March 24, 2014

Up at a good hour, I checked out of my motel, and headed south on CA 247. I enjoyed the sights ahead in the morning, and soon came to the road heading southeast to Yucca Valley, CA. I was back in the Desert! My morning idea was to motor through Joshua Tree National Park. Getting gas, I motored to Twentynine Palms, CA, and took the road into the park, there.

The friendly gal at the entrance station gave me a map and information, my annual pass being well used and handy. I had to get to Arizona, tonight, so had no time to bag any peaks. I have done them all, mostly, some even multiple times, so resolved to relax and enjoy. It wasn’t as scenic as the road going through the Wonderland of Rocks, but as the road began to descend towards the south, I set some video to run. Coming to the Cholla Garden, I parked, and did video as I hiked the quarter mile loop trail. Fun, already!

There was road construction, and I did more video, the roads mostly to myself. Soon, I came to Interstate 10, and headed eastbound, passing by Chiriaco Summit. My memories of our many drives and peak climbs along this highway inspired me. Passing through Blythe, CA, I had a drink and rest, then I crossed over into Arizona. The state does not observe Daylight Savings time, so no clock changes are needed. Now on Mountain Time, I zoomed east at 75 mph, with a long way to go, yet.

Because I had such a lot of driving, my daily exercise was to be done by the short walking to rest areas and the actual driving. Many people do not hike, for fear of leaving their cars. There is trailhead vandalism and break-ins. I was set to accomplish my trip goals first, then to do some hiking and peak bagging.

After awhile, I was coming to Phoenix, AZ. I stopped for gas, and to check, then add, oil. There is new highway construction, and a nice set of overpasses made for a short video pass under them. Continuing east on I-10, I passed by Picacho Peak State Park. This sharp mountain I had climbed back in 1999, so I took note of the blooming palo verde by the freeway, and did more video.

Coming to Tucson, AZ, I had done some research on dining. Taking the city streets, I found the restaurant, where I planned to dine, was closed due to the spring break. Disappointed, I headed back to the freeway, but then saw another restaurant that I had researched. Pulling into the mall, I entered, and found that they had what I wanted. I didn’t expect the ramen out here to be that good, but I ordered it, and saw that it was O.K.

Getting back onto the Interstate, I saw more sights, and finally came to Willcox, AZ, which is one of my favorite desert lodging spots. I have stayed here for visits to Chiricahua National Monument, and for a past Arizona road trip. It was night, and I had driven over 500 miles, today.

2014 New Mexico Road Trip Home, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 1, 2, Movies