Onward to Mexico

Trip Start Jan 01, 2006
Trip End Apr 30, 2006

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Leaving Quartzsite behind us we headed up through the countryside of California towards Bakersfield. Approaching San Bernadino traffic became congested. Big city but better than trying to get through the mess of Los Angeles. Eventually we weave our way through the maze and head up into the mountains to the North. Thousands of windmills cover the hill sides as we climb upwards. As we near the peak elevation of 1450 meters we see SNOW on the peaks, YIKES, I though we were going to Mexico ! Going to see April in Aptos is taking it's toll on our humour. Down the north side we go through small towns of no consequence and evening is approaching. We start looking for a campsite but then end up in Palmdale a huge sprawling town at the base of the mountain and no place to camp. We decide it's time for a motel and good shower. We end up at the Days Inn, have some diner, TV, fight with the WiFi that never does work and fall asleep,
The morning is crisp and clear, I go out for coffee and the first vehicle I see is a Vanagon, Oh oh, we must be approaching LaLa Land. After breakfast we head off to Bakersfield to find a Flying-J to do some laundry and get the pics from BBB posted to the Travelog. We were going to visit some folks we meet at BBB there but it was getting late and we push on towards Aptos. Evening again came too soon to find a good camp. At San Miguel there was an old mission and park. Looked good for a nites stay. We got all set up and making diner when the caretaker came along and told us we could not spend the nite, We spent another couple of hours driving around trying to find a spot or campsite, finally ending up at St. Anthony's Lake Park far off our trail. Late and tired we eat a bit and off to sleep.
Thursday morning, early after a cold uncomfortable nite with coyotes howling we get under way to Aptos. Traveling through the lush valley laden with vineyards, fruit trees, vegetables and artichokes as far as the eye can see. Farming is really big time here and this scenery stays with us all the way to the outskirts of Aptos.
Our first encounter with the Pacific Ocean is at Moss Landing. It's still early so we stop to take pics of the beach, surfers and otters. Since April is not off work until the afternoon we go right into Santa Cruz to see the sights. The drive in becomes evident why this is Paradise. The scenery is beautiful, Vanagons and VW beetles are everywhere, convertible tops down, motorcycles and joggers dot the landscape. We give up waving at the VW Vans as it's useless. Couple of tours of the town and out on the Santa Cruz wharf we drive. Park and walk to take in the sea breeze. Hunter is happy to be out and about but we soon find out NO DOGS ALLOWED ON THE WARF and shuffle him back into the Westy. Lunch time now so we find a restaurant on the wharf, have a great meal and watch the surfers from the Window.
Off we go again making our way back to Aptos as April should be home soon. We find her place on Dolphin Ave., not beach front as we had though but a few blocks front the beach on a nice residential street. April arrives and off we go to see the sights. A stop at Van Cafe to say hi to Chris, Peter is not there, maybe tomorrow. Up to Cliff Drive to watch the surfers and sunset. It certainly is Paradise ! The shore line is beautiful winding sand and rock cliffs with beaches and good surf. We pass the surfers museum. Seems everybody is out surfing, or watching the sunset, it is January I think ! Oh well, we are in LaLa Land !
We head back toward Aptos and have diner at the Golden Buddha, then set up the camper in April's courtyard and off to sleep.
Friday, Rita and I are on our own as April's working 'till 4. We go shopping, of course ! A stop at The Old Volks Home and a chat with Tony then to Van Cafe to meet Peter and get a windshield wiper arm. Volks Cafe now called Van Cafe due to a slight intervention from VW complaining about the use of the world Volks which they claim is their authorized word. Ha ! They are being a bit arrogant ! After the Van Cafe we head to Costco for lunch and shopping. Then more shopping stops and back at April's for 4. We now head off again with her to IKEA in San Jose to get her some furniture for her sparse room. A good hours drive through some heavy duty traffic for furniture is an overload then back by 9 for diner, conversation, meet her friend Sam and sleep again.
Saturday, it's raining in Paradise, but we go off in search of a Flea Market anyways. The charge of a $1.50 each get the girls dander up so we give it up and find a school rummage sale instead. The sky's clear a bit and sun is back with us. A call to Peter from the Vanagon List gets us hooked up for lunch and micro brews at the Seabright Brewery. Peter has a orange Syncro Double Cab straight out of the fatherland. Special build for some government agency. Locking diffs front and back, and gas heater are some of unusual options beside being ORANGE ! Saying our goodbyes and thanks to Peter we go off to downtown Santa Cruz for a walk up and down Pacific Ave., the centre of the circus. In and out of shops and checking out all the street musicians keeps us busy until we head off home for an walk on the beach, let Hunter loose to run and play with all the of other dogs there, watch the surfers, then home for diner.
Sunday morning, clear sky and the sun's back in Paradise. Breakfast with April and make plans to head south to Santa Barbara where will camp for the nite. Monday should find us off to Marks place in Oceanside for a visit then to get our papers in order to cross into Mexico at Tecate, hopefully on Wednesday.
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redfire238 on

Hi Guys, Just a thought, last time we were in Tecate..visited a brewery...was great...just ask the locals where it is...Richard we will be leaving for palm springs on the weekend, maybe we will catch up with you guys somewhere

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