First taste of the States

Published: August 10th 2006
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Stan, Gary and I arrived in L.A. Airport late on Sunday night after an 11 hour flight.
Sharon and Scott were waiting for us at the airport and soon whisked us off to their 'cave-like' appartment in Goleta, just outside Santa Barbara.
We spent a couple of days recovering from jet lag, exploring locally and visiting Tom and Wanda, Scott's parents.

On Thursday Sharon took time off work and we hired a car to see what else California had to offer. It felt like old times with the 4 of us together again at last. First we visited Saddleback Butt National Park, it was drab, dry and windswept. Nothing much to write home about. We quickly moved on arriving in the town of Mojave, slap bang in the middle of the Mojave desert, as the desert was at an altitude of 3000 ft the wind was relentless, all the town had to offer was a chain of fast food joints, a rail road and a major road with constant trucks roaring past the motel window all night.

The following day we went to Red Rock Canyon also in the Mojave Desert. It was quite dramatic and of course, red. Joshua trees dotted the landscape, they are a cross between a large cactus and a small tree! We got in a bit of rock scrambling then watched as the fire brigade came to rescue a small boy who had very cleverly, climbed up, but couldn't get down. Later that day we drove over Walkers Pass at over 5000 ft. and arrived at Kernville for the night. This was where Scott joined us for the weekend, we'd booked a large motel room for 4 and had to sneak Scott in when the owners were not around. Thank goodness for blow up beds and sleeping bags!

Kernville was just like a town straight out of a western movie especially Slater's pub whose owner was a retired LA police officer who was fed up of the gun crime there, he told us that he'd had to shoot a few people himself and was now looking for peace and quiet.

From here we went in search of the giant Sequoia trees. In order to to get to them we had to sneak thru' a road block put up by the Sherrif as the road was covered in deep snow. In actual fact it wasn't so bad but we were continually looking over our shoulder to see if the sherrif was coming after us!

Scott then left us as he had to back at work the following day, we carried on to Mount Whitney. At 14,400 ft it's the highest mountain in America (excluding Alaska). Needless to say it was covered in snow and very pretty. We drove up as far as possible at 8000 ft before the road ran out. Warning signs of Bear Activity stopped us from hiking up the trail to get any higher.
Tomorrow we will be going over the border to Nevada , so until then ...........

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


Joshua TreesJoshua Trees
Joshua Trees

Sharon and Gary in Red Rock Canyon, Joshua trees are a cross between a tree and a cactus.

Like something straight out of a Western!
Mount WhitneyMount Whitney
Mount Whitney

14,400 ft high. Highest mountain in America (not counting Alaska)
Sign found in the carpark  at 8,000 ftSign found in the carpark  at 8,000 ft
Sign found in the carpark at 8,000 ft

WE decided to give the mountain trek a miss today!!

11th August 2006

What a family
Hi, Sheila, You didn't tell me you had a blog.! What a family of travellers we are, most of mine being done via package holidays since i lost your father, but a traveller nevertheless. You started it back in the 70s, Dave followed in the 90s, then Sharon and gary folowing in the footsteps. Wish I was younger and could do it. I can't imagine getting up to Maschu pichu with a zimmer frame !!!!!love Mum

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