California Dreamin'

Trip Start Jan 25, 2007
Trip End Apr 16, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

After a drive through the Mojave National Preserve and a night in 29 Palms, we spent the morning in the Joshua Tree National Park.  Quite a beautiful and rather serene place (I think that's the idea behind National Parks, isn't it?).  This one is known for it's granite outcroppings and numerous...well...Joshua trees.  Named by the Mormons for their resemblance to the outstretched arms of Joshua.  After exploring here a bit, we headed down through Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage (President Ford's resting place) up and over the mountains into Julian.  The Palm Springs area is the low point (literally, not so much figuratively) of the trip so far at only a 100 or so feet above sea level.   The winds really whip through the gap in the mountains to the northwest, which is why there is a huge wind power station nearby (and also why the air quality isn't so comes from LA!).  Some of you will be interested to hear that there are reportedly over 100 golf courses in the area...a rather odd (and artificial) contrast of green against what is otherwise a desert.  Arriving in Julian, we enjoyed an evening getting reacquainted with family.  We toured San Diego for the day, including the Cabrillo National Monument with its fine views of San Diego Bay area and celebrated our nephew's birthday with dinner near San Diego State University.  Tyler's home school materials arrived here yesterday, so after a day to do laundry, catch up on emails, send the first travelogue entries, and repack, we are just about ready to go down under.  Today we're just hanging out close to home.  We'll be heading up to Santa Barbara tomorrow to visit our niece at UCSB and will spend the night in LA with friends before flying out to Melbourne Thursday (should be 100 degrees there today!).  We are already 1/4 of the way through the walkabout...but I try not to think about that so much.
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