In between doctor’s visits and other family obligations while we are in southern California, we try to spend as much time in the Southwest this time of year as possible. For the last few years, we have made it a tradition to hit a few of our favorite spots and also try to see some new ones. We once again left the bustling highways of Los Angeles and headed for the dusty desert roads. This time, we started at Mojave National Preserve.
After spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with family in southern California, we made our way back into the California desert just before New Years. We really missed this area after spending the spring and summer across the northeast. Our time just before Thanksgiving in Joshua Tree was such a blast that we made plans to meet up with more full timers in the desert of Borrego Springs.
Being in Southern California during the fall means having lots of fellow full timers around who have also fled here for the weather. In fact we noticed that there were so many around, we organized a little gathering at the Joshua Tree Dry Lake Bed in the high California desert.
On the road again. It’s mid-October, we are smack dab in the middle of the US, with plans to trick-or-treat in Los Angeles. So, you think we travel fast now? Haha. Saying goodbye to Kansas and speeding thru Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona to get to California.
Our first night in Nebraska didn’t take us very far into the state. In fact, we stayed just on the Nebraska side of the Missouri River. We found a nice campground right on the edge of Lewis and Clark Lake, just outside of the town of South Yankton.
We rolled into Minnesota from the southeastern corner along the Mississippi river passing smaller towns like Winona and Red Wing. Our goal was to make it near the Twin Cities so we can have a couple of days of down time to hang out with some friends we have in town.
I have been using my new Dell Venue 8 for awhile since I first received it back at the end of March. As I wrote about in the last post, it does some pretty amazing things. One of the features I had wanted to try was the Intel Real Sense feature that allows the device to detect depth using its built-in cameras. How it works is that this camera actually has a total of 3 cameras in the back. One of them is used to take the 8-megapixel photo (though sufficient for online use but it is not the highest resolution for a device that touts it ability to manipulate photos) while the other 2 are used to measure depth.
After we left Lincoln’s Boyhood Home in Indiana, we made our way all the way through the bottom of Illinois and into Missouri to spend the night in St. Louis. We plan to spend a couple of nights here before changing our westward direction northwards.
By the time we left West Virginia, we have only 4 states in the middle of the country left to visit in the lower 48. We have been to Kentucky already a couple of times and spent almost 3 weeks here cumulatively but it is still very exciting to be back. Kentucky has really grown on us and especially since we have some great friends that live in this state which makes coming here all that much sweeter.
We breathed a sigh of relief crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. There were a lot of reasons to be relieved. One was we were glad to be away from heavy traffic and deciding not to go to DC was a big part of that. Second was that we survived the 17.6 mile crossing that included an underwater tunnel half way across the bay. Lastly, the bridge toll wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought it might be.
We wisely left New Jersey in the evening to avoid the traffic. Ever since Portsmouth, New Hampshire, we have been dealing with nearly unbearable amounts of traffic. It seems to be never ending but I think we are starting to see it ease up as we making our way down towards the Delmarva Peninsula. Before that, we are heading back into Pennsylvania for a visit to Philadelphia.
When we left from the west coast a few months ago, one of the motivating goals we told the kids was that we were going to see the Statue of Liberty. And finally now we are in New York City. Well, actually New Jersey but you know what I mean.