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California Journey - Death Valley, Edwards AFB & More!

California Journey - Death Valley, Edwards AFB & More!

Old Jan 25, 07, 9:58 pm
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California Journey - Death Valley, Edwards AFB & More!

This past summer my daughter and I decided to hit Cali for a quick vacation.

We arrived into Las Vegas spent our first night at AmeriSuites near the airport and grabbed a rental car in the AM. Early to rise and off we went to the North. First stop Death Valley!

The drive of course is quite desolate, with not much to see except the intrigue and gas station signs of Area 51. My little one got a kick of the stories little green men could be just over the hill.

Anyways, after a few hours we cruised over the hills and into Death Valley. It is obviously barren; but, our first stop was a sculpture park just outside of a ghost town. Quite interesting was the 20 foot pink chic with the golden pubes!

We toured an abandoned mine and drove along the salt flats. We stopped in the middle and took a movie clip. Not too long as it was 118! Any longer and I would need to flip sides for even cooking. The drive along the valley was quite unique and definately worth doing. The story is marvelous, the towns quite charming and the mineral deposits were amazing in the fading light.

The next day we were very fortunate to pass by Edwards AFB during their once a month base tours. It was free and very nice. Got a peek at the new F-22 and Boeing drones, the docking facility for the shuttle; and, the rush of a sonic boom. The place is massive and across the lake bed is the rocket engine test facility. Unfortunately, no tests that day. Folks say it is quite impressive when they let one rip.

One to Big Bear the next day to meet with Grandma. But before we make it we pass Victorville and the draw of the desert queens. Even near Edwards were MANY parked birds and also the development facilities for orbital flight including the home of the Virgin Galactic. My daughter was less than impressed when I stopped just about everywhere for snapshots.

Big Bear was fun and highlighted by the Alpine Slide which is a fan favorite for junior and myself. The lake is beautiful and the drive really nice until you head down toward LA and hit the throat clogging smog. It is just disgusting to leave beauty, clear the top of a hill and then hit the wall of cr*p that covers the LA basin.

After a day in Carlsbad with Grandma we head off to the Grand Canyon. Many of course have been and could share much more. We had a great time and the view was outstanding! I wish we could have stayed much longer.

The way back to las Vegas we decided to get off the Interstate and travel Route 66. What a thrill to stop along the way. It was a shame / embarrassment that so many thousands flew by on the "I" totally oblivious of the sights and history just a few miles away on Route 66. What a drive. Pictures with the King and Marilyn, Floats and and vintage Corvettes. A MUST DO! Hit Lake Mead and Hoover Dam on the way back to LV.

The last two days were spent in Vegas. One at Luxor day to walk around and see the sights at night. The fountains and of course the roller coaster at New York New York. The last night at the Hilton so we could go where no man has gone before! Well, actually many have, at the Star Trek Experience.

A few spots wandered of subject being in the neighbor states; but, if you are thinking of a break don't forget Death Valley and for the plane spotters out there, Edwards AFB and the bone yards within an hour drive and quite the experiences.

I can sum it up easily. I bring a DVD player for junior to watch on road trips. With MANY hours of driving, she did not watch a single movie. The show was what was outside as we drove by and stopped to view.

Enjoy! We Did

Last edited by mjcasta; Jan 26, 07 at 2:35 pm
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Old Jan 26, 07, 2:55 am
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Originally Posted by mjcasta View Post
...The way back to las Vegas we decided to get off the Interstate and travel Route 66. What a thrill to stop along the way. It was a shame / embarrassment that so many thousands flew by on the "I" totally oblivious of the sights and history just a few miles away on Route 66. What a drive. Pictures with the King and Marilyn, Floats and and vintage Corvettes. A MUST DO!
Nice report. Makes me want to go drive in the desert. And you're absolutely right about that stretch of Route 66 from Williams to Oatman!

<mod hat on>

I'm going to move this to Trip Reports for wider exposure and where it is more apt.

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Old Jan 27, 07, 1:54 am
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Mrs. TrayflowinUK and I took the drive from Las Vegas, through Death Valley and stayed at Panamint Springs (DON'T EVER EVER DO THIS!!!) before setting off at 4:30 am for the drive out of the valley to Olancha and then by Edwards and around the mtns to Three Rivers by Sequoia Nat'l Park. The third day we drove across the great state of CA, taking in mountains, citrus groves, some of the flattest land in the world, mountains, oil fields and the Pacific coast before winding up in SFO. It was an incredible three days that I'd love to repeat.
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