Friday, December 30, 2016 to Monday, January 2, 2017 (Travel to La Posa South LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ)

We pulled out of our site at Peace Arch RV Park around 9:00 Friday morning. It was a cool start with frozen puddles and slippery spots on the roads inside the park. We pulled over in a large open area near the trash bins so Steve could check and put air in the trailer tires. Then we were off!

Instead of going to the closer, much busier US border crossings, we went a little further out of our way to the Aldergrove crossing that takes us to Lynden, WA...the wait times there were much lower. We find that at the other crossings if they say there is a 10 minute wait, you can multiply that by at least 3 or 4 times.

We were across the border in less than 10 minutes...then went through Lynden and passing Wiser Lake on our way to Ferndale...

We needed fuel up the truck and we knew there was an easy, convenient Pilot Truck Stop in Fernadale...so we filled our tanks...$2.85/gallon (about $0.75/litre) and then we hit the I-5 south.
 After a pretty cloudy, foggy start to the day, some blue sky and sunshine! This is the Skagit River...

We took the by-pass (I-405) around Seattle but the traffic was still backed up...the holiday traffic from Seattle on the I-5 all the way to Olympia was absolutely insane today! It added about an hour onto our travel time today. But at least it wasn't as bad as the traffic in the other direction after this collision...
 Look at the line of traffic backed up....
 Lots and lots of vehicles on the road today...
 Columbia River...
We stopped at the Super Walmart in Woodland, Washington. We parked in an area near some semi's figuring that would be fine but still went inside to confirm. Apparently the parking lot is under municipal control but as far as they were concerned, it was fine...they had never seen anyone kicked out...whew! We picked up some beer (30 Bud Lite $21.98), wine (5 litre box $13.97) and a flat of bottled water...then headed back out to the trailer to get settled in for the night.

It was a cool, foggy Saturday morning when we pulled back onto the I-5 and continued south. Crossing the bridge over the Columbia River into Oregon...

After all the traffic through the Seattle area yesterday, we weren't looking forward to going through Portland but it ended up being a breeze. The early morning hour was a good time to be passing through!
More pictures as we continue our journey down the I-5...


When we left this morning, our plan was to cut over to the coast just south of Eugene, Oregon but as we were driving, I thought I'd check out the weather conditions again and distance to Redding, California. Going over to the coast would add a good couple of days to our travel time but with the weather forecast yesterday for the mountain passes in southern Oregon and northern California, we were not going to chance it. However this morning, the hazardous weather warning/snow warning had been postponed until late tonight/early tomorrow morning. I checked all the road cameras and along the way and they all looked fine, so we decided to make a run for it.
 The clouds broke and we had no problem through Grant's Pass...

Rogue River...

Lots of snow going through the Siskiyou Mountains but the roads were clear...
...and the sky was blue!

Siskiyou Summit...4310 feet, highest point on the I-5...



California!
Beautiful views of Mt. Shasta...



The sun was getting low in the sky as we drove through the Lake Shasta area...


Our destination for tonight was another Super Walmart...this one just south of Redding, CA in Anderson. We had stayed there a few years ago on another journey through the mountains where a winter snow storm was on our heels. We were surprised at how busy the lot was...on New Year's Eve! However, a semi that was there decided to leave...perfect! We parked and again went in to double check  to ensure we were okay to park overnight...no problem!

Sunday...January 1, 2017! Happy New Year to all our family and friends!

We were up and on the road by 7:20 this morning...continuing our journey south. We continued on I-5 through Sacramento...

...until we reached Stockton and then took hwy 99, just east of I-5. If we take this route again, I think we will stick to the I-5...hwy 99 is fairly lumpy and bumpy...mind you, I'm not sure how much better I-5 is.

We reached the Super Walmart on Rosedale Hwy in Bakersfield at about 3:30 and, although there were other RV's already parked, we still went inside to double check. Given the okay, we returned to the rig and got leveled off, then I headed into Walmart to do some shopping. This would be our last stop before hitting Quartzsite tomorrow and I wanted to stock up on groceries as much as I could.
Steve got the rig set up for the night then replaced a couple of the tire pressure sensor batteries on the truck.
It was just over an hour later when I returned. I quickly put things away...basically shoving them in the fridge and cupboards so we could head over to the highlight of our stop here. We have stayed at this Walmart a couple of times and really enjoy the Original Roadhouse Grill which is on the edge of the parking lot.
We didn't get out for New Year's Eve...but we had a nice New Year's Day dinner, sharing a pitcher of beer in the bar and dinner. Both were good and after three straight long days of driving, we really enjoyed our little outing!

Monday morning we waited around for McDonald's to open at 7:00...hindsight is wonderful, but since we were up early, we should have made our own coffee, had some toast and headed off. We had forgotten about the time zone change into Arizona...meaning we would loose an hour today.

We headed east on hwy 58 over Tehachapi pass. We thought we would have to change our route and continue down I-5 towards LA because the road conditions at Tehachapi were pretty ugly a couple of days ago. Luckily that changed and we decided to take that route.
All was fine...it's a very pretty area (even when it's cloudy out)...

Train tunnel....there were a number of them...
Wind turbines...
We turned south on hwy 395...starting to see Joshua Trees...
We merged onto I-15 just north of the San Bernadino mountains...and experienced dense fog...

We took I-215, eventually making it over to I-10 heading east.
Lots of wind turbines between Cabazon and Palm Springs...
Just before Blythe, we noticed a plantation of newly planted palm trees...date palms, we think...
We crossed the Colorado River, it looks much lower this year...
...into Arizona! We're on the final stretch now!
Dome Rock BLM boon-docking area...
Quartzsite!

There's already a lot of vendor tents set up on Kuehn Road...
And RV's are arriving...this is La Posa West LTVA...
We pulled into La Posa South LTVA just before 4:00 Arizona time. We pulled over and purchased our permit and then stopped to fill with fresh water. While waiting for the tank to fill, Ruth and Dale, on their way over to Jim and Barb's place, stopped to greet us. They are having a welcome happy hour for us...we'll be there as soon as we can guys!
This morning Earl had called to say that the folks in our usual spot across from he and Alison were leaving. So they held the spot for us...and as it turned out, another spot just across from it and on the wash was also available. Amazing...the day we are arriving and two spots open up. Well, the spot on the wash is one we have always liked, so we decided to take it for a change. Unfortunately, it was much more difficult to maneuver the rig into...mainly because we wanted to get the trailer angled east/west to get as much southern exposure for the solar panels. But we eventually did it, unhitched and proceeded to start with our unpacking and set up.
Steve snapped this picture of our first Quartzsite sunset...
I had most of the inside set up and as soon as Steve got the satellite dish set up and we had it tuned in...we headed down to Jim and Barb's to enjoy our welcome happy hour.
Jim, Barb, Steve, Ruth and Dale...
Thanks for the wonderful welcome, guys! Had we remembered about the time change, we would have gotten our butts going earlier this morning to compensate for loosing that hour!

We are SO glad to be here!


6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks guys! It's been great catching up with you.

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  2. Replies
    1. You are very welcome...thanks for tagging along!

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  3. First time comment: I have been following your blog now for a couple years, and enjoy following your travels. Nice photos of your trip. We will also be in Q sometime soon, last year across the road in Tyson's. We may explore La South this year, since there were no birds at our feeders over in Tyson.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for tagging along Kevin. Let us know when you get here so you can join us for a happy hour.

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