Wednesday, December 2, 2009


We left Yuma on November 30th and headed out on the Interstate 8. Approximately 7 miles outside of Yuma we went through the Imperial Sand Dunes and were surprised to see this large desert area of beautiful sand dunes which reminded us of the ones in Oregon. We will definitely want to visit these when we return to Yuma!

We also drove past the Salton Sea which is a salty body of water and part of the Colorado river system that gives life to the Sorona desert. Take any desert and add water and "Presto" things will grow and people will come.

The desert has a magical beauty that is breathtaking. Below is a photo of a Joshua Tree which grow in abundance near Palms Springs.

There are many large wind turbine generator farms just outside Palm Springs which have thousands of windmills which are 150 feet tall and have blades the length of half a football field. They cost upwards of $300,000 and the 4,000 wind farm in the San Goronio pass in the San Berandino Mountains supplies enough electricity to power Palms Springs and the entire Coachella Valley.

We drove through many small towns after Palm Springs as we wanted to avoid Los Angeles and the roads were in very poor condition - I guess since California is broke they have no money to do roadwork. It was getting dark when we stopped at the KOA in Visalia for the night but had only travelled 450 miles as it was slow going on the backroads we used to avoid LA.

The next morning, December 1st, we got up at 6 am to freezing temperaturs and it was very foggy. We were worried about ice on the road and the fog but we took our time and the fog burned off before too long.

As we drove north, the leaves around Merced were turning yellow and by the time we got to Oregon the trees had lost their leaves. In two days, we went from summer, to fall, to winter! Below, you can see the mistletoe in the bare branches of the trees.

The temperatures in northern California were lovely, 20C at Redding then it got cooler as we climbed up the mountains and went through the Siskiyou Pass. We hit the summit of 4310 feet, then the road descended steeply for 6 miles to about 1300 feet, losing about 3000 feet of altitude. It was a nailbiter.

Beautiful views of Mt. Shasta (14,162 feet).

Mt. Shasta Lake had low water level.

We stopped overnight at the Medford/Gold Hill KOA in Oregon after driving 525 miles. It was a long day but we were pleased that it was sunny and there was no snow in the passes. We went to bed early and since we were in freezing temperatures, we were thankful our heater was keeping us warm. The Bennetts were happy that the RV repair service in Yuma did a great job repairing their heater and were also cozy and warm.

December 2nd we were on the road at 7 am and drove in fog until 10:30 then sunny skies as we drove through Oregon and most of Washington. The mountain scenery was beautiful and we drove 500+ miles to stay the final night in Burlington.

We pulled out of the Burlington, Washington, KOA at 7:00 am December 3rd and headed to the border. It was busy on the I-5 but luckily no wait at the border. After a few questions we were through and back in Canada!

Luck was on our side and we caught the 9:00 ferry. We decided to go to the buffet and end our trip the way we began - enjoying breakfast with our good friends, Lana and Barry!

We arrived at the house by noon, unpacked and were happy to be home again. What a great trip, we are so thankful that we got to see so many places and enjoy so many adventures! It was everything we hoped it would be and more!