Monday – Joshua Tree to CA Coast

Monday was a travel day, as I went from Yucca Valley, near Joshua Tree, west past Los Angeles to the coast.  Before leaving Yucca Valley I had 2 more quick stops to make at Joshua Tree.  There are two areas accessible from the main road north of the Park, not from the roads within the Park itself.

I drove east towards the town of Twentynine Palms to the access road for the 49 Palms (not a misprint) Oasis.  A short ride in on the paved road took me to a parking lot from which I would have to hike up a very rocky hillside (can you say “rattlesnakes”?) and out to the Oasis itself.  It sounded real nice, but it’s not gonna happen.

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Next I drove to Indian Cove.  The paved road took me in as far as the campground, which was all I needed to see.

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Then I hit the road for LA.  It was a short drive west to get to “The 10” and it only took about 15 miles from there to get to the town of Banning, there a taco joint was waiting for me (those of you who know me know that I LOVE tacos).

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Well, the taco joint may have been waiting for me but then I had to wait for them, as they didn’t open until 11am and it was only 1030 when I got there.  No problem – as this would make the timing of my day work out perfectly.  Los Angeles was another 90 minutes up the road and I didn’t want to get through there until after lunch hour anyway so after eating I embarked for the big city.

Although “The 10” would have taken me very close to the city and directly out to the coast I opted to take somewhat of a bypass (well, an alternate route) around the main part of downtown.  I went north on “The 5,” west on 134 “The Ventura Freeway” through Hollywood and past the West Coast headquarters for ABC, NBC and CBS, then south on “The 405” to get back to “The 10,” which took me out to Santa Monica and the Pacific.  Although traffic slowed in spots it never stopped for long and I made it to the coast 13 minutes ahead of schedule, at 147pm.

In Santa Monica I picked up Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway – or PCH, and started heading north.  There were signed indicating that there had been an accident on the PCH earlier in the day and that traffic there was jammed.  I decided to suck it up and get through it before afternoon rush hour got any closer.  I guess the locals heeded the advice to avoid the area as getting past the trouble spot didn’t take long at all (crews were replacing downed power lines and they had one lane open each direction).

Then I started taking pictures.

Real estate in California is expensive, especially near the ocean.  Parking is at a premium and you even have to pay to park at State beaches.  But as you drive along the PCH there are brown signs every so often which say “Beach Access” and you may park along the highway there all day for free!  Those areas are lined with cars, but every so often I’d spot an opening, park, and walk a short distance to the sand.

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To get to the spot where I took the photo above I had to walk through the valet parking lot of a fancy restaurant to get to the path to the beach.  There was a Ferrari, a Bentley and a Corvette all parked next to each other so I knew I was in Malibu…

I didn’t see any “celebrity” houses in Malibu but they are usually built in places where you can’t see them anyway, and more importantly so they can’t see you.

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I drove further north, some pictures of which I posted earlier, and ended up in the town of Oxnard where I would spend Monday and Tuesday nights.