Day Fiftytwo
Day Fiftytwo

Joshua Tree National Park, CA to Oceano, CA
August 3rd, 2004

High Point of the Day....
Low Point of the Day......
Brian & Theresa - The Pacific Ocean
Brian - Leaving Joshua Tree
Theresa - Not getting into the Getty
Miles Traveled Today
Total Miles Traveled
Miles Theresa Drove
0 (4060 Total)
Sunny, Smoggy, low 100's in the desert, high 70's on the coast
Price of Gas 
(average per gallon)
Night's Lodging
Where this Page was Uploaded
Cows, lizards, and quail
Pismo Beach RV Resort
Oceano, CA

Daily Didactic
It was an day of contrasts in our drive across southern California. We started in the serenely quiet Joshua Tree National Monument, drove four hours through the smog on the ridiculous LA Freeway, and broke out the other side on one of our favorite roads, California Highway 1. For Brian, LA is a sad testament to the damage folks can do to a very nice patch of land.

After a leisurely morning, we climbed down out of Joshua Tree and drove about thirty miles southwest to the intersection with I-10. We're not sure exactly where LA proper begins, but for all practical purposes it begins 100 miles east of city center on the freeway. Of course, as we mentioned yesterday, it's smog began back in northern Arizona. We raced westward with the throng of automobiles, enjoying the unpredictability of the little "speed racers" and the wind sheer from the "big rigs" along the way. After a few hours of maximum acceleration, broken up intermittently by stop and go traffic, we hit the intersection with I-405 north. We figured if we were heading through LA we'd do the right thing and hit an art museum, in this case the Getty Museum. Perched high on hill in West LA, the Getty was an easy stop and is supposed to have cool stuff in it. It also had a two hour wait for parking at 12:00 noon on a Tuesday, so we bailed.

From the full Getty parking lot, we headed west over Sunset Blvd, through Brentwood, dropping down through the town of Palisades, finally hitting the west coast. We have a funny affection for the Pacific Ocean. We can be 4000 miles from home, as we were today, but the Pacific gives us a great sense of comfort. Really, it's a little bewildering and probably short sighted. We pointed the bus north and tooled along the coast through Malibu, around Lompoc, by Santa Barbara and climbed up through the rolling coastal San Rafeal and Sierra Madre Mountains to the town of San Louis Obispo. We were there to take a look at the Madonna Inn, found in one of our Road Trip books, a pretty nutty combination of kitsch and lodging. While we make a point to avoid the topic of urinals in our didactics, we're going to have to break with tradition here. The men's room on the basement level had an urinal that was a flowing waterfall. We're betting you can find a picture on the internet. Thanks for bearing with us there.

We found a burger and beverage in downtown San Louis Obispo, a very nice little town, and then backtracked through Pismo Beach to Oceano for a "known good" RV park from four years ago, and called it a luxurious night.

Daily Pictures (Slide Show)

Morning amongst the rock blobs The exit from the very cool Hidden Valley campground
More Joshua Tree forest At the nexus of Highway 62 and I-90, a windmill forest of monumental porportions
Windmills and trucks A stretch bus on a gas truck
Hitting LA city limits, you can almost see downtown through the smog King sized graffiti, visual blight, smog, what's not to like?
Okay, it gets better the further west you go Now that's the part of LA we're here for
Starting up Highway 1, just north of Malibu Antique self illuminating sign posts
Vineyards and rolling hills Pleasant drive around Buelton
San Louis Obispo says peace, dude The very strange Madonna Inn
San Louis Obispo is giving Gunnison a run for their money on street sign fonts Brian and a large clam
A California arborist, no doubt, in Pismo Beach

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