Heading back East

July 16th 2016 : Day 16 : San Diego Ca – Yuma Az.

Headed out from San Diego, drove on outskirts in pseudo desert and rolling mountains.  Passed thru Descanso where we think Dandy camped and then joined Old Hwy 80.  Pretty drive, got to Pine Valley, lots of vegetation and sky is clear of smog.   Passed thru border patrol as we head south.   Drove within 100 ft of the border on old hwy.  Green turns to shrub covered mountains which then turn into piles of LARGE rocks, mountains of rocks.  Continuous mountains of large rocks. We see the wall.  Trump doesn’t need to build it.  More rocks, more mountains of rocks.  These didn’t look like regular mountains but large piles of rocks.   Down, down we went thru curvy road and mountains of more rocks. Then it turns flat. Then it turns to sand and hot.  Pass thru Dixieland (Imperial Valley) that is green and farming. Chief chop is no longer cotton it is hay.  Probably where Dandy saw Egyptian cotton, we saw only 1 field.  We went thru Holtsville and then had 20 drops of rain.  Next sand dunes, Sahara type sand dunes, and we saw part of the plank road, 3 times (the same the same part).   Crossed into Yuma, saw Ocean to Ocean bridge, then went to hotel.  It is too hot to do anything else. Drove to supper at Julieanna’s patio café.  Saw old towne and night and bridge.  Camped at hotel.Mileage: 224.8

 We headed out of the traffic and started going up and so did the temperature.  We stopped for supplies at Walmart (in California) and they charged us CRV fees for each plastic bottle we bought.  What, we bought a 24 pack of water and 3 six packs of diet Pepsi (we ran out of our diet cheerwine a couple of days ago and they don’t sell that kind of stuff around these parts).  Susan was driving and was threatened with “Strong winds possible next 63 miles”.  Luckily it was only a threat.  We drove by the city of Alpine – I guess they have never been to the Alps.   It was 86 degrees, dry and only 2000 ft in elevation.  What had they been drinking??

We left I 8 near Descanso on Hwy 79 to pick up old Hwy 80.  We first saw a sign stating “hikers, one gallon of water per person”.  So seriously, they would hike in hot and dry conditions and have to carry a bunch of weight.  I think I’ll pass. The drive on 80 was so calming.  No traffic, green at first, interesting scenery and no smog.  The green later changed to the desert we had seen before.  Partial desert – rocky but shrub covered mountains.   After we pass under I8 to the lower portion of old Hwy 80, we encounter the border patrol.  Wait we aren’t at the border. So we pull off.  They kinda of laugh at us as they explain they are only checking folks going in the other direction.  Thank goodness for that Florida license plate.    Susan’s phone then dinged and said “welcome to Mexico – your Tmobile…..”  We were that close to the border driving on old hwy 80.  Literally it was only 100 feet away.  There was a fence and we took pictures.    We drove along the border for a couple of miles.  We then started seeing the mountains of rocks.  Some of these mountains where huge and they looked just like piles of rocks not regular mountains.  Some of the piles reminded us of the Flintstones.   We then see a windmill farm on the Mexico side of the fence but the power grid portion was on the US side???   Are we stealing their power???   We then connected to I8 and drove down the piles of rocks gorge, down, down, down, giant mountain sized piles of rocks.  NO dirt, just rocks.   How could you walk that, how did they make the road?   I hope the pictures show it.   It was weird, just weird.   After the gorge, it flattened out some and got sandier.  We then saw the old road to the right but it was concrete and I’m sure Dandy’s version wasn’t.   We stopped and I made pictures while standing on the old road.  It goes for miles.   We then drove thru desert and were on hwy 115 – Evan Hewes Hwy – and saw a mining operation.  Several miles later, we saw a bunch of folks under a tent sitting around.  What??? It’s 103 degrees and we are in the middle of nowhere, I mean nowhere, nothing….   Not sure what they were doing…   in several miles we entered the Imperial Valley – we started seeing green.  They divert water in from the Colorado River and their main crop seems to be hay.  Tons of hey and all of it is covered.  I guess this extreme heat will break it down if it’s in the open.   We then passed into El Centro and on thru Holtsville where we encountered a major rain storm (all of about 20 rain drops).   The road ended on I8 but we had to travel 3 miles west bound because there was a detour on the entrance ramp.  We really didn’t want to go west again but had to.   We saw some virga – rain that evaporates before it hits the ground.

The route then passed back close to the border.   We started to see old sections of the road again and it was covered with sand and rocks and was mostly broken.  I just can’t imagine what it was like to come thru this area.    We then saw the sand dunes.  These are Sahara type sand dunes, sand in all directions.   This is a great place for a movie.  Desert, moon, outer space, …..   The variety is crazy.   Pam spotted a portion of the plank road from I8.   We knew we were going to go to the Grays Well exit to try to make it to the portion of the plank road, but when we pulled off, we saw that you now needed a permit to go to the end.  I guess they are getting more concerned about border problems (we are only maybe ¼ mile from the border).  No one was there to get a pass from so we decided to go back and take pictures of the portion you could see from the highway.  Back to the west, turn around, and back to the east.  I set the camera on continuous and started shooting where I thought the road was.  I started too early and it was storing so I missed the best part….. so we did it again, back west, then east.  At the turn around, Susan jumped out of the van and got some desert sand for Donny and Alex.   Here we go again.   This time I got it spot on.  Unfortunately I didn’t notice they were out of focus till we got to the hotel.  I’m sad.  We saw more of the border fence.  The temperature slowly climbed to 109.  It’s hot.

We crossed the Colorado River and crashed at our Hotel.  We made numerous trips down the hall and stairs in order to take advantage of the laundry facilities.  Tonight’s hotel is the Homewood suites (Hilton) we did another $50 and 12.5K points for this hotel.

We picked out a restaurant and drove thru neighborhoods.  The neighborhoods were all walled in.  Everyone had a fence, mostly cinder block.  It was like everyone had to protect their private domain.  It was strange looking.  The GPS kept sending us thru these neighborhoods and then said we had arrived.  It stopped us at a house.  The house was dilapidated, this couldn’t be right.   We started to pick a new place when Susan saw a sign pointing to an area 2 buildings down.  The restaurant was in the back of a parking area but still in the middle of the neighborhood. We went inside anyway.  The inside was like the pictures we had seen and the food was wonderful.  We saw a peacock in the inner courtyard.  We are glad we didn’t pass it up even though the location was weird.

We got to the car, it was dark and had been for an hour and it was still 102.  Next, we drove thru the historic portion of town.  My camera card died.  Ok, so we use Susan’s camera.  Ghostbusters was here, the 2 cars you always see in the movie and other stuff from the movie.  I’m not sure if they were having some kind of premier or what there.  We got pictures.  Next we went to find the old bridge.  As we were driving around we suddenly found ourselves on it.  It’s one lane bridge where the traffic light lets each side take turns crossing.  The GPS said welcome to California when we got across.  Pam then saw the lighted sign on the side of the bridge.  That is what I was wanting to see and Susan found a way to get us down below it so we could take a picture “Ocean to Ocean Highway Yuma” all lite up.  We then drove back to the hotel and crashed.

  • We meant to fry an egg on the parking lot when we got to the hotel but the laundry took too long and we forgot. We will try tomorrow.  I know it would have fried quickly.
heading east

heading east

i don't want to be near here in an earthquake

i don’t want to be near here in an earthquake

heading out of town

heading out of town

mountains changing colors

mountains changing colors

starting to get rockier

starting to get rockier

then green near old Hwy 80

then green near old Hwy 80

on old Hwy 80

on old Hwy 80

mountain road

mountain road

border patrol

border patrol

heading to mexico

heading to mexico

that's Mexico over that way

that’s Mexico over that way

turning rockier

turning rockier

still rocky

still rocky

turning green for a moment

turning green for a moment

border wall

border wall

wall and the patrol that's how close we were

wall and the patrol that’s how close we were

old town. you can see the border from the town.

old town. you can see the border from the town.

windmill farm

windmill farm

here come the rocks

here come the rocks

more rocks.

more rocks.

Piles of rocks, big piles of rocks

Piles of rocks, big piles of rocks

these pictures just don't show the scale but more rocks

these pictures just don’t show the scale but more rocks

mountain piles of rocks

mountain piles of rocks

Rocks

Rocks

rocks changing colors

rocks changing colors

suddenly we are out and it is flat

suddenly we are out and it is flat

back on old road

back on old road

claire standing on really old road taking picture down it.

claire standing on really old road taking picture down it.

sand mountains in the back ground

sand mountains in the back ground

oasis

oasis

imperial valley and green

imperial valley and green

back to sand

back to sand

back at the border

back at the border

sand dunes

sand dunes

concrete river thru the dunes

concrete river thru the dunes

more sand dunes

more sand dunes

google sat view of the plank road since my pictures didn't really come out

google sat view of the plank road since my pictures didn’t really come out

ghost busters

ghost busters

Ocean to Ocean Hwy bridge at night

Ocean to Ocean Hwy bridge at night

One thought on “Heading back East

  1. Patty Nealley

    Rocks, Sand, Heat, Rocks, Sand, Heat….glad I don’t live near this part of the country!
    Keep on truckin and havin a good time.

Comments are closed.