Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rollin'....Rollin'....Rollin'

Before packing and hitching, Jeanette and I got one more ride in yesterday.  We headed through Palm Desert and up Highway 74 and the famed switchback road to Idyllwild, CA.  Not having been there before, we headed out early Tuesday morning.

We said our good byes to Allen and Lolita - who were soon to head out of the RV park for a nearby lake - and rode southbound.

Highway 74 south - Palm Desert, Ca.
 We were heading for the switchback road that goes over the San Jacinto Mountains.  Following I-74, we stopped a few times to check out some tourist spots.
Is this what the moon looks like?
The ride does reveal some interesting topographic formations.  The rocks, in the photo below, appear to be welded to each other.  They are rounded out from wind and erosion.

This lookout overlooks the Cahuilla Indians original territorial grounds, dating back over 2,000 years.
The original natives used every plant and animal life except for birds.  They were considered sacred.
The entrance to the look out off I-74
Did I mention that the weather was fantastic?  It was!  What a stunningly beautiful day to day trip over the mountains.  Part way up though we had to stop and put our riding jackets on.  The temperature dropped at least 20 degrees at 6,000 feet.
Who knew there was a real pine forest that high up in the mountains.....but, there is!
It's a great switchback ride to get into Idyllwild.....and the town is impressive!
We were pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the town, its high mountain location and its flair for the arts.
We looked around but we never did find the Town Crier......so, it is likely a building rather than a human being.
Wood sculpting at its best.  This art work is impressive!
 We did not have a lot of time to hang around and tour the town but we agreed to come back to do just that.  We did find a nice restaurant for lunch.  How good was it?  Well, the locals sure like it....and they patronize it too.  We enjoyed the great local food fare.
The Red Kettle restaurant - our lunch place.
We rode through the town and headed north on more switchback roads that would lead us to heights of 7,000 feet with vistas to die for.
Nice windy roads in the high mountain pine forest.
High mountain vista.....with low level pollution emanating from Los Angeles
We rode for miles and miles, down 7000 feet, to I-10, which sits at about 400 feet.  The downhill required a lot of twist and turns with plenty of braking.  Was it fun?  You bet!
We wanted to get back to our RV park by mid-afternoon to complete our packing to ready for an early departure, this morning.
Cleaning the truck windows, following days upon days of strong winds that blew sand all over the place.
The 5th wheel is towed out of its RV spot and, after attaching the swivel wheel, the motorcycle was loaded and we headed out of Caliente Springs Resort | A premier hot water RV and Vacation Home Resort
I dropped Jeanette off near the garbage disposal area, outside the RV park and, unknown to me, Jeanette took the photo below while walking to the fiver, waiting outside the RV park exit.
Nice scenic!  And, we'll be back!
 By 8:30 am, we were rolling west on Dillon Road, towards Indian Canyon Road, and north toward I-62 east.  What a climb that is!  Heading up to Yucca Valley, we turned left and east/north towards Barstow.
The big climb up, toward Yucca Valley.
There was no wind during our drive today.  Yea to that!  Gusting winds would have turned a perfectly fine drive into a much tougher one.
We're at 5,000 feet here.
The area between the Lucerne Valley and Barstow is a true moonscape. 
Edwards Air Force Base, CA.
Following a fuel and lunch stop in Tehachapi, we continued west towards Bakersfield and points north and west towards I-5.

We called it a day in Kettleman City, CA, after driving well over 300 miles, over an eight hour   .  The weather, as I write this, is lovely.  It is sunny, mild, with no wind.  We're all fueled up and ready for an early departure from here tomorrow morning.

Thanks for dropping by.

6 comments:

  1. Rene' Behind on reading the Blog's We sure enjoyed our time in DHS and the time we got to spend with you and Jeanette. The BBQ social time on Friday with everyone was awesome! Glad that you had a nice ride yesterday. Enjoyed all the pictures you shared, safe travels tomorrow! We are in the San Bernardino Mountains enjoying a beautiful evening under the pines and stars. Cheers!

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  2. Not too often I see pictures from up in Idlywild with no snow on the ground! There is always snow up there... Safe travels!

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  3. safe travels as you continue your journey northward!!..maybe tomorrow there will be a tailwind?

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  4. Glad you made the trip to Idylwild.

    Meant to tell you about the best cinnamon buns we ever had up there...lol.

    Safe travels guys ... TnT

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  5. Sounds like a great day, safe travels!

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  6. Love those switchbacks to Idyllwild, was nice in a car but would be awesome on a motorcycle.
    Travel safe end enjoy the journey.

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