Jen’s Journal – October 27, 2019

Day 120: CP Farms, Paso Robles, CA

Sunny and cooler.

We are going to Joshua Tree!

I have been to Yosemite, Sequoia and Redwood National Parks before, and have loved them all. I have told people that California is probably my favorite state to visit because of its varied and remarkable natural formations. But if we didn’t see the places we’ve already been, it would be okay. I haven’t been to Joshua Tree National Park (or Monterey Bay) and Tom was making sure we got to those two places.

Before we drove on the outskirts of Los Angeles (Pasadena, San Bernardino) we had to check the fire situation on our route. Los Angeles has some new and uncontrolled fires right now. We didn’t experience any road closures, but we experienced smoky skies.

At Blackwells Corner it was particularly smoky, the sky an orangish haze. We bought gas, peanuts, pistachios, almonds, and water and picked up some flies in the process.

Blackwells Corner is the last place James Dean stopped before his fatal car accident in 1955.

While riding, getting up and down from my seat fetching snacks, I swatted six flies then one more surprised me. Later I got an eighth.

Two things occurred to me today. I think we left the Pacific Ocean. It’s been a nearby friend since Homer, Alaska. I’m a little sad about that.

The second thing is, I don’t think we’ve seen a Cracker Barrel restaurant on the whole trip. Wouldn’t you know, as soon as I tell Tom that, he finds one off the expressway in the LA area.

It was nearly dark when we got to Joshua Tree. We were lucky to find the last site in the Hidden Valley Campground. Unlike many other places we’ve visited this fall, which are closing up for the winter, Joshua Tree is just beginning its busy season. It is chilly and windy and full of mostly young people. And it is other-worldly different. Desert rocks, sand and Joshua Trees. Tomorrow we shall investigate in daylight.

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