of you?"
Yes, sir I replied.
He then asked, with a straight face, "Are you sure you don't have that nice trailer packed full of illegal immigrants?"
No sir, it's just us two of us.
He said, with a smile, "Then how can you explain those guys waving at me through the window?"
I told him he was welcome to take a look, we love to show it off.
He laughed and said, "That won't be necessary, you have a safe trip", and waved us on.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:47 AM   #21
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The Salton Sea

Just a few images. More to come.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:18 PM   #22
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My wife are really enjoying your photos. When you get home, would you mind posting the campground locations where you stopped? We have traveled the same areas, but you seem to be finding different (better) locations than we have. --Thanks.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
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My wife are really enjoying your photos. When you get home, would you mind posting the campground locations where you stopped? We have traveled the same areas, but you seem to be finding different (better) locations than we have. --Thanks.
I'd be glad to post the campgrounds. We'll be arriving in New Orleans tomorrow, and should be there for a few days. Hopefully, I'll have some time to post some more pictures. Off the top, some of the more memorable ones were:

Lake Mead National Recreation Area: Great location and scenery. The campground was very well run and maintained.
http://www.nps.gov/lake/planyourvisi...nglakemead.htm

Circus Circus in Las Vegas: An average campground. The location was its biggest asset.
Las Vegas / Circus Circus KOA | Camping in Nevada | KOA Campgrounds

Malibu Beach RV Park: The scenery was astounding. The campground was very well maintained, and the off-season rates were very reasonable ($31+tax).
Malibu Beach RV Park | RV Campground | Malibu | California

Salton Sea State Recreation Area - Headquarters Campground: The photo ops, history, and the atmosphere were the attraction. Someday, I hope to return there.
Salton Sea SRA

Picacho Peak State Park: Speaking as a retired State Park Ranger, this was one of the best parks I have seen to date. I truly wish we had stayed longer.
Arizona State Parks: Picacho Peak: Home

Most of the commercial campgrounds we stopped at for rest along the way were unremarkable, but convenient. Ordinarily we spend more time boondocking, but our furnace went south shortly after we did, and it seems that unusually cold weather has been following us across the entire country.

Right now, we're at the Isle of Capri Casino near Lake Charles, LA. We have no interest in the casino, but at $15 for an electric hookup, and all the freeway, train, and ship noise you can stand, it's a real bargain.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:27 PM   #24
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Picacho Peak State Park

Here are a few pictures from our site at Picacho Peak:
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:32 AM   #25
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Awesome Blog ..keep us posted..I really enjoyed your cross country descriptions. Keep the pictures coming.. Obie
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:21 PM   #26
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Thumbs up

Thanks, Obie. Many pictures to come, as time allows. We just arrived in New Orleans, and are at Bayou Segnette State Park. So far, it seems to be the ideal spot. It's a 30 minute drive to the French Quarter, or a shorter drive and a ferry ride (free) across the river. $18 per night with water, electric, wifi, and laundry included. Now I have to tighten up some loose cabinets. We may try to go in town later on.


Bayou Segnette State Park - Louisiana Office of State Parks
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:26 PM   #27
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Bayou Segnette State Park

The site:
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:07 PM   #28
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Unexpected turn of events.

We had an amazing time in New Orleans, and will definitely do it again soon. It was one of our favorite places along the way. We usually stay away from the touristy things, and like to explore places on our own. After 5 days, we didn't even scratch the surface, so it just may be our next trip.

Anyway, as we were nearly 300 miles into slowly winding our way back home, we learned our house had been burglarized. All evidence indicated they had been interrupted, and would likely return to finish the job. So... driving 936 miles in under 21 hours (including a brief stop to winterize the Bambi), on mostly bad interstate highways wasn't a good way to end an otherwise epic cross-country road trip. Apparently, they were looking for guns and drugs. All they got was some mostly expired blood pressure medicine (I hope they take some, because it made me feel terrible ), and a little costume jewelry. There was minor property damage to a window and the gun safe. Fortunately, we got back before they returned to pick up their stash, so things could have certainly been worse.

All in all, we had a great time, and are already planning our next journeys. I took lots of pictures, and will begin posting them after we get things repaired, cleaned, and sorted out. I had forgotten what a bear fingerprint dust is to clean up.
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