We spent a whirlwind few weeks in Toronto, Montreal
|Sunny, but freezing|
After checking out, we decided to drive to the Hoover Dam before heading back to our friends’ in Barstow. Before reaching the Dam, we passed Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US in maximum water capacity and formed by the Hoover Dam.
The dam is an amazing feat of engineering. It is massive, impressive and elegant.
|Lake Mead seen from the Dam|
|Water Intakes, 2 in Nevada and 2 in Arizona|
|Colorado River from the top of the Dam|
The Art Deco design is evident throughout, as is the attention to detail in the terrazzo floors and the brass doors- which are polished every night.
|Entrance to Washroom, design represents turbines which generate power|
|In Generator Room, 500 ft down, representing the turbines|
|Dedicated to those who lost their lives in the building of the Dam|
|Our guide explaining the Dam- water flowing right to left- top is Nevada side, bottom is Arizona side.|
|A penstock bringing water to turbines|
|The Generators- 500ft down|
We were much later than we had planned to be, heading to Barstow.
We had a wonderful long weekend with our friends. We walked into the desert, to the upside down and backwards Mojave River.
|We were really there!|
|John walking up a huge dune- it is not all flat|
The next day we had a blast off-roading in our friend’s Polaris Ranger Crew, with a couple of other friends in their ATV’s, a Polaris Razor 900 and a Yamaha. It was an awesome ride! First we rode the roller coaster- a huge loop of hills- ups and downs, sometimes with a bit of a ride along the top, sometimes up to the top, and right back down the other side.
|taken part way up the 'roller coaster' on one of the breaks|
stopping every-so-often for a break.
On one of these, someone spotted a plastic milk carton on the hill. Out came the friends’ hand guns- a Glock and a Beretta 9mm- to give the Canadian a chance to target shoot.
|The Canadian takes target practice, and hits the target!|
|Even reading the manual didn't help...|
Our friend’s wife had driven to meet us. After arranging a tow and mechanic, and ordering beer and burgers, we all sat on the patio and enjoyed some really good country music.
To get back home, John rode in the Razor 900, our friend rode in the Yamaha, I went in the car. When we met at the rendezvous point, John was grinning, Ray had taken him on a wild ride through the desert. To really make his day, Ray then let him drive the Razor.
|Look at that Grin!|
We explored Barstow’s murals
and, before we left, visited several museums. The Mojave River Valley Museum has a series of displays and exhibits that portray the history of the Mojave River Valley from the arrival of Father Garces in 1776 on through pathfinders, pioneers, miners, railroads and the present space program. The Western America Railroad Museum in historic Casa del Desierto, Harvey House
|Casa del Desierto, Barstow's Harvey House|
Then we were on our way, along Route 66,
to pick up the Airstream from Southwest Coach in Corona, and make our way to San Diego. Of course, on the way, we had to make a stop Rancho Cucamonga’s Total Wines.
|The only date palms we have seen, in Rancho Cucamonga|
Southwest Coaches' service was excellent. They tightened the connection in the bathroom plumbing, found and sealed a pin-hole by the marker light on the curbside back quarter, fixed the blind pull and washed our Run-Around-Sue.
Now we were off towards San Diego.
|Many of the hills are barren.|
|Some hills further south had large bolders strewn down the sides|
We decided to stay outside San Diego at the Santee Lakes Recreational Preserve in Santee. It is beautiful here, sunny and warm. Temperatures have been over 80F since we arrived – much warmer and drier than normal (southern California is suffering from a drought). The sites are large, sandy, fairly level and raked.
|This site is about 90ft deep, 45ft wide|
|Mission Beach to the south. Condos are $2million+|
|Many of the decorative shrubs are Rosemary.|
We have driven to Torrey Pines Beach
|Condos just across from Torrey Beach entrance|
|South Beach [the first day] tide is in- the channel is in the centre of the beach|
|Marbled Godwit digging for food|
|South Beach -tide is out- I found an agate too!|
Because we are staying, there is no push to get out every day to “see the sights”, so we also spent a day watching the NFL Semi Finals!
More San Diego to come...