Southwest Deserts of Arizona and California
Spring Break 2003
880 Miles; 3 Days/2 Nights

Directory Listing of Pictures

Day One

Leave Tempe (101 North to 202 West to I-10 West).

First road construction encountered at mile 40.

We could tell that we were driving into rain. My windshield wipers suck. I do not like driving in rain especially when semi-trucks pass you on the left. They spray massive amounts of water at the car and there are temporary moments of zero visibility. The first hit of rain came at the 70 mile mark. Luckily a Rest Area gave us a chance to catch our bearings.

103.1 FM (KCDX - Florence) lasted until the 104 mile mark.

It was mostly sunny by the time we hit Blythe and exited I-10 onto US Hwy-95 north to CA Hwy-62 west. US Hwy-95 is a scenic and curious drive. CA Hwy-62 may be my favorite road to drive.

We found ICP and Party Naked rock banners. Some of these banners took lots of time and effort to do. Some of these banners are works of art.

Stopped at the Tamarisk Shoe Tree. I didn't think the tree looked that healthy. I watched a couple of family units make a short stop to leave shoes at the tree. They had fun. We couldn't stay long, but did pick-up one bag of litter. [The Tamarisk Shoe Tree has a litter problem.]

The Underware tree looked much like it did last time I saw it. The old abanded house was wet inside and amazingly a car had found its way onto the top of the house. An old tower had Freedom graffiti on it.

Arrived at Twentynine Palms to spend night number one and to admire the murals that can be found all around town. Twentynine Palms is an Oasis of Murals.

Located just a few miles north of Twentynine Palms is a Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Twentynine Palms has numerous places to get a military haircut. did a litter pick-up at the corner of 29 Palms Highway and 49 Palms Avenue.

Driving in Desert Rains  |  Rock Banners and Tamarisk Shoe Tree  |  Twentynine Palms

Day Two

Day two saw us adventure into the Joshua Tree National Park. The drive through the park totaled 80 miles and provided numerous scenic views. The park was popular with rock climbers. The sun was behind clouds most of the time and some locations were chilly. I would find the park fun during the middle of summer. We entered the park at Twentynine Palms and exited at the south entrance at I-10.

Went over I-10 and drove the road to Mecca. The road to Mecca was a pleasant surprise and offered many scenic views. The road transitions from harsh desert into fields of green agriculture.

At Mecca, turned south on CA Hwy-111 and visited the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is huge. It gets hot and humid at the Salton Sea during the summer.

Continue CA Hwy-111 to Brawley and turned east onto CA Hwy-78. Stopped to play on the Imperial Sand Dunes, but high winds were causing a dust storm. Rain was falling just east of the dunes. Got to Yuma in time to eat dinner and listen to President Bush speak.

We ate at Tyler's for a taste of Texas. Since it was St. Patrick's Day they had corned beef and cabbage. Yum. It came with potato, carrots, salad and corn bread.

Joshua Tree National Park  |  Road to Mecca  |  Salton Sea  |  Imperial Sand Dunes

Day Three

Got up early drive almost 30 miles around the town of Yuma. I wanted to like Yuma and I think I did, but... it took some getting use to. I enjoyed listening to some rock oriented radio station. It was no 103.1, but it was still good. I liked the DJ.

"Old town" Yuma was a hopping place at 7:30am because they were setting up for a Farmer's Market.

Visited the Yuma Territorial Historical State Park. [I have Yet-Another-Cemetery-Picture.]

Left Yuma and drove east on I-8 for 20 miles to Exit #21 onto Old US Hwy-80 east for only a few moments and then began a stair-step type road north and west to catch US Hwy-95 north. The drive is through a huge chunk of agriculture (including cows and bees). [No pictures.]

US Hwy-95 north was an executive motorhome passage. At one point and time we passed a string of 11 consecutive motorhomes. For us, they were a convoy. Passing them all at once caused my heart-rate to jump significantly. The experience energized me for the rest of the drive home.

US Hwy-95 goes along military stuff. They do no want you playing on their land. When they stay out, then I stay out. US Hwy-95 was a scenic drive.

At Quartzite, head east on I-10 to return to Tempe. I was not in the mood to pick-up litter at Ave 75E. Maybe next time (Ave 75E is 93 miles away from Tempe).

Yuma  |  Ride Home  |  Litter

Road Trip Plan and Postings

This road trip allowed me to post to both the and websites.

Author: G.D.Thurman []
Created: 19 March 2003