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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Here we go again !

    In just 5 days time we will be back on US soil and hitting the road once more ! After our last trip in a car and Motels we are happy to have Simon and Louise [son and DIL] joining us again which means we are back in an RV for this trip. [It becomes much more affordable sharing the RV costs.] Can't wait ! Our entry point is LA and we will spend 1 night on Venice beach before hitting the road. We got a super deal on direct flights from London Heathrow to LAX, which is the main reason for our start point. It's another packed trip as we plan to visit the only two States left in the west we haven't done, Oregon and Washington. [After this one we plan to slow down a bit !!]

    So the trip itself takes us from LA up the east side of the Sierra's to Lake Tahoe, stopping in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine CA for the night on the way. Then it's Lassen Volcanic NP, Burney Falls, Crater Lake, Mt Hood, Columbia River Gorge, Mt Ranier, [via Mt St Helens weather permitting visibility] and up to Olympic NP. We then have 6 to 7 days heading back down the Oregon and Cali coast back to LA.
    In between we have a lot of smaller attractions noted to break the journeys up if we find time, but as always, that's at a premium.

    We leave from Long Beach airport as we make our way to Lone Pine, hopefully between Noon and 1pm and I am a bit undecided as to which route to take which isn't helped by the fact the ladies would like to get a view of the Hollywood sign. My gut is telling me to head east [I-605/210/15/US395] to avoid some LA traffic, but I am tempted to head up I-110 to 101 and take a quick detour to the Hollywood Bowl.

    So the question for those that know is, how slow is LA traffic likely to be heading towards the Bowl around lunchtime, as 'on paper' it's actually quicker than heading out to the east. Also, is there anywhere along 101 where you can easily capture a shot of the Hollywood sign ? I know the Bowl is quite easy to access, but I have seen 'the Hive' on Mulholland drive, anyone know what that road is like for an RV ? It's no big deal I know, but happy wife equals happy life. ;-) The other 2999 miles I am quite comfortable with, but any suggestions welcome.

    [Oh yeah, we have the RV for 16 nights]

    Dave.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Lunchtime in that area is likely to be somewhat soupy any day of the week, but you may get a slight respite IF you happen to be traveling on a weekend.

    I'm heading up there in about 9 days -- but that would be too late to drive it for you and check it out. Sorry, wish I could!


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Thanks Donna I guessed as much and it will be Thursday lunchtime depending on how accommodating Cruise America are with an early pick up. I want to get into the Alabama Hills area before sunset to find a suitable spot for a bit of 'Boondocking'.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Musta bin good deals!

    Most places in that area of LA you will see the Hollywood sign. I know it is right near Highland and Vine streets with good views, and also visible from spots on Hollywood or Sunset Blvds, in between those two streets. That is the area where I stay, if/when I stay in LA. The hostel below the sign. I like that area, with all its buskers and like attractions.

    Yo0u'll need to make a stop in Barstow for the ladies. Great outlet malls there.

    Already looking forward to the report. Most those areas I have driven through, but never 'visited'.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default If it were me....

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    We leave from Long Beach airport as we make our way to Lone Pine, hopefully between Noon and 1pm and I am a bit undecided as to which route to take which isn't helped by the fact the ladies would like to get a view of the Hollywood sign. My gut is telling me to head east [I-605/210/15/US395] to avoid some LA traffic, but I am tempted to head up I-110 to 101 and take a quick detour to the Hollywood Bowl.
    Since you will have the SUV on Thursday morning -- before you head to Long Beach to get the RV, I'd suggest you use the SUV to go to the Hollywood Bowl and seek photo opps of the Hollywood sign. Much easier to get parking in the truck! That way when you get to Long Beach to pick up the RV, you have the full spectrum of routes to go.

    Also, why are you going to Barstow? I would take US-395 from Victorville and stop at Randsburg on your way north. If you do stop, please say howdy to "Hoot" for Megan and I. Also, Bart has some pretty interesting artifacts in his museum...

    Glad you are going to Lone Pine -- there's a lot of smoke up there right now -- but the area is still very cool. Oh, just looked -- it is now the clearest it has been in a long time!

    And I am sure you were planning on stopping at the visitor center on the south side of town -- that 3-D map is very, very cool.

    Hopefully, some of the dozen wildfires raging in the Sierras will be under control when you are around -- and smoke will be diminished.

    And, of course, looking forward to seeing you IRL on Wednesday night in Venice Beach!

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Odd Site

    Using the term 'odd' in the sense of random rather than quirky, let me just suggest a few places to consider including in your west coast swing.

    Mount Hood: One of the better camping sites, and it has a stunning view of Mount Hood over the lake, is Trillium Lake Campground. One word of warning though - Be sure that you know from MAPS how to get to it. Our GPS sent us up a steep, poorly graded, mountain road, all the while telling us that the lake was right next to us.

    Columbia River Gorge: Make ample use of the Historic Columbia River Highway (old US-30) rather than I-84. There are about half a dozen waterfalls along this stretch, all of them just very short walks from the old road. But, on the Washington side of the river, is an odd (OK, quirky this time) monument to WWI soldiers modeled (somewhat) after Stonehenge.

    Oregon Coast: I realize that this was intriguing to me because of my interest in American history, but I found the reconstructed Fort Clatsop to be fascinating. There are guides/interpreters as well as some very nice walks. The famous sea stacks are just offshore of Canon Beach, but actually some of my favorite spots on the coast were at lesser known state parks with both beach access and trail on high cliffs overlooking those beaches such as at Ecola State Park.

    California Coast: The northern part of the coast is justifiably well known for both its redwoods and coastline, but my personal favorite spot was just north of San Francisco at Point Reyes National Seashore. Great walks, especially to the lighthouse (easy down, difficult up) and the chance to stand on the San Andreas Fault.

    But I'm sure you have your own list of things to see, so I won't add a bunch more. This is one of the more scenic parts of America, so you're in for a great time.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Great tips as always.

    Thanks everyone.

    Lifey. Yes they were good deals. ;-) Thanks for the Hollywood tips. I will try not to forget mentioning the shopping Mall in Barstow to the ladies. [cough cough]

    Mark. We are not going to Barstow. ;-) lol. I had considered going to Hollywood before picking up the RV, but you know how time slips away and I don't want to be getting out of LA too late in the day. It's not a 'must do' so we can see how it goes, plus we have the option of a quick visit at the end of our trip where we will have a car for about 3-4 hours from Long Beach to LAX. Thanks for the links and fire/smoke update, I am also keeping an eye on a couple in Washington that could affect our routing.

    Looking forward to our meet !

    Buck. Thanks for the great suggestions. There is just so much to see and do down the coast, we know we will only manage a few of the many places on offer, so we will go with the flow. We do have the best part of a day in the Columbia river Gorge and I hope we have time for Fort Clatsop, that looks pretty cool and we are staying overnight not to far away.

    Dave.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    If you are heading through the Hollywood area, you can get on I-5 to CA-14 to get to US-395.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default

    Gidday Dave.

    Great to see you are doing another trip. Looking forward to reading all about it. Hope the smoke clears so you get great shots.
    Cheers. Keith

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Thanks George, it was more of a case of grabbing a quick view of the Hollywood sign on the way out, so will see how the clock ticks down.

    Hi Keith. Yep, can't wait and really looking forward to it now. It's still a bit manic here what with sorting everything out before we depart, but it'll be worth it.

    Dave.
    Dave.

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