Year break in Southern California

27.12. 2003 - 4.1. 2004

A relatively complicated trip due to flu epidemic and weather. Most of the things did not go according to the plan, but, it worked out well anyway. My companion on this trip was Mari, which was good thanks, among other things, to her stick shift driving capabilities.

On Saturday morning 27.12., having dug ourselves out of the snow (and leaving cold dark apartment behind), we took off from SLC and drove down on I-15 in interminent snow. Pictures from the drive are here. We drove through Mojave Natl. Preserve on the way to Joshua Tree. There is an awesome joshua tree forest around Cima, with very large trees. We stopped at Kelso Dunes in the afternoon for a hike to the highest dune, fotos are here. We stayed over at a friends house in the town of Joshua Tree for the next 3 days.

On Sunday, 28.12., we drove to Joshua Tree NP, and hiked a relatively low loop trail in Porcupine Wash. Although it was pretty chilly in Joshua Tree (highs in the 40s), it was reasonably warm here, I even wore shorts in the middle of the day. Fotos and map of the hike are here.

On Monday, 29.12., we went to Palm Springs for a "warm" bike ride. That turned out not to be the case, since it was overcast the whole day and the highs barely reached 50 F. I wore long tights and warm jacket, being happy that I brought them with. I rode Art Smith trail and then descended on a myriad of trails to Palm Springs, Mari did the shuttle driver and rode on the Palm Springs trails. Fotos and map from my ride are here.

On Tuesday, 30.12., the weather was supposed to be rainy, so, we reserved it for drive to San Diego via Coachella Valley, around Salton Sea and through Anza-Borrego SP. The rain did not materialize, but it continued to be cold. Pictures from the drive are here. We stayed in a motel in Chula Vista, and went to Imperial Beach to check out the ocean before sunset. Fotos from our beach visits are here. Then we had a dinner in a local bar called "Old Plank" chatting with the regulars.

On Wednesday, 31.12., we went to the San Diego ZOO, fotos are here. Then we drove to friends Alan and Holly's house a bit north of San Diego to spend New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, I was too lazy to take pictures.

On Thursday, Mari went for a beach horse ride south of Chula Vista, and I went for a bike ride around nearby Sweetwater Reservoir. Fotos and map from my ride are here. Then we drove through San Diego and onto Cabrillo NM to watch the sunset, fotos are here. The evening was spend setting up wireless network at Al and Holly's house.

On Friday, Mari went to Sea World and I tried to sneak in one more ride before the advertised rains. A visit to Mission Trails park, which turned out to be mostly closed due to recent wildfires. So, I drove to Los Penasquitos canyon as the storm clouds started rolling in. Pictures and map from the ride are here. I finished the ride around 3.30pm, and drove on the coast through La Jolla to pick Mari up at Sea World. It started raining in the process, so, I guess I lucked out with the ride timing. Then we stopped at IKEA store in SD and drove to Carlsbad to motel.

On Saturday, 3.1., we drove to Orange County. I figured it'll be less damp there since in rained there a bit earlier. This turned out to be a false assumptions. We rode in Chino Hills SP, which was OK at places, but quite muddy at others. Pictures and map from my ride are here. Then we drove to Las Vegas, went to have a dinner in New York New York casino and had a beer at an Irish Pub.

On Sunday, 4.1., we made a required stop at Trader Joe's and then drove home. The usually boring drive on I-15 through Utah was quite pretty with all the snow on the ground. Some pictures from the drive are here.

U of U / CHPC / Cuma / Travel / English / SoCal 03-04