• Welcome to Toad Hall

    The home of the WXToad
  • The Great Around-the-USA Adventure

    Southern California

    Our trek actually began in November of 2007 when we left home in New Enlgand and headed south to Florida, where we spent two months as volunteer Campground Hosts at Gamble Rogers SRA. Our gig was over in February 2008 and one morning DW piped up: "Why don't we go to California and up the coast?" To which my reply was: "Who are you and what have you done with Liz?" We tossed the idea around for a while and decided to go for it. Since we zipped across the southern states westward,  we'll begin the journal in southern California, which we reached on 26 March 2008.

    For pictures and comments of all the campgrounds we visited, click on "Campground Reviews" in Top Menu or on the links in the journal.

    Driving westward along I-8 we passed through the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area. Despite all that sand, one finds some greenery along the canals that bring in water for irrigation. ca0004 
     ca0017  28 Mar 08: The breadbasket of America - without irrigation, there would be nothing grown here.
     Here we are at 235' below sea level at the Salton Sea. In the distance the Santa Roas Mountains are barely visible. We had thought about staying here for a day or two, but it was getting warm and we decided to head for the hills. ca0029 

     The hills we chose were in Joshua Tree National Park. The terrain turned more rugged as we left Mecca on the north shore of the Salton Sea and started climbing up toward the park.

    There ya go - a Joshua tree. For more pix of Joshua Tree NP, click here. We spent a wonderful 8 days in the park at three different campgrounds: Cottonwood, Jumbo Rocks and Hidden Valley.

     6 Apr 08: Finally it was time to head down towards the metropolis of Los Angeles and our date at the Lazy Daze factory. As we headed down toward I-10, we had this great view of San Jacinto Mt. And yes, the winds were high. ca0050 
    ca0053  In fact, the winds are consistently so strong here that there are hundreds of windmills of all sizes. 
     In the middle of the picture you can see the leading edge of the Pacific marine layer, moist air that pushes onshore and up through the mountain passes until stymied by the dry desert air.  ca0055
     ldf01  7 Apr 2008: Back in early March we had called the Lazy Daze factory to make an appointment to have some work done on our RV. We were there for two days, and they did a great job.
     10 Apr 2008: After finishing up at the factory, we enjoyed the gracious hospitality of Larry and Rene. Larry had kindly offered to install LED taillights on our rig for us - here he is hard at work. Gotta tell you - those lights are SO awesome. Much brighter than incandescent bulbs and they come on instantly. ca0058 
     ca0059  11 Apr 08: As we headed towards the coast, we found the hillsides much greener, thanks to that moist maritime airmass that blankets the area in the winter and spring.

    Our first lunch by the ocean just north of Malibu.


    Join us on our journey northward from LA to the Big Sur.