Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
We continued south through the Mojave. It was now
starting to get quite dark. After fifty
miles we noticed what looked like a large town, with many lights, off
to our right. Cindy checked the map and discovered we were driving
next to a huge military base. As we were driving along we noticed
a pickup truck with its emergency lights on by the other side of the road.
I slowed down, and when we got close several young men emerged from
the darkness waving their arms, almost stepping in front of the car.
I slammed on the brakes and swerved to avoid them. The young men
ran up to the car. They said they were Marines from the Twenty Nine Palms
Marine base, and that their truck was stuck in the sand. They were
wondering if they could get a ride back to their base.
I told them to jump in, but could only take three, so two Marines
had to stay out in the desert with the bogged truck. We drove them
about five miles along the road to the base entrance gate.
On the way I told them that it was best to keep two wheels on the
road if they wanted to pull over for a pee.
When we got to the base gate the guard wouldn't let Cindy or I
drive any further without a visitor pass. I wanted to get going
to Desert Hot Springs and it was already getting late, so we left
the Marines at the gate to find their way back to their barracks where
they had a truck with a winch. It later occurred to us
that it probably wasn't going to be easy for two foreign nationals,
one without any identification, to get a visitor pass into a US military
We arrived fairly late in Desert Hot Springs. We
checked into the big spa hotel and soaked in one of the large
hot spring spas for an hour, while chatting to other hotel guests. The
next day after breakfast and another dip in the hot springs we drove
down out of the mountains and into Los Angeles.
Traffic was pretty heavy on the freeways and several times we were
held up due to crashed cars blocking lanes. We didn't
have any firm plans on what we wanted to see in Los Angeles, so
I drove down to Hollywood and parked the car on Hollywood Boulevard.
We got out and walked along the sidewalk with stars embedded in it
and we read the famous names on the stars. When we got to Mann's
Chinese Theater we took some photos where actors had imprinted their
hands and feet in wet concrete. While we were there I got two
guest audience passes to a TV show called `The Newly Wed Game' that
was being video taped at a nearby studio on the Paramount lot.
We drove to the studio and watched the show for a few
hours. We noticed that even though it was a game show it looked like
the contestants were paid actors who were sticking to a script. Many
members of the audience were on a bus tour from Mississippi,
and the MC for the audience was a stand up comedian from Los Angeles.
Everyone had a good time but we didn't understand a lot
of the MC's jokes. It looked like almost everyone in the audience was
a tourist either from the US or overseas.
We decided we didn't want to spend the night in Los Angeles
so we drove up Highway 101 to Newbury Park where there was a factory that
shipped teddy bear making supplies around the world. Cindy
bought some supplies at a pretty good price while I chatted with
the office staff. We then drove up Highway 101 to the
Highway 1 turnoff in San Luis Obispo eventually stopping in Morro Bay, next
to the Pacific Ocean, for the night.
The next morning we looked in a quilting and craft store
in Morro Bay then drove a few miles up Highway 1 to
Hearst Castle at San Simeon. We took a tour of the castle that went
through the upper floors as well as the huge kitchen and by the two big
swimming pools. The guide told us many stories about William Randolf
Hearst and his newspaper empire.
Continuing north up Highway 1, we took in views
of the Pacific Ocean from the small highway hugging the steep hillsides.
The storm from the previous week had washed parts of the road away in
and we had to wait while Caltrans crews flagged traffic through one
lane at a time. One of the Caltrans flagmen said that he had seen some
whales migrating south earlier on, so Cindy kept her eyes peeled for
whales while I kept my eyes on the narrow road.
We stopped at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Beach and
walked down a small path to where we could see the creek running
off the top of the cliff into the ocean. We took some
photos then got back into the car and finished our trip around
California by driving north up Highway 1 and back into Santa Cruz.