Monday, August 27, 2012

Car Camping

The car was so hot when I got back to the car park! It told me the outside air temperature was 100 degrees F but I could barely touch the steering wheel! It was a good job I could just put the roof down to let all the hot air out, and then put it back up and let the air conditioning do its job. I'm definitely getting used to the heat though, which is a good thing considering my future destinations of Beijing, Singapore and Delhi, although I think these are significantly more humid.

Roof down mode of my very own Transformer :-)

So I then drove through the desert, the outside temperature never dropping below 90 degrees and the tape which was holding my phone-come-satnav to the dashboard doing a magnificent demonstration of Kelvin-Voigt model creep in the strength of the solar heating.

The view for most of the desert drive

It was about a 2 hour drive to the mountains, about halfway through I came across a 'Roundabout' which was advertised well in advance with orange flashing lights to warn you that you were approaching a very unusual road feature, and so much signage to remind you to yield to the left and follow the road around the island and take the correct exit, that it was arguably more confusing than a normal one! Necessary precautions, maybe, in a country which probably only has one roundabout per state... Luckily, though, the road I was on avoided going around this feature, and I was spared the confusion...

The road from the valley up to Idyllwild was the best 22 miles of driving I've ever done! I put the roof down for the twisty mountain road, ascending from about 1000 feet up to 7000, with so many turns, close passes, steep drops on each side and a fantastic road surface with 5-15 degrees camber in almost every corner. Every quarter of a mile or so, there were passing points, where the slow vehicles (should you end up behind one) would pull over and let you have the road to yourself! It was such an awesome drive, part of me wishes that I had filmed it, but these things never look as good afterwards and there was no obvious place to attach the camera where it would have a good view of the road ahead.

Valley view

Fantastic roads, and a good car to enjoy them with!

At the top of this magnificent rollercoaster ride of a road, I arrived at Thousand Trails campsite - primarily an RV camp, I had booked a tent space here for just under $30. I hadn't realised, though, that the facility came with its own swimming pool, cafe and every site having electricity and water. So I went for a dip in the heated pool and, being Oktoberfest that weekend (somehow - in late August), the proprietor of the cafe wanted to try out her Rahm Schnitzel on me for supper - which was superb and almost as good as the one that Jamie made for us in Bath!

The cafe. What you might not be able to see behind is the 11,000' mountain looming over the campsite!

Chez Colin for the night.
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  1. Dunno if you wanna edit this page by you double posted the last paragraph :)

  2. I hadn't realised when you said you'd slept in your car that you'd actually booked a proper camp site spot for it! I assumed you'd slept in the layby or something similar :) well that looks like a fun experience either way and great value for money!