Fly Phoenix, AZ, to San Jose, CA
Roadtrip San Jose, CA, to Tempe, AZ
Spring Break 2004; 5 Days/4 Nights; 1108 Miles

[directory listing of pictures]

Day One/Night One; Tempe to San Jose

Catch a Sunday, 11:08am, flight from Sky Harbor in Phoenix to San Jose, California, arriving on-time at 12:01pm. It was a sunny day that allowed for some picture taking from 30,000 feet. {plane ... plane ... plane}

Rent a car and drive I-880 north from San Jose to Milpitas (6 miles). Drive Calaveras Road north to CA Hwy-84. {running cows ... lucky cows} [Note: This thin and curvey road is an 18 mile scenic drive that had an amazing amount of litter along it.]

Go east on CA Hwy-84 to Livermore. It was a Sunday and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was closed. [Note: As of March 2004, LLNL was home to three of the top ten supercomputers in the world. {}]

Visit the Altamont Pass Windfarm east of Livermore. {view ... view ... view ... litter ... ignored sign}

Drive west on I-580 from Livermore to Berkeley and visit the University of California. [Note: The sun going down and there were too many students enjoying their beautiful campus for me to take pictures. Here is a potential sign of aging: I passed up an opportunity to see Neil Young's Greendale film in a Berkeley movie theatre. I will return to Berkeley, but I don't know when. {Biotech ... clock tower ... trees}]

Drive south/west on I-80 from Berkeley to San Francisco. Drive south on I-880 to San Jose. [Note: I got lost in Berkeley and did not have time to travel into San Francisco. When you park your car and head out on foot, then make sure to pay attention to where you park your car.]

Mileage: 151 miles (total: 151 miles)

Day Two/Night Two: Santa Clara/San Jose

The entire day of Monday was spent at the 2004 Software Developers Conference in Santa Clara learning about XML. The first tutorial stated at 8:30am. The conference was at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Santa Clara is the next Silicon Valley city north of San Jose. After the convention, I picked up my traveling companions at the San Jose airport. [Note: Santa Clara was voted an All-America City in 2001 as was Tempe in 2003. Ebay corporate headquarters were just north of my motel in San Jose.]

Mileage: 21 miles (total: 172 miles)

Day Three/Night Three: San Jose to Bakersfield

Leave San Jose early Tuesday morning and drive US Hwy-101 south to Gilroy.

Drive east on CA Hwy-152 pass the San Luis Reservoir. This is a scenic drive. East of I-5 is when you enter agriculture country and the road turns flat and straight. CA Hwy-152 ends at CA Hwy-99. South on CA Hwy-99 to Frenso.

The drive to Fresno was 154 miles. Leave Fresno on CA Hwy-180 east into Giant Sequoia National Monument. The first park is Kings Canyon National Park. {log tunnel ... General Grant Tree:: marker ... top ... full view}

Kings Canyon is adjacent to Sequoia National Park. {General Sherman Tree:: marker ... Bree ... largest living thing ... top ... full view}

The drive out of Sequoia National Park on CA Hwy-198 is a scenic drive. {view ... view ... view ... Kaweah Stream ... Kaweah Stream ... Bree ... sign}

I enjoyed driving CA Hwy-65 from the Giant Sequoia National Monument to Bakersfield via Porterville. I took no pictures because of time constraints. [Note: Next time I will visit the town of Lindsay. The drive between Porterville and Bakersfield reminded me of the summertime grassy rolling hills found in the Dakotas and the sand hills of Nebraska.]

Mileage: 354 miles (total: 526 miles)

Day Four/Night Four: Bakersfield to Blythe

Drive CA Hwy-58 east from Bakersfield to Barstow. This is a fun drive that has lots to do and see, but time did not allow us to do this part of the trip justice.

{Tehachapi Loop ... Tehachapi road ... Tehachapi view}
{Boron, CA :: big truck ... fighter jet ... Santa Fe station ... Twenty Mule Team mural}

We stopped in Barstow to get gas; we did not visit the downtown. Take I-15 west/northwest to the Calico Ghost Town. [Note: In the Calico cemetery was a grave marker that was engraved "I told you I was sick." I don't why I didn't take a picture.] {Bree and Me ... peacock ... peacock ... colorful mountain ... dead Thurman ... Calico Cemetery ... Calico Cemetery}

Drive a country road under I-15 about 5 miles to a town called Daggett then go another mile under I-40 and catch get a kick on Route 66. We ate lunch at the Bagdad Cafe. [Note: The Bagdad Cafe is for sale.]

We did not have time to hike Amboy Crater. Getting to the base of the crater is a long hike and there is a rim trail. The area supports colorful life.

Continue Route 66 on the road that connects to the Joshua Tree National Park. The drive goes through salt flats. Take the Iron Age road shortcut to CA Hwy-62. We are now heading toward the Tamarisk Shoe Tree. {another view -- the tree had a tire and toilet seat on it}

I was not happy to see graffiti on CA Hwy-62.

The litter problem at the Tamarisk Shoe Tree keeps getting worse and worse. {toilet litter ... desert litter ... US Litter Patrol}

I did a FOO rock banner.

We stopped at Rice to see how the Underwear Tree was doing. {another view} The last time I was in Rice, this old car was on top of the house.

We started our drive to Blythe on the Blythe-Rice Road. After going about three miles I got worried about the quality of the road and we decided to get to Blythe by continuing CA Hwy-62 east to US Hwy-95 south. [Note: US Hwy-95 runs along the Colorado River and it is a scenic drive. I was able to race a train while driving east on CA Hwy-62. I don't know why the train was going 30 miles per hour.]

Mileage: 410 miles (total: 936 miles)

Day Five: Blythe, CA, to Tempe, AZ

Take I-10 east 160 miles to Tempe, Arizona. We hit the western sprawl of the Valley of Sun at 9:30am. [Note: This was a fast drive and most of it was done at 82 miles per hour. The speed limit on I-10 in Arizona is 75; however, our state is thinking about up-ping it to 80. I'm fine with it at 75; however, I would like California to up their interstate maximum speed limit from 70 to 75.]

Mileage: 172 miles (total: 1108 miles)

5 Days/4 Nights; 1108 Miles

Author: Gerald D. Thurman []
Created: 19 March 2004

Miscellaneous Notes
      *** Keywords ***

      San Jose, Livermore, Berkeley, Santa Clara, 
      Fresno, Bakersfield, Tehachapi, Boron, Barstow, 
      Rice, Blythe
      Calaveras Road, CA Hwy-152, CA Hwy-84, US Hwy-101, 
      CA Hwy-152, CA Hwy-180, CA Hwy-198, CA Hwy-65, 
      CA Hwy-58, Route 66, CA Hwy-62

      I-880, I-580, I-5, I-15, I-40, I-10

      Kings Canyon National Park, Giant Sequoia National Monument,
      Sequoia National Park

      Silicon Valley, Altamont Pass Windfarm, Tehachapi Loop,
      Tamarisk Shoe Tree, Underwear Tree, Old Rice House, 
      Rock Banners, Blythe-Rice Road