Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. #1

    Default Back from SF to SF Round-Trip

    OK so we landed in SF at about 8pm on Nov 1st, so we picked up the car and crashed in a local Hotel for the night. (Our first experience of IHOP was here too!...lol)

    We set out early next morning to Auburn CA (in the POURING rain) to see friends before heading off to Lake Tahoe. Now it was at this point that we were supposed to take the 49 to Placerville and then the 50/89 to South Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately in the pouring rain - and with ME drving! - we wound up taking Forest Hill Road, which leads...well it leads nowhere this time of year. Where the road becomes Soda Spring Road, it was closed, and to be honest it looked like you would have needed a 4x4 even in the best of conditions. By this time the weather had closed in again and it was beginning to get dark so I simply turned around and headed back to the 80. It cost us a lot of time and a lot of miles, but we kept laughing about it the whole time.

    We took the 89 down the western side of the Lake and were lucky enough to drive past the controlled forest burn taking place around Rubicon Bay. I mean, the road was open, there were no Forest Service people and the fire was simply burning away merrily. I'm sure it wouldn't have impressed us half as much if it weren't dark. Rest assured we kept driving...as impressive as it was I wasn't about to stop the car to admire a forest fire!

    Day 3 was spent mooching around Tahoe, revisiting places we went in '04 when we got married, and looking into the possibility of buying a small condo there. It was cloudy and chilly, with a sprinkling of snow but only on the peaks.

    Day 4 we went out on the lake on the MS Dixie Paddle steamer for a lunchtime cruise around Emerald Bay. From Zephyr Cove we could see the smoke still coming from the fir we'd passed a couple nights earlier.
    HEre's my favourite view from the boat....


    Day 5 We headed south on the 395.
    We toyed with the idea of going into Yosemite again as Tioga was (suprisingly) still open, but we decided to head a little further on and visit Mammoth. Because of the lack of snow we were able to drive up to Minarettes Vista Point (beautiful), but sadly the road to Devil's Postpile was closed...this has happened to me every time I've tried to go there!!

    Minarettes:

    We also had a quick peep at Convict Lake (Star Trek fans...sorry...lol) and then heading off to overnight in Bishop.

    Day 6. South from Bishop, again on the 395; then off on the 136 to the 190 and into some of the most stunning scenery I have ever seen. The drive into Panamint Valley was a lot of this.........



    and the valley itself as beautiful as this.....



    But Panamint was nothing but a taster of what was to come.
    For me, Death valley was an almost spiritual experience. I'm not going to bore you senseless trying to explain why, but it IS a place which has to be seen to be believed. When you're on the Badwater Road and there isn't another person or vehicle in sight or sound, there's a kind of splendid desolation that I've never found anywhere else. We stayed the night at Furnace Creek and here's just a few of my images.........

    Artists Palette...(Spot my husband!)


    Stovepipe Dunes...


    Badwater...


    The beginning of the Sunset...


    The ultimate Sunset.....


    I loved Death Valley and would go there again in a heartbeat......

    Day 7..............unlike our next stop....Las Vegas.
    Suffice to say that Hubby loved it, and I was too shell-shocked to form a real opinion....lol. The Casinos were fabulous, and only you Americans could build something of that scale and effect...amazing.

    Day 9 took us to Redlands CA where we spent some time with friends...but can anyone explain ZZYZX Road to me? :)

    Day 11 and after saying goodbye to friends we headed (at a healthy rate of speed) to Santa Barbara for the night before heading on day 12 via San Louis Obispo and Morrow Bay up the Pacific Coast Highway to Monterey. The PCH supplies some of the finest and most dramatic views....awesome; and we were lucky to have clear sunny weather.

    Days 13 and 14 were spent in and around Monterey, and included Pebble Beach, 17 Mile Drive and a whalewatching trip. We were thrilled to see Humpback whales, Dolphins etc so close to the boat!

    From there we headed back to SF and the plane home.

    I have a gajillion pictures from our trip and didn't want to bore folks here with too many of them, but I got some sound advice from RTA Members and just wanted to share with you a little of what we experienced.

    We had a fantastic time, and because we didn't manage to squeeze in Grand Canyon....we'll be back soon!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Fantastic photos!

    I'm so glad you had a great trip. Your photos are amazing. I would love to see more if you have the time to post them.

    You had a great attitude about getting lost. There's not much you can do about it when it happens so you might as well enjoy it. I often simply think that I'm seeing something I would never have seen if I hadn't gotten lost in the first place so I usually am able to find a way to enjoy the experience myself. I'm glad you chose to turn around and get yourself back to safer roads. After the death of the CNET editor in Oregon last week....well, it's a good reminder how serious these misadventures can become so I'm thrilled you got out safely.

    And I'm glad you passed by the fire safely, too! Wow! What an experience.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. And I'm glad this wonderful place helped with your trip planning. I hope you'll continue to visit and "pay it forward" by helping others who need help with their trips.

  3. #3

    Default

    Great photos and you are right about Death Valley. Mega, mega place, innit? I desperately want to go back there sometime :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Great Field Report!

    Quote Originally Posted by viv1969 View Post
    It cost us a lot of time and a lot of miles, but we kept laughing about it the whole time.
    Perfect attitude, a few months ago I ended up on a small road in Colorado, by accident, and it too was blocked (landslide) but it was gorgeous and I would never have found it if I had been looking for it!
    Rest assured we kept driving...as impressive as it was I wasn't about to stop the car to admire a forest fire!
    As a former wildland firefighter, I never tire of watching large fires.

    Loved your photos -- Thanks for sharing!
    For me, Death valley was an almost spiritual experience.
    DV remains one of my favorite places on earth. We have published a number of articles about this location. One of these days you will have to return and travel to the Racetrack Playa to marvel at the mysterious sliding stones!
    We stayed the night at Furnace Creek and here's just a few of my images.........
    I love the old-world ambience of the Furnace Creek Inn
    Day 7..............unlike our next stop....Las Vegas.
    Suffice to say that Hubby loved it, and I was too shell-shocked to form a real opinion....lol.
    I love living in Las Vegas -- here are some of the places we have explored and written about.
    ..but can anyone explain ZZYZX Road to me? :)
    Doc Springer was a squatter who created a "health resort" here -- on the ruins of an old Army Fort at Soda Springs, it is now used as desert research station.

    Hope to see you back here soon.

    Mark

  5. #5

    Default Thanks!

    Thanks for all your great comments!

    In my experience, getting lost is just one of the facts of road-tripping. No use getting upset about it or complaining...just take it for what it is - human error, and a chance to see something you didn't plan on seeing!

    Mark....I would have LOVED to have gone to the Racetrack Playa and to have seen the sliding rocks, but we were told by the people at Furnace Creek that our rental car (Ford Focus) wouldn't be up to the job. This did not make me a happy bunny, and put the seal on the fact that next time, we rent a 4x4!! I'm so envious that you've seen them first hand!

    Next time we're in Vegas I'll be sure to use more of your local knowledge to stray a little further than the Strip. It was the sheer intensity of the place that overwhelmed me. We stayed at the Aladdin, which was nice, and the shopping mall there was outstanding; but I think the nicest place we visited there was the Venetian...quite classy. What are they building next to the Bellaggio?? I think what got to me the most though was the constant 'snapping' of the cards being handed out by all the Latina guys along the strip....the one's for, well, prostitutes....really ground on my nerves!

    OK, so I'm going to post some more photos seeing as it seems no-one minds!

  6. #6

    Default So here goes

    And in no paticular order.....

    More of Tahoe and our ride for the afternoon.




    More of DV...







  7. #7

    Default And finally

    From our trip back up the coast.........


















  8. #8

    Default That's it

    OK folks...I'm done! lol

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks, Viv, great stuff! :)

    It has been a cold miserable day here and is just getting dark. Those photos cheered me up no end, bought back some good memories. So, err, thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default You have a good eye!

    Wonderful photos. My fave is the amorous sea lions. Were you really that close or do you have a good zoom?

Similar Threads

  1. Mass. to CO, WA, CA, and eventually back (long trip by myself)
    By Lone Traveler in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-24-2006, 12:24 PM
  2. A more longer round road trip MD-west-and back to MD
    By SailorMoonStar in forum Share the Gas
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-23-2006, 11:48 PM
  3. one way road trip - car shipping from LA?
    By 3rugger in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-21-2006, 10:46 AM
  4. Four Person Road Trip - Pa To Wyoming And Back
    By mt4mt in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-10-2006, 02:10 PM
  5. Houston, TX to Barrow, AK, and back —2006 trip
    By Marlin in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 04-14-2005, 02:38 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES