Friday, February 25, 2011

Santa Barbara Sunshine to Sierra Mountain Winds

We left Leo Carrillo State Beach with a lot of sadness.  We had to tell Jojo good bye for almost 2 weeks.  Even though she would be working all week, just to have known that we were near would have made me feel better.  It was way too long since we had last been with her.  Somehow, I was able to let my tears go on the beach in order to not ruin our goodbye hugs.

We moved north on both the 1 and the 101 toward Santa Barbara.  This route is absolutely breathtaking.  What am I saying????  Ninety nine percent of what we have been seeing has been breathtaking.  I marvel at God's handiwork.

As we traveled north, the Pacific was so beautiful.  Every turn in the road brought new excitement.  How could the next scene be more outstanding than the other I don't know.  Not only did we see water scenes, but we saw miles and miles of fields fill with strawberries, blueberries, avocados and vegetables. 

Santa Barbara was larger than I remembered it.  We walked the beaches and took State street out to the pier where we had a wonderful lunch of shrimp, calamari, oysters, scallops, a wonderful slaw with pineapple and onion rings.  We ate outside and watched the fishing boats return with their day's catch.  Sail boats completed the peaceful scene.  A very nice day.  

We stayed at the Sunrise RV Park.    It was expensive!  $55.00 /  night but we had to hook up to electricity to recharge batteries in order to get the generator started so we could boondock during our trip to Death Valley.

Talley Winery was on our itinerary.  They had a lovely setting.  Rows and rows of vines in precise order blanketed the hillsides. After leaving Talley Vineyards, we visited the J Lohr vineyards.  Oh my!  I thought that Talley had a vast vineyard but J Lohr went on forever and as far as the eye could reach. 

Bakersfield was our next destination.  We were to boondock at the Camping World.  We had some supplies to pick up and wanted to have the oil changed.  They were unable to do the oil change which was okay since were were actually not at 3,000 yet.  They were, though able to help us with a lack of knowledge about generators.  This motor home is providing us with a HUGE learning curve.

 Our greeting to Bakersfield was oil wells.  A question I ask is why, when we have oil wells there, in Alaska, in the Gulf, just to mention a few places, are our gas prices determined by the price of oil in Lybia?  A gas station right next to an oil field and refinery was selling gas for $3.86!  Go figure.  We have read that gas in Death Valley will be over $4.00 a gallon. 

Wal Mart and Fresh & Easy were next on our list for shipping.  We replenished some of our supplies and headed for the Sequoia National Park.  The entrance to the park on  highway 178 is another experience.  The rapids are beautiful as they plummet down the mountain.  We are now in the Sierra Mountains.  What a difference in terrain.  The mountains went from lush green to brown.  This is considered the high desert.  We were planning to spend a few days in the Sequoia N.P., but a winter storm was predicted with high winds.  They said that 25 mph winds would gust to 50 mph.  The more we drove, the more the winds began to plummet us.  

We find that we have planned to much to do and see.  Anyone surprised?  We need to learn to plan our trips better so that we don't feel that we have to run from place to place.  After our "conference" this morning, we have decided to spend today and tonight here and then go to Death Valley National Park.  We are taking Las Vegas out of our itinerary.  Not only will it provide us with more time in Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Forrest, but it cuts down on a full tank of gas at the cost of over $200. 

Happy trails, to you......until we meet again....(sound familiar?)

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