05.06.2019 - 05.06.2019
After a couple of days in Sequoia we prepared for a long day of driving. Everything takes longer when you drive a coach through the state of California, since the speed limit is 55 for big rigs. We passed nothing but farmland along the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Almond, Orange and Lemon groves spread throughout the countryside as far as the eye can see. Once we entered Angeles National Forest the drive got tougher, trying to maneuver the RV up and down the mountain range. Several 18wheelers had to pull over due to overheating. We took it nice and steady and scooted towards Los Angeles, where we were welcomed by a thick yellowish grayish layer of Smog. The radio stations in that area were awesome, which helped to keep me energized in such heavy traffic
I was certainly relieved to leave all the heavy populated areas behind. We stopped along the way and stocked up with groceries for our upcoming night in the desert. After 8 hours on the road we arrived in Joshua Tree and followed the last couple of miles down a dirt road to BLM land. We might have seen 10 other campers altogether doing the same thing. Camping on Government land is free and usually in isolated areas, but this particular spot was surprisingly close to the main road of Joshua Tree, where anything you desire is only minutes away. It honestly felt as if we were in the middle of nowhere, yet close to everything should you need it while boondocking, which was comforting to me. We had a very relaxing afternoon and watched the sun paint the desert into amber, bronze and golden tones.
We tried not to use the generator at first, opened all windows and vents , spread out on the couch and melted away. The temperature reached 86 inside the rig within minutes after setting up, which led us to turn on the generator. The internet connection was surprisingly strong and we opted to watch some Netflix to help us unwind for the night.
We got up at the crack of dawn, enjoyed our coffee with a view and packed up to enter Joshua Tree National Park the second it opened. At the visitor center we asked if it is possible to drive a 40 ft RV with a tow vehicle through the park and were advised not too. We did it anyway ,because the exit of the park leads to Interstate 10, which ties us right in with our travel route. Had we listened to the Ranger, we would have had to turn back around to get our RV adding 2 additional hours to the already 2 hour trip. Tony had no problem driving the rig and countless turn offs allowed for us to let faster vehicles pass.
I hope this information will be helpful to anyone trying to save some travel time.
We did not hike at Joshua Tree, for the simple reason that it looked very similar to the area we lived in for a couple of years, which is the high desert around Barstow CA. The park offers several trails in case you are interested to explore and get a good exercise. We were ready to get to Salton Sea early enough to spend some time on the beach and cool off. Until then...happy travels!